The huge city of Chongqing is famous for the most spicy hotpot in all of China! Yes this delightful cauldron of spice will make your mouth go numb, your lips tingle, all the while as tears flow from your eyes. This is a spice lovers paradise.

Chongqing hotpot

You can find hotpot all over China these days, but no-one does it spicier, or better, than the original hotpot places around Chongqing. I have had hotpot all over China and can vouch for that!

It’s best just to head into any of the many eateries by the street. Some will have a menu to choose your ingredients, which is not handy for someone like me that cannot read Mandarin, while others will have a shelf and fridge full of meat and vegetables on sticks, where you can then choose what you want and put on a tray.

Sticks of food

Putting your food choices on a tray.

The great thing is that you can keep going and getting more food until you are full.

In the middle of the table where you eat is a gas fire with a huge pot filled with spicy broth. You can choose how spicy you would like it to be, there is always enough chillies for me to be satisfied. I love spicy food if you didn’t figure that out already.

The pot is then heated up, and once boiling you place the food sticks into it, which will then cook inside.

Chongqing hotpot

Cooking the food in the pot.

You can also get food that is not on a stick and just dump it into the pot, which you then scoop out with a spoon once cooked.

Strips of meat for hotpot

Meat that is dumped into the pot.

Chongqing hotpot

Dumping the meat in.

When the meat and vegetables are cooked you place it into a small bowl, from which you can then put into an oily crushed garlic dip.

You don’t take all the sticks out at once, just one at a time. It’s a fun slow process.

Bowl of spicy food



And you eat in spicy happiness until you can eat no more!

I wasn’t joking about the mouth going numb and so on, it really does. Hot, hot , hot!

But then I guess it wouldn’t be called a Chongqing hotpot otherwise…

It’s best eaten with a group of people, where you can all gather around the pot.

Enjoying a Chongqing hotpot

Enjoying a Chongqing hotpot.

So my fellow spice lovers, what is the spiciest thing you ever ate?




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