Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

chinese hotpot


Daznz
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi

Im looking at doing a chinese hotpot at home..Ive never had one before only seen pics of them on the net...Can anyone help with types of Marinated meats and veg used etc. and also what types of oils of broths are used in the pot

Thanks Daza

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My family loves hotpot.

We usually do a ying yang hotpot which means half of it is really spicy numbing sichuan style ma-la and the other side is a very gentle plain. broth.

Here's a pic:

gallery_48325_4009_71155.jpg

For the broth, you want to use a very light chicken or pork or beef or seafood broth. Or sometimes my family will just use a very well seasoned (salt, pepper, sesame oil, msg(optional)) plain hot water.

As for the ma-la broth, you can buy packages of ma-la seasoning in chinese markets and just use hot water.

Generally speaking you can use anything you like in the hotpot. You don't want to marinate the meats though because the meat is suppose to 1) flavor the broth for drinking and 2) the flavorful broth is suppose to flavor the meats for eating. Plus you will/could have a dipping sauce for the meats as well.

For the meats, you really want really thinly sliced meats that will cook very quickly. And the meats generally used in Chinese hotpot is pork, beef, lamb, and sometimes chicken.

I love seafood in my hotpot! For seafood you must have: fishballs, cuttlefish balls, shrimp balls, beefballs (yeah I know it's not seafood but I'm on a roll over here), lobsterballs, etc. Plus, shrimp, squid, salmon, etc.

And finally the vegetables, you can choose: tofu (various styles), napa cabbage, pea tentrils, spinach, fresh shitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, etc.

When you are half way and you have flavored the broth, you would want to start cooking the noodles. By noodles you don't want just any plain noodles. You should use noodles made by mung beans or usually clear noodles. Basically any noodles that have a lower starch so you won't cloud up the broth.

Either way, just put in anything you realy enjoy eating. It's delicious, it's healthy and it's a lot of fun with friends and family!

We eat it year round! :wub:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ma La "Hot" pot is awesome in the summer time!! The ass kicking heat from the Szechuan peppercorn, plus 90 degree temp (I would suggest blasting the AC). If that is not hardcore enough then wash it down with some bai-ju such as maotai or kao-liang! Just ask Bourdain...

Leave the gun, take the canoli

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what we do but we turn off the AC in the summer time!

It's awesome sweating from the heat in the summer as well as from the ma-la spices!

I usually go for an ice cold light beer with my hotpot but for my grandmother and my uncles they always opt for MaoTai. That's a bit too much heat even for me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the ma la hotpot similar to Chongqing style hotpot? The picture above doesn't look like what we had in Chongqing. The broth of the hotpot that we had there was bright red, and had lots of what looked to be aromatics and chiles floating about in it. My kids loved it, and are hoping for more. I know of one restaurant here in NYC that does it, specifically calling it Chongqing style, but I don't know if it is any good or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, Chong Qing is a Sichuan province so they should have the same style.

The reason why my hotpot doesn't look like it has a lot of chilis is because there was so many seafood and beef balls in it. My Aunt kinda went over board. But trust me, there was a thick layer of oil that just coated our lips and there was so many chilis and sichuan peppercorns that at the end we couldn't tell what we were eating! LOL.

NYC should have a lot of Sichuan restuarants that will do this. I can't remember the one I use to go to but it's some where in Flushing. My family still lives in NYC but we prefer to make our own so we can have everything and anything we want.

We like a lot of "weird" items such as pig's blood, tripe, intestines, etc. It's so good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

xiaoling, how can you eat that hotpot in this weather? I'd be sweating bullets and I hope you don't eat any tomorrow, cause it's supposed to be 95 degrees. (:

so those frozen packets of thinly sliced beef, lamb, pork, etc that are found at super 88 and other boston grocery stores are supposed to be used for hotpot?

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

xiaoling, how can you eat that hotpot in this weather? I'd be sweating bullets and  I hope you don't eat any tomorrow, cause it's supposed to be 95 degrees.  (:

so those frozen packets of thinly sliced beef, lamb, pork, etc  that are found at super 88 and other boston grocery stores are supposed to be used for hotpot?

I don't think it matters much what the temperature is, I'm always in a full-flow sweat when I eat hot pot.

