Finally, Dongguan recovers from the chilly and damp days with the minimum temperature drops to 5 degrees Celsius from December 15 to December 19 when a cold front from the north swept most parts of China.
Although these days are sunny and warm, it is undeniable that cold fronts would still come in from time to time before next March. Cold days usually mean that it is the perfect time to head to a hot pot restaurant. Sure, a bubbling bowl of broth, heated from underneath and slowly cooking up all kinds of tasty treats, is great year-round.
Hot pot really comes into its own when the wind starts to bite and the temperatures drop. The heating source under the pot warms up your torso, the steam rising up from the bowl warms your face and hot food sliding down into your belly warms you from the inside.
About Hot Pot
Hot pot (Chinese pinyin: Huo Guo), less commonly Chinese fondue or steamboat, refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter.
Frozen meat is sliced deli-thin to prepare it for hot pot cooking. Slicing frozen meat this way causes it to roll up during cooking, and it is often presented as such. Meats used include lamb, beef, chicken, duck, mutton, and others. The cooking pot is often sunk into the table and fueled by propane, or alternatively is above the table and fueled by a portable butane gas stove or hot coals. Meat or vegetables are loaded individually into the hot cooking broth by chopsticks, and cooking time can take from 1 minute to 15, depending on what type of food. Meat should be cooked at the very least 20 seconds. Other hot pot dishes include, leafy vegetables, mushroom, seafood, noodles. It can be eaten bland to very spicy, depending on how much spice you put in the stew. There are often disagreements between different styles of hot pot enthusiasts. Some like to place items into the hot pot at a relaxed, leisurely pace, enjoying the cooking process, while others prefer to throw everything in at once and wait for the hotpot to return to a boil. Occasionally due to evaporation the boiled water needs to be refilled, usually the stew is strong and zesty enough to not add more condiments to spice it up.