Former Nagasaki Prefecture Coordinator for International Relations
Lived in Nagasaki from April of 2014 to April of 2015
Long time no see! My name is Huang Ji and I worked in Nagasaki Prefecture’s International Affairs Division until April of last year.
How is everyone doing in Nagasaki?
I’m writing this edition of “In the World Now” as a special reporter from Shanghai.
My theme for this column will be “Chinese hot pot.”
When you hear the word “hot pot” I bet many people think of it as a winter dish but in Shanghai many people enjoy it in the summer as well.
Hot pot is China’s “shabu-shabu.” Signs for hot pot restaurants are all over the downtown area of Shanghai. There are many styles of hot pot, from the spicy, deep-red mala sauce Sichuan style hot pots, to the personal-sized hot pots in the Macao style.
＜Chinese hot pot＞
Now let me tell you how hot pots are done.
First, how to order:
When you enter the restaurant you’ll be given an order sheet and a pen. You just check the boxes next to the type of soup and ingredients you’d like and then pass it back to one of the staff.
1．First decide your soup.
There are three main styles of soups to choose from. There’s the mild and white qingtang soup, the spicy and red mala soup, and then a mix of the two called yuenyang soup.
2．Then decide your ingredients.
You can choose from a great variety of ingredients from meats, seafood, vegetables, and tofu. Pick which ever ones you like! If you have the chance, definitely add egg dumplings! They’re like regular dumplings but they are wrapped in a thin, fried egg instead of the usual dough.
3．Sauces and Condiments
There are two ways sauces and condiments are typically done. Some restaurants will have a self-service bar where you can pick and mix your toppings yourself. Other restaurants will just have you check boxes on the order sheet and they’ll bring the sauces to you on small saucers.
Now, how to eat hot pot:
Most people in Shanghai employ the “meat first, vegetables second” style of eating. The juices from the meat and seafood will soak into the soup which will make the vegetables even more delicious as they stew. You save the vegetables for last which will leave you feeling refreshed after having eaten a hot pot’s load of meat.
There are hot pot restaurants in Nagasaki too. Definitely go give them a try^^
But of course, I think that having the real thing in Shanghai is probably the best.
Thanks for reading! I hope to see you again here soon! Zaijian!