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Posts: 54

Governor

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Q: Why is hotpot so special people make it the natural go-to dish in China?

Speaking from personal experience, every time I make new friends here, instinctively their immediate recommendation for what to eat is hotpot. And more often than not they're disappointed when they see I'm not surprised/excited/in awe at dipping food in sauce to cook it.

Why is hotpot the natural go-to for food here? The soups (especially spicy) are so strong the food all tastes the same, it can be quite dirty and messy, and your clothes are impregnated with an eldritch and permanent stench by the time you're done.

9 years 33 weeks ago in  Food  - China

 
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Posts: 461

Shifu

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A naysayer! Pity. Hotpot is loads of fun, it's a real 'theatre' cuisine. It's also quite an expensive way to eat so is generally used to impress, cement relationships and so forth. Your friends are simply trying to show you that your friendship means something to them -- like going to Nandos instead of KFC. OK, bad example, but you get the point.

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9 years 33 weeks ago
 
Posts: 2549

Emperor

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I am not a fan of it either too much, depending on what is cooking.  All my Chinese friends love it and that's almost always what we eat when we go out.
The best is when you get the live shrimp speared with the scewers on the plate ready to cook and they are still squirming and moving their legs.  I had a very hard time eating them after I saw that.
Regardless of the food, it's always a good time.  Besides I love anything spicy.

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9 years 33 weeks ago
 
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I think it's the go to dish simply because it's such a group experience.  It's sharing.

The down side is that hot pot isn't really a very good experience and the food is allright, but not great.  Here are my reasons:

1.)  You pay money to cook your own food.  Same with like Korean BBQ.  I like it, but hey, I can cook at home for much less money.

2.)  You and your clothes REEK of hotpot after, until laundry and a shower.  Not really awesome.  It also spatters everywhere while you're eating it, so you get nice oily stains everywhere.

3.)  Boiling most food makes it bland and tasteless.  Boiling it in a spicy broth makes it simply taste like the broth it's been cooked in.  Doesn't matter what you order with hotpot - it will ALL TASTE THE SAME.  That's why you make a dipping sauce, so the food will have other flavors besides "hotpot".

4.)  YOU'RE PAYING MONEY TO COOK YOUR OWN FOOD.

5.)  Hotpot @$$.  You're probably going to have the sh!ts the next day.

6.)  YOU'RE PAYING MONEY TO COOK YOUR OWN FOOD.

7.)  Way too time consuming.  A hotpot dinner will last 2-3 hours.

I can eat it.  The social aspects are pretty good but I never get a craving for hotpot.  Ever.  But there is something to be said for a host that orders fine meats and defiles them by boiing them in your honor.

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9 years 33 weeks ago
 
Posts: 2256

Emperor

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Yes, MrTibbles is right, it's the sharing thing, and yian is also right about some situtations, it is a show off way to eat. I don't like it because it takes so freaking long to eat. I'm one of those people that likes to eat, then talk a little, then get the heck out of there, and hotpot takes way too long for me. I do like some things in hot pot, like the thin rolls of beef, the cabbage, but in general it is not worth it for me unless it's the kind where it's already cooked and ready to eat in the bowl.

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9 years 33 weeks ago
 
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I like the idea of it most,some food a few beers and talking then eat some more the food is still as hot as in heat,a few more beers and the mix pot is better hot outside just soup chicken veg pork inside makes good variation and taste

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9 years 33 weeks ago
 
Posts: 3044

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Funny do, I seem to be the only one to say I do like it and enjoy sharing a good time with friends.  Also funny no one have mentioned the reason for hotpots.  Have you noticed it is very popular in winter time, and not so popular in summer?.  That is because it will make you very warm.

My clothes never smell of hot pot, and I also do not wait a long time for food to cook.  It is true that at the begining you must wait for water to boil, and first batch to cook, but that will be under 10 minutes.  From then on, if the cooker is on the ball, bhe will add new food to be cook to pot before it runs out, and in less than 5 minutes it will be done.  We had one about 3 days ago, and to the basic water with the chicken flavor granulates, we had 3 diffrent kinds of vegetables, onions, peppers, round garlic, beef, pork, fish slices, chicken, srimp, clamps, mushrooms, etc.  And when you finish all of that, the soup left tastes great to me.
We even pour a beer into it for added flavor.  yes

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9 years 33 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1318

Shifu

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Hotpot is supposed to take forever.  It's the evening meal, entertainment, hang-out time, and beer drinking for the night, all mixed over one boiling pot of spicey grease and oil.  It provides just the lenght of time that you can enjoy everyone's company and be able to part ways for the evening with minimal hassel, or a cheap way to fill your belly and pregame before the night out on the town.

Then again I'm baised because I'm addicted to the spicey goodness, and not mind how my clothes seem to still smell even after the first washing.

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9 years 33 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1633

Shifu

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When I first arrived here...and heard of the thing they call HotPot, I was mortified at the mere thought of the sharing apsect of it. Then I saw it and my initial thoughts were accurate. I couldn't get past the idea of cooking the food myself and having everyone dip their chopsticks in the soupy mixture.

However, I have softened my stance somewhat and I certainly do enjoy a night out with friends and a few cold ones. The cold beer really augments the Hot pot for me. I've grown to like the peanutty sauce too. It really is a production though and yes, it does tend to go on forever. If the beer is cold, I can handle it now.

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9 years 33 weeks ago
 
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I hate hot pot...I can't handle spicy food. And even if I especially ask for no spices or hot peppers they still bring me hot food..dumbasses...

If you've heard of Mike Patton (Faith No More)...he had another band - Mr Bungle...look up the the song 'My ass is on fire', crank it up at your next hotpot gathering (or more likely - after) broken heart

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9 years 17 weeks ago
 
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