Ultimate Chinese Hot Pot Guide

As we settle into autumn and those first chills in the air make us long for snug jumpers and steaming hot soup, it’s the perfect season for hot pot! The queues at hot pot restaurants all over Guangzhou inevitably become longer as diners seek reprieve from the chills in a bubbling pot of broth.

The hot pot has a long history of over 1,000 years in China, and there are several varieties of hot pot in China with differently flavored broth. Here is a guide to help you through the types and strategies to maximize your hot pot experience.

Sichuan Spicy Hot pot


Sichuan hot pot is the most famous Chinese hot pot. Now it is very popular and can be found in almost every city in China.

Sichuan hot pot is famous for its numbing and spicy flavor, resulting from a special seasoning — Sichuan pepper (花椒) — and other spicy ingredients like chili added to it, which marks its difference from other hot pots.

There are various of Sichuan hot pots, based on different broths and meats, so Sichuan hot pot suits customers of different preferences: salty, sweet, or sour flavors all are available. If you want to challenge your taste buds, Sichuan hot pot is highly recommended.

Recommended Restaurant:


地址/Add: 广州市越秀区中山五路68号五月花商业广场4楼/4F, May Flower Plaza, No.68 Zhongshanwu Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou

地铁/Metro: Line1/2 Gongyuanqian 公园前 Station, Exit F

Cantonese Congee Hot Pot


Cantonese people describe hot pot as “打边炉” which means people stand by the side of the furnace to eat.

Congee hot pot is just become popular in the past decade in Guangzhou. This style of the base also insists on the word “fresh”. The congee base: boiled with fragrant rice, water and pork bones, filter the rice and leaving the sweet rice juice as the soup base.

This type of Cantonese hot pot stands out a unique way to have a hotpot meal. While people cook the food in congee soup, the soup will absorb the flavors from all the food that you have. And eventually the congee soup will become the last dish and the most flavorful dish in the meal because it contains all the freshness, the flavors of all the ingredients, and that’s the essence of Cantonese Hot pot — to mix all the flavors in the soup and explode the flavors on your tongue.

Recommended Restaurant:


地址/Add: 广州市番禺区金欧大道20号/No.20 Jinou Avenue, Panyu District, Guangzhou

地铁/Metro: Line 7, Yuangang 员岗 Station, Exit E

Hong Kong Fish Maw and Chicken Hot Pot


While there are many different types of broth available, one of the most popular types in the last two years is fish maw and chicken hot pot.

Huajiao(花胶) refers to fish maw, the dried swim bladders of large fish like croaker. The ingredient is considered as premium as sea cucumber, bird’s nest and abalone, and contains nutrients that can help nourish one’s lungs and kidneys. For many Chinese, fish maw is considered a natural form of Botox for its collagen-boosting properties.

Boiled together for hours, you can simply enjoy the golden-colored thick soup itself before putting all the different ingredients into the soup. The soup is full of collagen bubbling, and this kind of gel texture slowly flowing into the throat, you must taste it yourself to know!

After drinking the golden soup, let’s start to enjoy the cooking. Such a luxurious soup is worthy with the best beef and seafood.

Recommended Restaurant:


地址/Add: 广州市天河区临江大道391-395号合利天德广场2M层/2M, Tiande Centre, No.391-395 Linjiang Avenue, Tianhe District, Guangzhou

地铁/Metro: Line5 Liede 猎德 Station

Beijing Instant-Boiled Mutton


Beijing instant-boiled mutton, also called mutton hot pot, is regarded as the representative of the northern China hotpots. The main ingredient is mutton, and the broth is made of nutritious sheep-bone stock, with shallots, ginger, mushrooms, Chinese dates, wolfberries, longans, and dried seafood (shrimps, fish, …). The mutton is sliced so thin that when you take it out of the boiling broth, it just melts in your mouth. The mutton cooks really quickly and comes with some peanut or sesame dipping sauce for extra flavor.

Recommended Restaurant:


地址/Add: 广州市天河区花城大道85号高德置地广场·春F3/3F, GT Land Plaza-Spring, No.85 Huacheng Avenue, Tianhe District, Guangzhou

地铁/Metro: Line3/5 Zhujiang New Town 珠江新城 Station, Exit D

Translation of Hot Pot Menu

How to Cook Hot pot at Home

Three major elements make up a hotpot: the broth, the sauces, and the choice of ingredients to add to the broth.

1. Prepare the broth by stewing bones with seasonings (like salt and ginger) until the flavor of the meat and seasonings are fully infused in the liquid.

2. Thinly slice a variety of meats or seafood you enjoy, and prepare any vegetables and other ingredients you like.

3. Make up dipping sauces using sesame sauce, chili oil, soy sauce, garlic sauce, vinegar, pepper sauce, seafood sauce, green onions, etc.

4. Place a magnetic heating plate or gas burner in the middle of the dining table and heat the broth. 5. When the broth comes to the boil, add the ingredients in the pot to cook and enjoy the hotpot.

More Stories

Drug names in Chinese Characters

Obtaining the correct medication in a different country can be difficult but often the written medical terminology is similar due to the Latin language roots

November Exhibitions in Guangzhou

Looking for something to do in the coming weekends? Here’re some some upcoming exhibitions and shows in Guangzhou worth checking out. 1. 隻立千古—《红楼梦》文化展     Cultural

Scan to chat on WeChat

Send us a message

We would love to hear from you! Please leave us a message below and we`ll get back to you as soon as we can.