Looking for a hot pot restaurant in Germany? Here are 4 must-try dishes that you can try in Germany.
Also epitheted as ‘fire pot‘, the hotpot is a Chinese cooking method, where a savoury broth soup is kept in a large metal pot, in the middle of the table, upon a source of heat.
An assortment of raw ingredients is provided to simmer in the boiling broth to be eaten by diners. The meat provided is always thinly sliced, and the fish is deboned and deshelled.
Dipping sauces are provided to dip the cooked pieces in for additional flavour. It is a main course on its own and is usually served without rice or noodles.
A simple dish yet a carnival of tastes bursting in every bite, it is best served boiling hot.
1. History of a Hot Pot
While China is regarded as the place of birth of the ‘hot pot’, it is assumed that it was the Mongols and their warriors that introduced the concept of eating from a single pot of food, for ease and convenience.
They used to have dinner together, all circling a pot on the fire; it was a way to keep warm while eating at the same time in harsh weather conditions.
The hot pot preparation and ingredients vary a lot, especially with the origin of the dish. A mainland China hot pot would be very different from the Southern, Northern, and Taiwanese styles.
The influence spread and hot pots are now available in most parts of South-East and Eastern Asia. Hot pots are now known as quite a different things throughout Asia, such as:
- Nabemono (Sukiyaki, Shabu shabu, Oden, Chankonabe) in Japan,
- Jeongol, Jjigae and Sinseollo in South Korea,
- Yao Hon (Chhnang Pleurng) in Cambodia,
- Shabu shabu in Phillipines,
- Thai suki and Mu kratha in Thailand,
- Cù lao in Vietnam.
Even Western countries have their variations of the hot pot:
- Fondue chinoise, a traditional Christmas dish from Switzerland,
- Lancaster Hot pot in Britain.
2. Common Ingredients Used in the Dishes in Hot Pot Restaurants in Germany
Typically any ingredients can be used in a hot pot as one pleases, keeping in mind their preferences, likes, and allergies.
Traditional Chinese hot pot dishes typically also include mutton as a meat source, and flowers like chrysanthemums, and daisy crowns and as such, to give the broths a floral essence.
It is taken great care that the ingredients are of good quality and organically sourced. The list of most commonly available and used hot pot ingredients in restaurants in Germany can be found below:
2.1. Meats and Proteins
- Thinly sliced meat (lamb, goat, beef, pork, chicken, other poultry)
- Whole/sliced fish
- Prawns, shrimps
- Clams, mussels, and other bivalves
- Beef balls, fish balls, shrimp balls, and paste
- Offal, especially beef tripes
- Blood curdles
- Crab, lobster, crawfish
- Squids, other inkfish
- Sea cucumber
- Tofu, and skins (raw/fried)
- Egg dumplings
- Fish cakes
- Quail eggs, chicken eggs
- Chicken feet, chicken gizzard
- Glass noodles
- Chinese noodles
- Udon noodles
- Rice cakes
- Taro cake
- Bok choy
- Napa cabbage
- Fermented beans
- Lotus root
- Baby corn
- Bean sprouts
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes
- Mushrooms (straw, enoki, shiitake, oyster)
- Black Fungus
- Sesame butter
- Hoisin sauce
- Soy sauce
- Vinegar (white/black)
- Sichuan pepper
- Sesame seeds
- Minced Garlic
- Chopped ginkgo nuts
- Goji berries
- Sesame oil
- Chilli oil
- Pepper (black/white)
- Minced Ginger
- Chopped Peanuts
The broth may be infused with vegetable or meat flavouring (tomato broth, vegetable stock, chicken stock, beef stock) to enhance the taste of the hot pot.
Traditional hot pot dishes use vegetables, animal bones, fat, herbs, and spices. The dipping sauce is mostly soy, vinegar, or peanut and chilli-based.
Citrus also makes for a good ingredient in dipping sauces as the sour cuts down the richness in the meat and broth.
3. 4 Famous Dishes in Hot Pot Restaurants in Germany
In Germany, hot pots even equip the locally available vegetables and animal products to integrate the actual essence of hot pots. Making the dish with ingredients at hand, to ensure that nothing goes to waste.
Ingredients like bok choy and mushrooms of different kinds are a staple to almost all varieties of hot pot, owing to both their availability and steady presence in the original hot pot recipes.
