Hot-pot

Beijing hot-pots are eaten year round, though are considered a more winter food. Traditional hot-pot steamers are a large, coal-fired brass chimney with the hot-pot surrounding the chimney, though many restaurants now have hot-pots sectioned into different flavors of broth. Beijing hot-pots can come with a dizzying array of ingredients, matching the expansive tastes of the city’s former imperial rulers.
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Introduction

Chinese hot-pot is a specialty with over 1,000 years of history, though with disputed origins. Some say that its origins lie with the nomadic tribes of Mongolia, while others believe it come from the Ba region of Sichuan province, near Chongqing municipality. Either way, by the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906) hot-pot cooking was firmly established in northern China and the Beijing area, with the rest of China having developed styles of hot-pot by the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

But what exactly is hot-pot? Hot-pot is traditionally made in over a coal-fired brass pot though now is cooked on gas hobs or butane stoves. The hot-pot itself is a broth flavored with Chinese herbs and spices. A huge variety of thinly sliced meat, vegetables, tofu, quail eggs, seafood are all placed into the broth to cook.

Different people have different views on what to cook and when, with some favoring putting everything in at once, and others preferring to put in a few ingredients at a time. Ingredients are often dipped into sauces after cooking in the hot-pot.

Styles of hot-pot vary region to region. The hot-pots of Sichuan are famously spicy, creating a numb sensation when eating. Hot-pots in Yunnan are often in a ying-yang shape, with one side spicy and the other a like a chicken soup. In Guangdong there is a style of hot-pot where ingredients, which strongly favor seafood, are cooked in Chinese rice porridge.

Beijing hot-pots are eaten year round, though are considered a more winter food. Traditional hot-pot steamers are a large, coal-fired brass chimney with the hot-pot surrounding the chimney, though many restaurants now have hot-pots sectioned into different flavors of broth. Beijing hot-pots can come with a dizzying array of ingredients, matching the expansive tastes of the city’s former imperial rulers.

Why not join us for hot-pot on one of our Evening Tours, combining the delicious flavors of this Beijing speciality with unforgettable entertainment!

Hot-pot video, check here!

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