On the bright side, I don't have to salt the broth as I go!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah the hotpot in sweltering weather sounds like it would be a good "sheena mommy hangover remedy"

if it makes you sweat and it's spicy than according to my mother, your hangover will be gone shortly

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

xiaoling, how can you eat that hotpot in this weather? I'd be sweating bullets and  I hope you don't eat any tomorrow, cause it's supposed to be 95 degrees.  (:

so those frozen packets of thinly sliced beef, lamb, pork, etc  that are found at super 88 and other boston grocery stores are supposed to be used for hotpot?

You probably didn't realize that I came from one of the three furnances of China! This is nothing! LOL. Just kinding...this weather is killing me. Thank goodness for Central Air!! All hail to the creator of Air Conditioning!! *bow* :biggrin:

What? 95 tomorrow?? I thought it was suppose to cool down tomorrow?? It's been a humid 96 for the past 2 days!

Yeah, hotpot can and will be eaten in this weather as well. What can we say? We love spicy foods. And believe it or not, it has a weird "high" or cooling affect afterwards. :laugh:

Yup, the thinly sliced beef, lamb, pork, etc at Super 88 or Ming's (my preference) is supposed to be used for hotpot. Meats are suppose to be cut as thin as a slice of deli meat.

All this talk about hotpots is really making me crave for one. I also heard that Ginseng in Framingham has just opened a Chinese shabu shabu (aka hotpot but they figured if they put it in Japanese it would attract more customers)! And they have ying yang hotpot as well as ma-la! I'm looking forward to trying it soon!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's perfect for San Francisco today. It's only about 60F here, at the foggy part of town where I am.

At home, we usually start with chicken broth and water as a base, put in a slice of ginger, some napa cabbage, a few beef/fish/meatballs and any odd/fatty pieces of meat. We usually cook that on the stove for about 15-20 minutes and then put the pot on the hotpot stove.

We have the half and half pot as well. Instead of doing spicy one side, we use the same broth. The only thing is that we would separate what we cook on which side. The organ meats (if we're cooking it) can leave a taste in the broth that not everyone likes, as are some of the vegetables. So, we keep one side for the strong flavor stuff.

We use a pretty standard marinate for the meat - soy sauce, sugar, oil, cornstarch and maybe a some Chinese cooking wine. When it comes to sliced rib-eye, we actually won't marinate it, that goes for the seafood (shrimp, calamari, etc.) as well.

The possibility of hotpot is almost endless. You can cook almost anything in there, from meat to vegetables to noodle to dumplings. The broth can also vary to your taste. You can make a red wine/mushroom broth for a Western flavor. Make a coconut/lemongrass broth for Thai. Add miso for Japanese.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for ya help XiaoLing ... your hotpot looks awesome..will its frezzzing over here :blink: So a nice hotpot will go down well....

Thanks for your help and ideas

Dale :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know if there is a place in the general Maryland/D.C./Northern Virginia region that serves authentic hotpot?

My friend living in China raves about hotpot places there, says that on Saturdays they're full of working men drinking vast quantities of beer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hotpots are very popular in Beijing. And there are different varieties, such as mala, shuang yang (or mutton), Taiwanese etc.

One of the very popular chains in Beijing, Hai Di Lao, even offer manicures and free snacks to patrons who have to wait in line for a table. This chain is pretty good - inexpensive, very cheerful service and a guy who spins and stretches fresh noodles before your table on request!

One of my favorites is a porridge hotpot served in a restaurant in an alley opposite the Yuyang Hotel. The base is thin gruel that gets thicker and more flavorsome as the ingredients get cooked in it.

Interesting that no one has mentioned the dips so far. Hotpot restaurants here in Beijing, especially the Taiwanese ones, have a lot of choices. The best have a whole array of condiments for you to create your own dips - sesame paste, chili oil, sesame oil, chopped cilantro, chopped spring onions, minced garlic, soya sauce etc, sa cha sauce, etc.

It's not my favorite thing to eat, but it is really fun to eat hotpot with a big group of family members/friends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Interesting that no one has mentioned the dips so far.  Hotpot restaurants here in Beijing, especially the Taiwanese ones, have a lot of choices.  The best have a whole array of condiments for you to create your own dips - sesame paste, chili oil, sesame oil, chopped cilantro, chopped spring onions, minced garlic, soya sauce etc, sa cha sauce, etc.

