Hotpot is for everyone.
And the meat-lovers.
A variety of meat and vegetables dipped in broiling soup containing spices and condiments.
Malatang—hotpot on a stick
Before chilli peppers made their way to Sichuan, the spicy flavour used to come from these pretty-looking fruits of zhuyu—zanthoxylum ailanthoides, a subspecies of the prickly-ash genus.
The old “three spices” refer to zhuyu, Sichuan peppercorn, and ginger.
When the chilli peppers came, Sichuanese didn’t forget about peppercorns.
They combined the two condiments to form the unique mala flavour.
Pickled “erjingtiao” pepper
I was tricked into eating a bullfrog dish which was labelled as “field chicken”. . .
Admittedly, it tasted nice, but I still object to this kind of bait-and-switch.
Pixian chilli bean sauce, made from erjingtiao pepper.
Common carp cooked in chilli bean sauce.
The choice of the type of fish is critical—not too many bones, not too old.
The choice of its size is also important LOL.
Made into chilli oil.
Did you see how many bowls are on the table with just three customers? That’s how you can tell if the restaurant is any good.
Wonton in chilli oil.
And other weird ingredients.
All go into this hotpot partitioned into nine squares.
The result is a full house.
In this province where everything can be turned into food, some choose to fight it out, like this crab trying to carb-load before the showdown with the humans.
Or this crayfish doing push-ups.
Or this “strong-headed” fish.
Some just give up, like this crab who commits suicide and brings his friend with him. (RIP)