Ancient hotpot, modern cuisine
Updated: 2013-06-06 06:20
By Zhuan Ti (China Daily)
Sichuan hotpot is a colorful feast for the senses.
Sichuan hotpot dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when it was first created in a small town along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.
Local boatmen cooked a kind of spicy soup with vegetable, meat and hot peppers to help them in the humid, cold weather.
Over hundreds of years, hotpot evolved to become a major Sichuan cuisine.
There are more than 2,000 hotpot restaurants in Chengdu and every restaurant has different recipe for the soup base.
Major kinds of soup base include traditional butter, clear oil, porridge, clear soup and cold fish.
The dipping sauces are usually made of sesame oil with garlic and green onion.
People can put any meat and any vegetables including potato, lotus root and tofu, into the pot.
For those who don't like chili, porridge hotpot and clear soup are mild with house special dipping sauces.
Mandarin Duck hotpot with half spicy and half clear soup base often satisfies a range of tastes.
Spicy tofu is among the most popular hotpot ingredients.
(China Daily USA 06/06/2013 page13)