Oh man, I live in Guilin, and while our local hotpot isn't the same, there is one place, near the train station called "Old Beijing Hotpot" (老北京火锅 for anyone who might traveling here). They have a huge table in the center of the restaurant with about 40 large bowls, each containing different condiments. Some of them are: dried chilies, vinegar, fermented tofu sauce (not the blocks), a kind of hot mustard oil, chopped cilantro, a chinese version of tahini, crushed peanuts, lots of oils, etc, etc.

They'll bring you as much cold mutton (rolls) as you can eat, plus dumplings, veggies for boiling and assorted cold dishes. The place is fabulous and its only RMB 30 per person, not including beer or baijiu. If you can't speak Chinese, don't worry. The boss is a great guy who is happy for the business, and being that the menu setup is so simple there's not a lot of chance for confusion. Just go in, show with your hands how many in your party, go make your sauce (also unlimited), sit down and wait for the food to come.

If you're really going to Guilin, message me. Hell, I'll take you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and led us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      It sometimes seems likes every town in China has its own special take on noodles. Here in Liuzhou, Guangxi the local dish is Luosifen (螺蛳粉 luó sī fěn).
       
      It is a dish of rice noodles served in a very spicy stock made from the local river snails and pig bones which are stewed for hours with black cardamom, fennel seed, dried tangerine peel, cassia bark, cloves, pepper, bay leaf, licorice root, sand ginger, and star anise. Various pickled vegetables, dried tofu skin, fresh green vegetables, peanuts and loads of chilli are then usually added. Few restaurants ever reveal their precise recipe, so this is tentative. Luosifen is only really eaten in small restaurants and roadside stalls. I've never heard of anyone making it at home.
       
      In order to promote tourism to the city, the local government organised a food festival featuring an event named "10,000 people eat luosifen together." (In Chinese 10,000 often just means "many".)
       
      10,000 people (or a lot of people anyway) gathered at Liuzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre for the grand Liuzhou luosifen eat-in. Well, they gathered in front of the centre – the actual centre is a bleak, unfinished, deserted shell of a building. I disguised myself as a noodle and joined them. 10,001.
       

       
      The vast majority of the 10,000 were students from the local colleges who patiently and happily lined up to be seated. Hey, mix students and free food – of course they are happy.
       

       
      Each table was equipped with a basket containing bottled water, a thermos flask of hot water, paper bowls, tissues etc. And most importantly, a bunch of Luosifen caps. These read “万人同品螺蛳粉” which means “10,000 people together enjoy luosifen”
       

       
      Yep, that is the soup pot! 15 meters in diameter and holding eleven tons of stock. Full of snails and pork bones, spices etc. Chefs delicately added ingredients to achieve the precise, subtle taste required.
       

       
      Noodles were distributed, soup added and dried ingredients incorporated then there was the sound of 10,000 people slurping.
       

      Surrounding the luosifen eating area were several stalls selling different goodies. Lamb kebabs (羊肉串) seemed most popular, but there was all sorts of food. Here are few of the delights on offer.
       

      Whole roast lamb or roast chicken
       

      Lamb Kebabs
       

      Kebab spice mix – Cumin, chilli powder, salt and MSG
       

      Kebab stall
       

      Crab
       

      Different crab
       

      Sweet sticky rice balls
       

      Things on sticks
       

      Grilled scorpions
       

      Pig bones and bits
       

      Snails
       
      And much more.
       
      To be honest, it wasn’t the best luosifen I’ve ever eaten, but it was wasn’t the worst. Especially when you consider the number they were catering for. But it was a lot of fun. Which was the point.
       
    • By liuzhou
      Chinese food must be among the most famous in the world. Yet, at the same time, the most misunderstood.

      I feel sure (hope) that most people here know that American-Chinese cuisine, British-Chinese cuisine, Indian-Chinese cuisine etc are, in huge ways, very different from Chinese-Chinese cuisine and each other. That's not what I want to discuss.

