By: Elsa Yang
As someone who visits China every Summer, I have tried a lot of traditional and modern Chinese food. But if you ask me which one I like the most, it would have to be Hot Pot.
When traveling to China, my mom, dad, sister, and I would go visit my cousins and grandparents. We always go out to eat different kinds of food, but Hot Pot remains one of our most favorites. Now you might ask, what is a “Hot Pot”? Well, it is an interactive meal where there is a pot of soup stock at the dining table with East Asian foods, ready to be cooked. Hot Pot is a type of the main dish and its Chinese name is called “Huoguo.”
Hot Pot ingredients may include thin meat, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, bean products, seafood, and basically anything you want to eat that could be cooked. By placing them in the soup and dipping them in the sauces you prepared, satisfaction is felt in every single bite. Keep in mind that different ingredients have different cook times, and most raw foods can be cooked in a Hot Pot, some must be removed accordingly by time.
Hot Pot originated from the tripods of the Zhou dynasty. Empress Dowager Cixi was known to enjoy Hot Pot, along with Emperor Qianlong who was very fond of it. Emperor Jiaqing even had a banquet with 1,550 Hot Pots at his coronation.
In addition to their fantastic tastes, Hot Pot meals could enhance friendships and unite families because they involve several people sitting around a pot, and oftentimes, talking. Hot Pots are very popular in Winter at places that are cold because they themselves are “hot.”
Hot Pot is extremely popular among Chinese foods and it is a must-have when visiting China. It has become the major attraction of the tourism industry in some areas. Go try it out for yourself.