The holidays are just around the corner, and in many Swiss homes, Fondue Chinoise will be served for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Little did people know about the origin of the dish back in the 1970s, when it first came to Switzerland. It was adapted to the local taste – and what was lost as a result! Only dipping meat in the stock does not do justice to the variety of the meal.
In China, hotpot (火锅) has been said to be on the menu for almost 2000 years. Meanwhile, there are countless local variations and modern adaptations. We have made a compilation of some of the most famous ones and also some surprising ones. To really make your mouth water we have added videos where you can watch the hotpots being prepared and then enjoyed.
Yuanyang Hotpot (鸳鸯火锅)
The yuanyang hotpot comes in a pot that is divided in two parts, one of which is spicy and one of which is non-spicy. The name derives from the yuanyang or mandarin ducks: the birds that throughout Chinese history have represented the love of two people. To have a perfectly harmonious love relationship one part must love spicy food while the other part must hate it. This way the life of the lovers would always be in balance.
Guizhou Sour Soup Hotpot (贵州酸汤火锅)
Guizhou is a province located in the southwest of china. The sour soup is its specialty. Because it is very humid and food spoils easily, locals learned to preserve soup by using substances like vinegar which is why most of the food in Guizhou tastes sour.
Chongqing Hotpot (重庆火锅)
The infamous Chongqing Hotpot is defined by the tastes numb and spicy (麻辣). It is served in a pot that is split in nine parts. The compartments serve a community purpose. In the past, the villagers used to sit outside together at the hotpot meal and everyone tossed their ingredients into their compartment. Of course, you can also enjoy chongqing hotpot from a pot that is not subdivided.
JiangZhe Chrysanthemum Hotpot (江浙菊花暖锅)
A very special hotpot where chrysanthemum is washed and put in the hotpot soup while the meat is being cooked. The scent of the flower will seep into the meat and make it even more aromatic and delicious.
Beijing Style Lamb Hotpot (北京羊肉涮锅)
This hotpot originates in the Qing dynasty over 200 years ago when emperors Kangxi and Qianlong served it during imperial feasts. This pot is mainly about eating the lamb. The lamb is cut paper-thin, every piece is cut to perfection with the perfect amount of fat and lean meat.
Yunnan-Style Hotpot (云南滇味火锅)
Yunnan is a province located in southwestern china. This hotpot focuses on fresh vegetables but will always include sliced sausages and paper-thin beef, pork, chicken and fish. The vegetables are highlighted by fresh mushrooms like wood ears.
Leshan Style Coldpot Skewers (乐山式冷锅串串)
This dish is not actually a hotpot, but a coldpot. The soup consists mainly of chili oil and is served cold. The ingredients are pre-cooked and dipped in the soup on skewers. The coldpot has its origins in the province of Sichuan – like the famous Chongqing hotpot. It is as spicy as its cousin if not even more spicy. Typical meats for dipping are chicken legs, the belly of the water buffalo and pigeon breast. Of course bamboo shoots, mushrooms, vegetables and tofu can be added to ones liking.