What is Sichuan Hot Pot
Sichuan hotpot is a numbingly hot and spicy dish made by poaching raw ingredients in a pot of boiling broth. The ingredients might include sliced meat, offal, seafood, vegetables, noodles, and most importantly, Sichuan peppercorns. Consuming hotpot is a communal affair, so people usually gather around the pot while socializing and adding the ingredients into it.
As its name suggests, the dish was invented in Sichuan at the beginning of the 20th century. Originally, fisherman and port workers from the region could not afford regular cuts of meat, so they used offal, which was cooked in a spicy broth in order to disguise its pungent aromas.
Over time, the dish evolved and became extremely popular throughout China and in the United States of America, due to the addition of fragrant spices and other flavorful ingredients such as ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and Sichuan bean paste. Although the dish is consumed throughout the year, it is most popular during winter because it warms the body and improves circulation.
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