Sunday, February 27, 2011


Our first Beijing Hotpot (huo guo) with friends in a great, busy restaurant called Hei Di Lao. A hotpot is social eating: big table, a (usually sunken) pot in the middle full of simmering stock, and then you throw in various meats, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, lotus, tofu etc, take them out after just a few minutes and then dip them in choice of sauces - sesame being a staple. Add lashings of beer and you're away. Our pot was divided into two - spicy and regular - and we all donned aprons as it can get a bit messy. When we lived in Japan, we had this several times only it's called shabu shabu there.

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