China is famous for its hotpot, combining a multitude of ingredients which interest the dealer’s palate; however, do you know how to tell the difference between three popular styles in Dongguan?
A trip to the capital city is not needed to try old Beijing style hotpot, but knowing how to identify it is. The easiest way to identify it is by the pot the dish is cooked in, with a distinct chimney in the middle for burning coal. Lamb rolls are a key ingredient to this delectable dish, with hotpot’s signature vegetables and cabbage. The flavor is added by combining sesame sauce and chili oil in a separate bowl and dipping the ingredients in after they are cooked.
This style hotpot has become popular all over China and has a red, spicy chili soup base. Some choose to dine on the entire pot of spicy soup, but most prefer to have a couple of choices. A divider is put in the pot offering two broths: mild and spicy. Besides the chili, one key ingredient is Sichuan pepper (known to make your tongue numb). Different kinds of meats, vegetables and, interestingly, internal organs are thrown into the pot. The internal organs can be traced back to the old days, when it was not easy to get high-quality meats. The strong chili soup masked the taste of the organs.
Try a unique combination with a plethora of ingredients: mushrooms, tomatoes, vegetables, pork bone, fish, shellfish, the list goes on. All these ingredients are what make it so unique. Soy sauce (in a separate bowl) is the base for flavor which the ingredents are dipped in after cooking. Often garlic, green onions, sesame and chili oils are added. Think of Guangdong hotpot as a combination of Old Beijing and Sichuan styles.