Hotpot is the most famous and favorite dish in Chongqing. Chongqing local people consider the hotpot a local specialty, which is noted for its peppery and hot taste.
Chongqing hotpot was first eaten by poor boatmen of the Yangtze River in Chongqing area. Its popularity spread westwards to the rest of Sichuan Province, and nowadays it's a popular local flavor that's available at every corner of the city and all over the country.
People gather around a small pot filled with flavorful and nutritious soup base. The pot may be boiled by various means, such as charcoal, electric or gas. You have a choice of spicy, pure or combo for the soup. There are a great variety of hotpots, including Yuanyang (Double Tastes) hotpot, four tastes hotpot, fish head hotpot, tonic hotpot, etc. Chongqing hotpot is characterized by its spiciness, but to suit customers of different preference, salty, sweet or sour flavors of hotpot are available. As long as you can stand the spiciness, you are advised to try the spiciest one to ensure an authentic experience.
Thinly sliced raw meat, fish, various soy products and fresh vegetables are the main ingredients for this cuisine. Ingredients are boiled in the soup and eaten with dipping sauces, most often flavored sesame pastes.
Chongqing people love hotpot, especially when the weather is steamy. Fire dances under the pot, heavily oiled and spiced soup boils with hazy steam, and people enjoying the meal are bathed in sweat. When visiting Chongqing, be sure to stop by one of the street vendors or small restaurants and enjoy your share of the famous dish of Sichuan.