      Yet, every day I still come across utter nonsense on YouTube videos and Facebook about the "real" Chinese cuisine, even from ethnically Chinese people (who have often never been in China). Sorry YouTube "influencers", but sprinkling soy sauce or 5-spice powder on your cornflakes does not make them Chinese!
       
      So what is the "authentic" Chinese food? Well, like any question about China, there are several answers. It is not surprising that a country larger than western Europe should have more than one typical culinary style. Then, we must distinguish between what you may be served in a large hotel dining room, a small local restaurant, a street market stall or in a Chinese family's home.

      That said, in this topic, I want to attempt to debunk some of the more prevalent myths. Not trying to start World War III.

      When I moved to China from the UK 25 years ago, I had my preconceptions. They were all wrong. Sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice was reported to be the second favourite dish in Britain, and had, of course, to be preceded by a plate of prawn/shrimp crackers. All washed down with a lager or three.

      Yet, in that quarter of a century, I've seldom seen a prawn cracker. And egg fried rice is usually eaten as a quick dish on its own, not usually as an accompaniment to main courses. Every menu featured a starter of prawn/shrimp toast which I have never seen in mainland China - just once in Hong Kong.

      But first, one myth needs to be dispelled. The starving Chinese! When I was a child I was encouraged to eat the particularly nasty bits on the plate by being told that the starving Chinese would lap them up. My suggestion that we could post it to them never went down too well. At that time (the late fifties) there was indeed a terrible famine in China (almost entirely manmade (Maomade)).

      When I first arrived in China, it was after having lived in Soviet Russia and I expected to see the same long lines of people queuing up to buy nothing very much in particular. Instead, on my first visit to a market (in Hunan Province), I was confronted with a wider range of vegetables, seafood, meat and assorted unidentified frying objects than I have ever seen anywhere else. And it was so cheap I couldn't convert to UK pounds or any other useful currency.
       
      I'm going to start with some of the simpler issues - later it may get ugly!

      1. Chinese people eat everything with chopsticks.
       

       
      No, they don't! Most things, yes, but spoons are also commonly used in informal situations. I recently had lunch in a university canteen. It has various stations selling different items. I found myself by the fried rice stall and ordered some Yangzhou fried rice. Nearly all the students and faculty sitting near me were having the same.

      I was using my chopsticks to shovel the food in, when I noticed that I was the only one doing so. Everyone else was using spoons. On investigating, I was told that the lunch break is so short at only two-and-a-half hours that everyone wants to eat quickly and rush off for their compulsory siesta.
       
      I've also seen claims that people eat soup with chopsticks. Nonsense. While people use chopsticks to pick out choice morsels from the broth, they will drink the soup by lifting their bowl to their mouths like cups. They ain't dumb!

      Anyway, with that very mild beginning, I'll head off and think which on my long list will be next.

      Thanks to @KennethT for advice re American-Chinese food.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      Your wish is my command! Sometimes! A lot of what I say here, I will have already said in scattered topics across the forums, but I guess it's useful to bring it all into one place.
       
      First, I want to say that China uses literally thousands of herbs. But not in their food. Most herbs are used medicinally in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), often in their dried form. Some of the more common are sold in supermarkets, but more often in pharmacies or small specialist stores. I also often see people on the streets with baskets of unidentified greenery for sale - but not for dinner. The same applies to spices, although more spices are used in a culinary setting than are herbs.
       
      I’ll start with Sichuan peppercorns as these are what prompted @Tropicalsenior to suggest the topic.
       
      1. Sichuan Peppercorns
       
      Sichuan peppercorns are neither pepper nor, thank the heavens, c@rn! Nor are they necessarily from Sichuan. They are actually the seed husks of one of a number of small trees in the genus Zanthoxylum and are related to the citrus family.  The ‘Sichuan’ name in English comes from their copious use in Sichuan cuisine, but not necessarily where they are grown. Known in Chinese as 花椒 (huājiāo), literally ‘flower pepper’’, they are also known as ‘prickly ash’ and, less often, as ‘rattan pepper’.
      The most common variety used in China is 红花椒 (hóng huā jiāo) or red Sichuan peppercorn, but often these are from provinces other than Sichuan, especially Gansu, Sichuan’s northern neighbour. They are sold all over China and, ground, are a key ingredient in “five-spice powder” mixes. They are essential in many Sichuan dishes where they contribute their numbing effect to Sichuan’s 麻辣 (má là), so-called ‘hot and numbing’ flavour. Actually the Chinese is ‘numbing and hot’. I’ve no idea why the order is reversed in translation, but it happens a lot – ‘hot and sour’ is actually ‘sour and hot’ in Chinese!
       
