Chinese food without hotpot is like sex without doggystyle, you really
need to try it to put the rest of the genre in proper perspective.
Hotpot offers a sublime communal experience as well as the primal
satisfaction of cooking your own food in a prehistoric bubbling broth.
Similarly, doggystyle offers you the chance to check your email or
high five a buddy with the primal satisfaction of the preferred coital
position of most animal species.
Ok moving on from that, if you’re shy about trying hotpot for the
first time, because you’re worried you might catch a disease or put
the food in the wrong circular receptacle and cause an embarrassing
incident, I’ve created a handy hot pot guide.
Step one: Choose your type of hotpot.
So far I’ve come across Boiled Beef hot pot, Sichuan hot pot, Seafood
hot pot and Sour Fish hot pot. I’m sure this is only scratching the
surface, but all of them are delicious. The below pictures are from Sour
Step two: Choose your prey.
At sour fish hotpot, this involved a somewhat surly Chinese waitress
bringing us a flopping fish in a bucket. Excuse the blurriness as he
was moving around quite a bit.
Step three: Mix your hotspot sauce. See the below photo of a less
surly Chinese waitress adding a packet of chili to my brother’s sauce
bowl, along with a fair amount of cumin, nuts, cilantro, and green
onions. Once the broth has cooked, you spoon a little broth into the
sauce to make it into a soupy mess.
Step four: Look solemnly at your prey as the surly chinese waitress
puncutates her rage by dipping the likely still alive, filleted fish
into the broth.
Demonstrated perfectly by my brother’s significant other in the photo here.
Step five: Patiently Wait For Your Food to Cook
Activities can involve conversation, downing a few Yanjing beers,
eating other small dishes, cooking additional vegetables such as
mushrooms, potatoes and lotus root, and ignoring the still alive
fishes’ flipper spasms.
Step six: Keep your most eager table mate from Eating the Fish Before It’s Done
Guilty as charged.
Step Seven: Eat
Ideally your fish has softened enough to break into delicious fillets.
You can now start picking at the fish, dipping it into your sauce, and
savoring the immensely fresh, flavorful hotpot. Mix in some veggies as
well and feel free to add more if you’re still hungry. Best of all, no