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Chongqing hotpot adds spice to city

By Chen Bo, Chen Liang

Updated:2022-01-18

China Daily

People enjoy hotpots in a restaurant on the bank of the Yangtze River in Chongqing's Yuzhong district. [Photo by Liu Song/For China Daily]

Simple Ming Dynasty dish eaten by millions across the country

Chongqing in southwestern China is famous for its spicy hotpot. And deservedly so.

It can be found everywhere. Served on beaches along the Yangtze River, in the woods behind the hilly city, hidden away down narrow lanes and under bridges, and even in some of Chongqing's bomb shelters left over from the 1940s, it dominates the city's culinary scene.

First invented by porters and boaters working in the docks along the Yangtze River during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), who put all the ingredients into a single pot of spicy, bubbling soup, conveniently allowing them to eat on their boats, it is now popular all across the country.

Thinly sliced lamb or beef, offal, seafood and vegetables, almost any kind of ingredients can be cooked in the sizzling pots of spicy soup, making Chongqing hotpot a dish that caters to everyone.

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