      The peppercorns are essential in dishes such as 麻婆豆腐 (má pó dòu fǔ) mapo tofu, 宫保鸡丁 (gōng bǎo jī dīng) Kung-po chicken, etc. They are also used in other Chinese regional cuisines, such as Hunan and Guizhou cuisines.

      Red Sichuan peppercorns can come from a number of Zanthoxylum varieties including Zanthoxylum simulans, Zanthoxylum bungeanum, Zanthoxylum schinifolium, etc.
       

      Red Sichuan Peppercorns
       
      Another, less common, variety is 青花椒 (qīng huā jiāo) green Sichuan peppercorn, Zanthoxylum armatum. These are also known as 藤椒 (téng jiāo). This grows all over Asia, from Pakistan to Japan and down to the countries of SE Asia. This variety is significantly more floral in taste and, at its freshest, smells strongly of lime peel. These are often used with fish, rabbit, frog etc. Unlike red peppercorns (usually), the green variety are often used in their un-dried state, but not often outside Sichuan.
       

      Green Sichuan Peppercorns
       

      Fresh Green Sichuan Peppercorns

      I strongly recommend NOT buying Sichuan peppercorns in supermarkets outside China. They lose their scent, flavour and numbing quality very rapidly. There are much better examples available on sale online. I have heard good things about The Mala Market in the USA, for example.

      I buy mine in small 30 gram / 1oz bags from a high turnover vendor. And that might last me a week. It’s better for me to restock regularly than to use stale peppercorns.

      Both red and green peppercorns are used in the preparation of flavouring oils, often labelled in English as 'Prickly Ash Oil'. 花椒油 (huā jiāo yóu) or 藤椒油 (téng jiāo yóu).
       

       
      The tree's leaves are also used in some dishes in Sichuan, but I've never seen them out of the provinces where they grow.
       
      A note on my use of ‘Sichuan’ rather than ‘Szechuan’.
       
      If you ever find yourself in Sichuan, don’t refer to the place as ‘Szechuan’. No one will have any idea what you mean!

      ‘Szechuan’ is the almost prehistoric transliteration of 四川, using the long discredited Wade-Giles romanization system. Thomas Wade was a British diplomat who spoke fluent Mandarin and Cantonese. After retiring as a diplomat, he was elected to the post of professor of Chinese at Cambridge University, becoming the first to hold that post. He had, however, no training in theoretical linguistics. Herbert Giles was his replacement. He (also a diplomat rather than an academic) completed a romanization system begun by Wade. This became popular in the late 19th century, mainly, I suggest, because there was no other!

      Unfortunately, both seem to have been a little hard of hearing. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked why the Chinese changed the name of their capital from Peking to Beijing. In fact, the name didn’t change at all. It had always been pronounced with /b/ rather than /p/ and /ʤ/ rather than /k/. The only thing which changed was the writing system.

      In 1958, China adopted Pinyin as the standard romanization, not to help dumb foreigners like me, but to help lower China’s historically high illiteracy rate. It worked very well indeed, Today, it is used in primary schools and in some shop or road signs etc., although street signs seldom, if ever, include the necessary tone markers without which it isn't very helpful.
       

      A local shopping mall. The correct pinyin (with tone markers) is 'dōng dū bǎi huò'.
       
      But pinyin's main use today is as the most popular input system for writing Chinese characters on computers and cell-phones. I use it in this way every day, as do most people. It is simpler and more accurate than older romanizations. I learned it in one afternoon.  I doubt anyone could have done that with Wade-Giles.
       
      Pinyin has been recognised for over 30 years as the official romanization by the International Standards Organization (ISO), the United Nations and, believe it or not, The United States of America, along with many others. Despite this recognition, old romanizations linger on, especially in America. Very few people in China know any other than pinyin. 四川 is  'sì chuān' in pinyin.
    • By liuzhou
      An eG member recently asked me by private message about mushrooms in China, so I thought I'd share some information here.