The most popular types of hot pot served in restaurants in Germany include these:
3.1. Dishes in Hot Pot Restaurant: Beef and Vegetables Hot Pot
The ingredients: typically beef, offal, bok choy, baby corn, napa cabbage, lotus roots, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and eggs, along with a starch of choice, and required condiments.
Beef and vegetable hot pots are the most commonly ordered hotpots, and rightfully so, owing to their impeccably beautiful and rich taste. A well-rounded dish, with meat and vegetables, some places also serve tofu, along with its skins for this hot pot dish.
The broth made with beef stock and caramelized onions imparts a beautiful yet subtle taste, that takes the dish to a top level. The sauce complementing this would be the peanut and chill-based sauce.
Restaurant to visit: Hot Pot Fu
3.2. Dishes in Hot Pot Restaurant: Mushrooms and Tofu Hot Pot
The ingredients: typically mushrooms, tofu, and skins, bok choy, lotus roots, carrots, bean sprouts, taro cakes, daikon, potatoes, and fermented beans, along with a starch of choice, and required condiments.
With more and more people opting for vegan options, the vegan hot pot is a huge hit amongst the crowds with its vegetable-infused broth and rich flavours. The mushrooms are abundant, and crispy tofu-skin fries and taro cakes elevate the dish altogether.
Some restaurants even provide the tangy goji berries, as well as the fancy black fungus, both of which make this hot pot dish even more exquisite. It pairs well with soy sauce and vinegar, and chilli oil.
Restaurant to visit: Nin Hao
3.3. Dishes in Hot Pot Restaurant: Seafood Hot Pot
The ingredients: shellfish, fish, squids, mushrooms, bean sprouts, bok choy, daikon, potatoes, fermented beans, seaweed, watercress along with a starch of choice, and required condiments.
Usually made with a tomato and onion broth, the shellfish contains all the most favourited options of prawns, clams, shrimps, and mussels, along with occasional crabs and lobsters also being available.
The fish are generally deshelled before being served to the diners, and only fresh fish is served to ensure quality is maintained.
Although this hot pot tastes absolutely out of the world, it is a less popular dish in comparison to the other three on the list. Since many can be prone to shellfish allergy. Chilli oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and lemon juice complement well with this.
Restaurant to visit: Lahuhu
3.4. Dishes in Hot Pot Restaurant: Chicken and Pork Hot Pot
The ingredients: chicken, chicken gizzard, bacon, pork lard, mushrooms, bean sprouts, eggs, bok choy, baby corn, cabbage, lettuce, and lotus root along with a starch of choice, and required condiments.
One of the most ordered hot pot dishes, chicken and pork hot pots are an instant comfort food, with the rich and fatty flavour of the broth. The pork lard elevates the taste and enhances the overall taste of the broth.
It is made spicy and hits the perfect spot. The protein sources other than meat here are an addition, that truly adds bulk and content to the soup, and is thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The sauces complementing it would be something citrusy and/or creamy to cut down the low-building spice.
Restaurant to visit: Restaurant Turandot
A hot pot is a comfort dish, the best part being the option to customize them. One can choose what ingredients go to their dish.
Usually, a hot pot has five ingredients that go in them, the majority being greens, along with one to two sources of proteins. The meal is well-balanced and light enough to make them go on with their everyday work after finishing one full bowl.
Served in crystal china bowls with Chinese chopsticks to eat, the presentation looks aesthetic enough for all the food bloggers out there. The restaurants stated here have the best hot pot, and one can order or dine out here without worry.
Another type of hot pot that is quite famous, yet not enough to make it to the list is the happy lamb hot pot. With tender meat and tasteful seasoning, the diners have grown pretty fond of this hot pot as well.
The concept of eating from one single pot or plate is seen as a trademark in many collectivistic societies. It is said to promote feelings of fellowship, bonding, familiarity, and a sense of sharing.
The menu is curated with care, and the broths are prepared with authentic ingredients, some being sourced directly from China. It is a delicious spread, and as most of these restaurants offer options for home delivery, one can even order and have it in the comfort of their home.
It is a comparatively easier dish to cook, even at home, and is a great meal to have with your friends and family. Albeit a bit too messy maybe for first dates, but hey, comfort food over a pretentious gourmet, any day.
There is nothing that heals the heart and appeases one’s taste buds as heartily as a bowl of steaming hot pot.