A Taste of Sichuan



Brief history and its emergence


 

The appearance of Sichuan hot pot was about the Daoguang reign of the Qing Dynasty (1821-1851). After many research, the real birthplace of Sichuan hot pot is near the the shore of Yangtze River. — Xiaomi Beach in the wine city of Luzhou). The cookware is only one earthen jar, the water is filled in the pot (soup), and various vegetables are added, and then the peppers and peppers are added to dispel dampness and resolve toxin in the human body. At that time, the boatmen on the banks of the Yangtze River ran the boat and stayed at Xiaomi Beach. When the boat is stopped, the pot is fired and the food is cooked to warm them up. After the boatmen eat it, they said the beauty of hot pot can’t be expressed verbally. It is said that it spread in the piers of the Yangtze River.

It was not until the 23rd year of the Republic of China that someone moved this specialty into a small restaurant and moved the pot to the table. The mud stove was still, but the iron basin was replaced by a red pot. The broth and sauce are adjusted by the diners so that it is clean and suitable for everyone’s taste. Slowly, this small hot- pot restaurant is getting blooming in other areas also.

The heaven of spices


 Now it is very popular and can be found in almost every region of China. There are various types of Sichuan hotpots, based on different broths, so Sichuan hot pot suits customers of different preferences: spicy, salty, or sour flavors are all available. If you want to challenge your taste buds, try the spicy and numbing flavor, resulting from a special seasoning — Sichuan pepper — and other spicy ingredients like chili added to it, which marks its difference from other hotpots. That is what Sichuan hot pot is best known for.

If you are eating Sichuan and find your tongue is paralyzed and face is going flush, don’t be alarmed. Based on my experience and observations, this is entirely normal. One trick to keep that “hurts but so good” feeling without getting your stomach hurt: make a dipping sauce from peanut or sesame oil and coat the food with this just before eating it. This seems to be the ancient Chinese secret for enjoying hot pot. while the dipping sauce by your choice can add more flavors to the food, it also helps “cool down” your mouth. In addition, you better not drink cold water when you eat hot pot, drinking peanut milk or soybean milk can soothe the stomach and can help put out a fire in the belly.

Generally, there are two basic types of Sichuan Hotpot:

1.

This is called “Jiu Gong Ge” hot pot which means it has nine grids in one pot. “Jiu Gong Ge” divides the hot pot into three levels, and different grids represent different temperatures and different concentrations of butter mixed with chili oil. Various  ingredients are cut into different thicknesses, shapes, or slices, or blocks, or strips, cooked in different ways, and then get different tastes. This is the mystery of Sichuan “Jiu Gong Ge” hot pot, and it is also the unique cooking method.

2.

This is called “Yuan Yang” hot pot which is basically “double flavor” hot pot. Since Sichuan spices are extremely powerful that not all people can accept that, so eaters invented this type of hot pot – one side spicy soup, another side non-spicy soup – to meet all people’s need. It also follows the Tai Chi symbol, which shows Sichuan people’s comprehensiveness and inclusiveness.

Citations:

Bautista, Tatiana. “The Best Part of Hot Pot Isn’t Actually Hot Pot.” TASTE, 20 June 2018, www.tastecooking.com/best-part-hot-pot-isnt-actually-hot-pot/.

Noll, Daniel, and Audrey Scott. “Chinese Hot Pot: A History and How-To.” G Adventures Blog, 14 July 2016, www.gadventures.com/blog/chinese-hot-pot-history-and-how-/.

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