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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 Dishes to Try in Chongqing - Hot Dishes from the Birthplace of Hotpot
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Dishes to Try in Chongqing - Hot Dishes from the Birthplace of Hotpot

Chongqing may be the birthplace of hotpot, but there are plenty other dishes to try if you want to know what the local palate really craves for. These are the top 5 must try dishes in Chongqing.


Chuanbei Liangfen

A deliciously spicy dish of Mung bean jelly served with a hot sauce that will numb your taste buds (after setting them on fire), this is a cold dish unlike most of the dishes you are likely to find. The chilli paste is what adds the base of the flavour to the dish, which is nicely contrasted by the slippery cold mung bean jelly slices. While the dish has a lot of heat to contrast with the coldness of the jelly, there is a subtle smokey-ness that underlies it all, balanced out by a touch of vinegar and a sweetness of sugar. Finding a good Chuanbei Liangfen is not as easy as finding good accommodation in Chongqing, though, and require a bit of taste testing.


Diced rabbit with chilli and nuts

This dish is not for the non-adventurous carnivore, as it is based on one of the uncommon meats, though not in China. It is also an extremely spicy dish, based on the sour sauce that numbs your taste buds. The rabbit meat is diced into bite-sized chunks, which are a little difficult to get through if you are not used to it. The little bones are somewhat tedious to get through for the uninitiated, although the juicy tender meat is well-worth the effort.


Lazi Ji

A meat that any meat-eater would prefer, this is a chicken based dish that is rather dry and, of course, spicy. The chicken is marinated in soy sauce that packs it with a punch of flavour. This marinated chicken is then deep-fried to make it dry and chewy, before stir-frying it with chillies, peppercorn, garlic, and other spices. This dish can be quite spicy, and definitely not for the faint-hearted. If possible, it is suggested that you try it in the comfort of your own hotel or apartment like Somerset Yangtze River Chongqing, for the ensuing episodes may best be handled in private.


Fuqi feipian

Fuqi feipian is another dish that is served cold, an appetizer that translates to "married couple's offal slices". The dish does not use lungs anymore, instead opting for beef tongue or beef heart. Tender strips of tripe and tendon can also be found in this dish, which is then mixed well with a chilli vinaigrette. The dish is served with peanuts and cilantro. One thing to remember, though, is that the taste of the meat is almost completely obscured by the peanut sauce. It is a good dish to try if you are new to offal.


Mapo tofu

Mapo tofu is a common dish found in almost any restaurant in China. The Congquin version of the dish is slightly different, though, and is served in a cast iron bowl. The fish is based on tofu but has a layer of ground beef, a layer of chilli oil, and plenty of peppercorn and horse beans. It is not as hot as one would expect it to be, considering the usual taste of the dishes in China. In fact, there is a sweetness that underlies the dish, which makes it perfect to be enjoyed as a light dinner.