Jan 18, 2011

Hot pot pictorial

These are some pictures I took at a very typical Beijing hot pot joint, Kou Fu Ju. I personally think that boiling is the least from ideal way to cook meat. Korean barbecue is a lot more flavorful. Anyway, in the winter, I'll let myself be convinced to have some hot pot.


Below, we have an old school Beijing hot pot, heated by some coals in the base. You throw your meat and vegetables in the water, let it sit for a while, then dunk them in your bowl of dippin' sauce, and chow down. Note that if you are eating cow stomach, you just dip it in there for about ten seconds, holding onto it with your chopsticks. Any longer and it will be hard and rubbery.




Don't mistakenly think that this is a plate of carpaccio and go gobbling it down raw — typical newbie mistake. If you did that, you would vomit and have diarrhea so bad, you'd wish you were dead. What this photo shows, in fact, is a plate of thinly sliced beef meant to be cooked in the hot pot.




Beijing people prefer to dunk their hot pot stuff in a bowl of sesame paste with cilantro mixed in. I'm fine with sesame paste , but I've gotten bored with it. These days I typically order a concoction they call "seafood sauce" (to the right in the picture below). To the left is a plate of not potatoes, but daikon. When cooked, you can tell the difference between daikons and potatoes because daikons have a slippery, gooey film on the outside, whereas potatoes do not.




What do you guzzle as you eat hot pot? I prefer several bottles of cheap beer. Chinese guys prefer to drink 112 proof baijiu like fish until they're drunk as skunks.

Most hot pot places in Beijing are halal-oriented, so expect confused looks from the waitress if you say, "I'd like a plate of sliced pork, please."

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