      This is what available in the markets and supermarkets in the winter months - i.e now. I'll update as the year goes by.
       
      FRESH FUNGI
       
      December sees the arrival of what most westerners deem to be the standard mushroom – the button mushroom (小蘑菇 xiǎo mó gū). Unlike in the west where they are available year round, here they only appear when in season, which is now. The season is relatively short, so I get stuck in.
       

       
      The standard mushroom for the locals is the one known in the west by its Japanese name, shiitake. They are available year round in the dried form, but for much of the year as fresh mushrooms. Known in Chinese as 香菇 (xiāng gū), which literally means “tasty mushroom”, these meaty babies are used in many dishes ranging from stir fries to hot pots.
       

       
      Second most common are the many varieties of oyster mushroom. The name comes from the majority of the species’ supposed resemblance to oysters, but as we are about to see the resemblance ain’t necessarily so.
       

       
      The picture above is of the common oyster mushroom, but the local shops aren’t common, so they have a couple of other similar but different varieties.
       
      Pleurotus geesteranus, 秀珍菇 (xiù zhēn gū) (below) are a particularly delicate version of the oyster mushroom family and usually used in soups and hot pots.
       

       
      凤尾菇 (fèng wěi gū), literally “Phoenix tail mushroom”, is a more robust, meaty variety which is more suitable for stir frying.
       

       
      Another member of the pleurotus family bears little resemblance to its cousins and even less to an oyster. This is pleurotus eryngii, known variously as king oyster mushroom, king trumpet mushroom or French horn mushroom or, in Chinese 杏鲍菇 (xìng bào gū). It is considerably larger and has little flavour or aroma when raw. When cooked, it develops typical mushroom flavours. This is one for longer cooking in hot pots or stews.
       

       
      One of my favourites, certainly for appearance are the clusters of shimeji mushrooms. Sometimes known in English as “brown beech mushrooms’ and in Chinese as 真姬菇 zhēn jī gū or 玉皇菇 yù huáng gū, these mushrooms should not be eaten raw as they have an unpleasantly bitter taste. This, however, largely disappears when they are cooked. They are used in stir fries and with seafood. Also, they can be used in soups and stews. When cooked alone, shimeji mushrooms can be sautéed whole, including the stem or stalk. There is also a white variety which is sometimes called 白玉 菇 bái yù gū.
       

       

       
      Next up we have the needle mushrooms. Known in Japanese as enoki, these are tiny headed, long stemmed mushrooms which come in two varieties – gold (金針菇 jīn zhēn gū) and silver (银针菇 yín zhēn gū)). They are very delicate, both in appearance and taste, and are usually added to hot pots.
       

       

       
      Then we have these fellows – tea tree mushrooms (茶树菇 chá shù gū). These I like. They take a bit of cooking as the stems are quite tough, so they are mainly used in stews and soups. But their meaty texture and distinct taste is excellent. These are also available dried.
       

       
      Then there are the delightfully named 鸡腿菇 jī tuǐ gū or “chicken leg mushrooms”. These are known in English as "shaggy ink caps". Only the very young, still white mushrooms are eaten, as mature specimens have a tendency to auto-deliquesce very rapidly, turning to black ‘ink’, hence the English name.
       

       
      Not in season now, but while I’m here, let me mention a couple of other mushrooms often found in the supermarkets. First, straw mushrooms (草菇 cǎo gū). Usually only found canned in western countries, they are available here fresh in the summer months. These are another favourite – usually braised with soy sauce – delicious! When out of season, they are also available canned here.
       

       
      Then there are the curiously named Pig Stomach Mushrooms (猪肚菇 zhū dù gū, Infundibulicybe gibba. These are another favourite. They make a lovely mushroom omelette. Also, a summer find.
       

       
      And finally, not a mushroom, but certainly a fungus and available fresh is the wood ear (木耳 mù ěr). It tastes of almost nothing, but is prized in Chinese cuisine for its crunchy texture. More usually sold dried, it is available fresh in the supermarkets now.
       

       
      Please note that where I have given Chinese names, these are the names most commonly around this part of China, but many variations do exist.
       
      Coming up next - the dried varieties available.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...