Chengdu Hotpot

Hotpot is very popular in Chengdu and is known for its spicy and hot flavor. Although this kind of hotpot is taken as the Chongqing specialty by the locals, it has become famous and popular all over the country for a long time.
 
Traditional Chengdu Hotpot

A big pot filled with hot spicy oil and surrounded by plates of raw meats and vegetables. The pieces of meat and vegetables are sliced very small so they will cook very quickly. 
 
Most of the pots used in hotpot are divided into two sections. One half is filled with the spicy oil, and the other is filled with a delicious broth for those who are not a big fan of spicy foods. Restaurants are also more than happy to turn down the heat on request.
Chengdu Hotpot
 
Various kinds of Chengdu hotpot

As everyone known, the taste of hotpot is determined by the broth. The broth used in Chengdu hotpot is not only a permanent one. Although the main flavor is spicy, the different ingredients will make this food various.
 
There are over 10 varieties of Chengdu hotpot including hotpot with boiled mutton, and hot pot with beer duck, fish head hotpot, medical herbs hotpot, etc..
 
Besides the different broths used in Chengdu hotpot, you can also choose the spicy level of this food. Chengdu hotpot has its own style ranging from simple spicy to moderate, three or four kinds of spices. If you are fond of hot flavor, you should not miss this kind of hotpot during your Chengdu tour.
 
The most representative and similar types of Chengdu Hotpot:
 
• Maocai
Maocai is the Han nationality traditional famous snacks in Chengdu, with slightly different Malatang and Hot Pot. Prepare a pot of hot and spicy delicious soup, fill the bowl with a bamboo scoop, a scoop is commonly a dish for one person. Cooked in the boiler, later fill into a bowl, and then scoop a spoonful of soup by the way. The ingredients of Maocai are unlimited. maocai comprises an assortment of vegetables and fungus ranging from the leafy to the stalky to the starchy.
Chengdu Hotpot

Maocai, also called hot pot food, Malatang, it is a form of blanching, but the difference is that the backing material. Maocai originated in Schuan folk, and it roughly divided into three kinds:
1. Hot pot type: the basic form is the same as the hot pot, put the ingredients into the hot pot soup and scoop out when cook thoroughly. Its main characteristic is not greasy, dry hot, smells fragrant, and this type hot pot food is unfit to drink soup.
2. Marinade type cuisine: It is a kind that very similar to marinade which is same as the usual pot-stewed meat or fowl. Putting the ingredients into the hot pot soup and scoop out when cook thoroughly. Its main characteristic is oil, spicy, and you can drink a little brine soup. The representative is Zhang Jinji Maocai, Sangu Maocai and so on.
3. Watery light soup type cuisine: Watery light soup type is improved on the basic of the hot pot type and marinade type Maocai. Boiling the ingredients into clean water, and then sprinkling soup-stock made of pig bone, cattle bone, chicken stewing, and adding Chinese herbal medicine soup base so as to ensure the food contain the original flavor and nutrition.

• Ma La Tang
Literally, "ma" means numbness in the mouth, "la" is chili hot and "tang" means piping hot. Ma La Tang, with various raw ingredients cooked in a communal pot of steaming stock blended with spices, originated in Sichuan's largest city, Chongqing.
Ma La Tang 
 
You pick out as many skewers of meat or vegetables as you would like and then cook them in the pot yourself. Normally there will be a bowl of sesame oil, oyster sauce, and diced garlic to dip the food in to deaden the spiciness Diners cook their food right at the table in steaming Ma La Tang, a savory broth blended with the spices found in abundance in Sichuan.