Here is something YOU SHOULD try, when your Chinese friends take you to a beef hot pot restaurant, get ready for all kinds of offal and intestine, they love the stuff. And to be honest, it’s well worth trying and with the different sauces and condiments, it’s delicious, but some bits are a tad chewy… The restaurants in the city center or malls mostly use packaged or frozen goods, but, if your lucky, you can track down the odd place that butchers on site with a carcass delivered fresh every night. Unmissable experience, but vegetable hot pots are probably still the one for me.
Sichuan (or Szechwan/Szechuan) Cuisine is wildly popular, but UNLESS, you have a real penchant for spicy food it might not be the first place to start your culinary adventures. I mean real spicy. Once you have been here a while you’ll probably grow more and more accustomed to spicy food and really start to love Sichuan Cuisine.
Sichuan Province is famous for it’s mouth numbing spicy food and liberal use of chilli and pepper. The Sichuan pepper comes in red and green varieties, most common is the red type, note that this type of pepper comes from the Prickly Ash tree common in Sichuan. Chilli is the red chilli, mostly used in dried form, and there’s lots of it. A famous dish and one that’s quite popular at the moment is Dry Hot Pot or Ganguo (干锅) which hails from the Chongqing area of Sichuan. It’s similar to the soup based hot pot, except, there’s no soup.
After a relaxing massage at Jiafu Fudao, Rebecca took me a great place to enjoy one of Sichuans famous dishes, the Hot Pot. While Hot Pots are available in most places across China, apparently the Chengdu Sichuan version is something unique!
Extremely unique for me as I’d never had one before! Recessed into the table you dine at is a large pot, underneath which is a burner. The pot is filled with, ummm, I dont really know, and for a westerner in China its best not to know…but it’s like a spicy boiling broth.