The word Hot Pot (香锅) also known as steamboat dates back to more than 1,000 years ago arguably Mongolia during the Jin Dynasty. At the time, lower class citizens (fisherman) could not afford to eat regular cuts of meat and worked around a way to cook cheap meat by boiling them in a pot of extreme spicy broth. The strong taste and extreme spicy broth are signatures of northern China dishes. This dish consists of constant simmering of a metal pot filled with stock / soup place in the middle of a dining table. Surrounding this stove & pot are varieties of thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, won tons, egg dumplings, and seafood. Each person cook their own food in the pot of simmering soup. Once the food is cooked, you can normally dip it in sauce.

The type of soup based used in hot pot is highly dependent on it’s region within China. This ma la hot pot (numb and spicy hot pot) is originated in Sichuan which is located north of China.

Serves: 4-6


  • 3 tbsp Sichuan Spicy Bean Paste
  • 1/2 cup Dried Chili, soaked until soft
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Black Bean
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp sichuan douban / broad bean chili paste
  • 6 slices Ginger (unpeeled)
  • 12 Cloves smashed Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Cooking Wine
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup sichuan chili flakes / korean chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup ground red sichuan peppercorn
  • 3/4 tsp curry powder
  • Dry Spices (4 star anise, 1 tbsp white Peppercorn, 1 black cardamom, 4 green cardamom, 2 sand ginger, 1 piece cinnamon stick, 3 slice liquorice, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 nutmeg, 7 whole cloves, 8 dried bay leaves, 1 tbsp cumin seeds)
  • If available (5 grams zi-cao/ 紫草, 3 grams liang-jiang/ 良姜, 2 grams mu-xiang/木香)
  1. Make this in advance and keep refrigerated over night.
  2. Chop 3 tbsp sichuan spicy bean paste, 1/2 cup soaked dry chili, 6 slices of ginger, 12 cloves smashed garlic, and 1 tbsp chinese black bean. (You can also blend this)
  3. Combine 4 tbsp of oil and all the chopped ingredients, cook in low heat for 10 mins. Stir frequently.
  4. Add all dry spices, 1/2 cup cooking wine, 1 stalk lemongrass, 1 cup sichuan chili flakes, 1/2 cup ground red sichuan peppercorn, 3/4 tsp curry powder, and continue to cook in low heat for another 30 mins constant stir.


  • 2 lbs beef / pork/ chicken bones
  • 3 sliced ginger
  • 3 large scallion, cut into segments
  • 3 bay leaf
  • 1 gallon water
  • 4 cup vegetable oil (can have turkey / chicken fat)
  • 20 Chinese small dried chili whole
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp rock sugar
  • 1 cup dripping (beef / lard)
  • 2 tbsp chili sesame oil
  1. Combine beef / bork / chicken bones (2 lbs), ginger (3 slices), scallion (3 large scallions cut into segments), bay leaves (3),  in a large pot of water (1 gal), 1 tbsp rock sugar, 1 cup dripping (beef/lard), 2 tbsp chili sesame oil. Simmer for 3 hrs. This can be made in advance.
  2. Before serving, combine the paste with the stock, in addition to 4 cup vegetable oil, 20 Chinese small dried chili, and salt to taste.

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