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Ellen Gibbs / Spoon

From Sichuan to Austin: A Guide to Chongqing Hotpot

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Chongqing hotpot (Chóngqìng húoguō) is a spicy potluck stew that originated from the city of Chongqing in southwestern China. It is known for its fiery and numbing flavors, which come from the generous use of Sichuan peppercorns and dried chili peppers.

Hotpot is more than just a delicious meal. It has a fascinating cultural history that dates back over a thousand years. It originated in northern China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and has since spread throughout the country and even beyond its borders.

In ancient China, hotpot was typically consumed during the winter months. It was believed that eating hotpot could help fight off the cold and keep people healthy. It was also a communal meal, where families and friends would gather around the pot to cook and eat together.

As hotpots became more popular, different regions of China developed their own unique styles. Chongqing hotpot, for example, is known for its spicy and flavorful broth. It originated in the city of Chongqing, which is located in southwestern China and is known for its hot and humid climate. The locals developed a spicy and numbing flavor profile, with Sichuan pepper and dried chili peppers, to help combat the humidity.

To make a Chongqing hotpot, you will need a hotpot pot, a portable stove, and a variety of ingredients such as thinly sliced beef, lamb, pork, mushrooms, leafy greens, and noodles. The hotpot pot is filled with a flavorful broth made from chicken, beef, or pork bones, and spices such as star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Once the broth is boiling, the ingredients are added to the pot and cooked to eat.

If you’re in Austin, Texas, and looking for a delicious hotpot experience, here are some recommendations:

  1. A+A Sichuan China – Located in North Austin, A+A Sichuan China is a popular spot for hotpots with generous portions of meat. They offer a wide variety of ingredients to choose from and their hotpot broth is flavorful and spicy.
  2. Spicy Girl – Spicy Girl is a hotpot chain restaurant that originated in Chongqing and now has locations in multiple cities, including Austin. Their hotpot is authentic and flavorful, with a good balance of heat and spices.
  3. Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot – Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot is a popular spot for hotpot lovers who want a Mongolian twist. Their hotpot broth is rich and flavorful, and they offer a variety of meats, vegetables, and noodles to choose from.
Vanna Chen

Texas '23

Senior Computer Science Major Sleepy, Funny, Addicted to Kombucha