2020-10-23 17:30


Use This Winter to Become a Chinese Hotpot Master!

"There is nothing in China that you can't handle by a meal of hotpot, if there is a problem you can't handle with one meal, then two meals."

If you have lived in anywhere of China for some time, then you will naturally know how important HOTPOT is to your life here, especially in terms of socializing

You can't convince Chinese people that there is socialising going on without food. Here in China, especially in smaller cities, "go grab a drink" is never a social invitation. Instead, people will get your intention only if you say "let's go have some food together (Yes, at this time, a lot of them will choose to have hotpot)".

So, remember this when asking your Chinese friends out:


Zhum/ yu kng yq chfn a

Let's have lunch/dinner together on the weekend/when you have time!

How much do Chinese people like hotpot? Check out the data

This is a graph of all the online food ordering in China of 2017 and 2018. From 2017-2018, hotpot overstepped fast food to become the No.1 ordered food online, occupying over 1/5 of all the bills.

As food (especially hotpot) is so important for living in modern Chinese society, today I would like to take this chance to give you a briefing about all what you have to know about Chinese HOTPOT. Therefore, you can enjoy it more when you hang out with your local friends! 

Hotpot is called (gdnggng) in ancient time. It's named after the sound made by food thrown into the boiling water. Like the English word "thud" in Chinese, is "gudong".

Thousands of years ago, People used giant cooking vessels to make hotpot and one meal can feed the whole village of people. Later on, with the setting up of etiquette, different hierarchies had different methods. Therefore, small pots emerged to satisfy the higher class.

During the Three Kingdoms period (A.D.220A.D.265), an emperor embedded five clapboards to divide the pot into five parts with five different flavours.

In Song Dynasty (11271279), "shun" was invented varying the ways of having hotpot. People sliced meat into pieces and boiled them instantly and then ate with sauce.

At that time, Chinese people from the royal family to common people were all very fond of instant-boiled meat. Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799) was a famous hotpot fan. He once popularized hotpot by holding a feast for 5 thousand people.

In late Qing dynasty, boatmen along Yangtze River in Chongqing were keen on boiling meat with spicy soup, which was cheap but delicious and could also fend off the chill. Afterwards, it soon became the classical cuisine of boatmen. Developed over years, Chongqing people opened the first hotpot restaurant called "Bailetian" in 1921.

Since then, Chongqing Hotpot, Sichuan Hotpot and Chaoshan Hotpot represent the southern style. Instant boiled meat, Beef Hotpot and Lamb Hotpot represent the northern style. Both styles developed respectively divided by Yangtze River. Now Chinese hotpot has more than 30 kinds with different styles and flavours.

As you can see from the map, people from different places have different taste preference. People in the north like lamb and beef more. Yunnan people prefer mushroom and fish while Sichuan and Chongqing people are addict to chilli oil, goose/duck intestines and cattle stomach. People from Jiangsu and Zhejiang fancy chicken or other variations with nutritious elements. Cantonese's favourite is seafood with hotpot.

And one more important thing!

The DIP! zhnlio

Different styles of hotpot have different corresponding dips. You can fully enjoy a certain style of hotpot only if you choose the right dip.

  • The dip of North style hotpot:

80% Sesame sauce + 20% peanut sauce

soy sauce, leek flower sauce, chopped scallion, coriander (optional)

  • The dip of Sichuan/Chongqing hotpot:

Sesame oil + mashed garlic

chopped scallion (optional), coriander (optional), chilli (optional), oyster sauce (optional), sesame (optional)

  • The dip of Cantonese hotpot:

Shacha sauce (Cantonese barbecue sauce)

mashed garlic, sesame, chopped scallion 

  • The dip of Jiangsu/Zhejiang hotpot:

Seafood soy sauce!

mashed garlic, chilli, scallion, coriander (optional)

  • the dip of Yunnan hotpot:

"Zhanshui" - Yunnan Style dip

houttuynia, chilli, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar

With all this knowledge, now are you ready to start a hotpot tour in Shanghai?

Below I will list some representative hotpot restaurants of different styles for you to check out:

Sichuan Hotpot

There are over 20 Haidilao in Shanghai



3F, No. 1068, West Beijing Rd. (close to Jiangning Rd.)


4F, No. 468 Changshou Rd.

Chngqng Goloji Hugu 


2F, No. 399 Jiujiang Rd.

Xingmo lozo hugu


No. 1394 Yan'an West Rd.

Boiled meat Hotpot

northern style

Yngtngxng fnzhung qngzhn shungu


No. 215 Shimen No.2 Rd. (close to Xinzha Rd.)

Dnglishn fnzhung 


5F, No.66 East Nanjing Rd.

Cantonese Hotpot 

Xiohug hugu 


4F, No. 282, Huaihai Mid Rd.

Jnr nish choshn xin niru hugu


No. 709 Jiaozhou Rd.

Lowng guw liol 


5F, No.939 Huaihai Mid Rd. 


3F, No.269 Wujiang Rd. 

Yunnan Hotpot 

Yn gge ynnn xujn lo hugu


A4-1, No. 800, Changde Rd.Exit 2, Changping Rd, Line7

Hn shgu y


4F, No. 68, Yuyuan Rd. (Crystal Galleria)

If this is not enough, you can find more restaurants on the app of Dianping!  Check how to use Chinese Yelp - Dianping 

Find any kind of services in China with Dianping!

In China, although there are different types of hotpot in different districts, people always have the same purpose to have hotpot. That is,  just finding a reason to meet family and friends no matter how busy you are and where you are. We step into the restaurant from the cold outside, take off coats and sit close around a pot, enjoying the food and company without any disturbance. That's maybe the truth where the popularity of Chinese hotpot lies in.

That's all for today!  Wish all of you enjoy hotpot fully in this winter!

Here's our student Mitch's story with hotpot see more. Let me know yours with leaving a comment below!

pics are from the Internet

The above contents are provided by silk mandarin.

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