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Mushroom hotpot


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Went with friends this past weekend to have wild mushroom hotpot. It's nearing the end of the season, but a good variety of mushrooms was still available, and should be at least through the end of the month.

 

Kunming has a number of mushroom specialty restaurants scattered around town, but there's a large concentration of them near the convention center 国贸中心,in particular along Guanshang Street 关上路, near the intersection with Guanxing Street 关兴路。Must be 25 or 30 of them within walking distance of each other.

 

You select your mushrooms from a cooled display case, the kitchen cleans and slices them. We ordered niugan jun 牛肝菌,jiyou jun 鸡油菌, jisong jun 鸡松菌,and zhusun jun 竹笋菌 for the pot. Waitress asked us to choose our stock, and we opted for duck.

 

She puts the mushrooms into the boiling pot in a certain order, according to which varieties require longer cooking times. Heat eliminates the toxins. We are not allowed to even put our chopsticks in the pot while they are cooking; this was strictly enforced. Our batch had to boil 15 minutes before we could eat. She timed them carefully.

 

But we also ordered some fried items to have during that waiting period. We had some ganba jun 干巴菌 that were fried with spicy green peppers 青椒 and plenty of sliced garlic. This being Yunnan, we also had a side order of crunchy fried grasshoppers. Insects and their larvae are popular here. We also had a plate of tiny minnow fish less than a centimeter long.

 

In addition to the above, we splurged on an order of songrong jun 松茸菌 that were sliced very thin and served on a bed of ice. We ate them raw with a dipping sauce. These are the highly prized matsutake pine mushrooms.

 

After eating the mushrooms from the hot pot, we added some thinly sliced beef 肥牛肉 and a variety of vegetables. We had an order of a special round steamed pumpkin bread that had a little red bean paste in the middle. This was a specialty of the house.

 

It winds up being an expensive meal, easily running between 100 and 200 RMB per person. But it's a "very Yunnan" splurge.

 

post-20301-0-68932200-1378715208_thumb.jpg post-20301-0-64775800-1378715224_thumb.jpg post-20301-0-47480400-1378715242_thumb.jpg

 

The last snapshot is the grasshoppers.

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Green pepper is 青椒, not 请教.

Ah yes, of course. Thanks, I'll go back and correct it.

It was a good meal. The restaurant we went to is locally famous and is one of the oldest and best established of the lot.

During mushroom season each year many new ones open for just a few months and their quality is spotty, not always top notch The restaurants are as seasonal as the mushrooms. Some just shutter their doors when mushrooms are no longer abundant, while others transform into places offering a wider range of food.

Another mushroom-loving friend who wasn't able to come with us critiqued our meal after the fact. She said we would have been smarter to have selected a milder tasting stock so as to show off the delicate intrinsic flavors of the mushrooms better. She suggested chicken or pigeon as being more appropriate than duck or goose.

Makes sense, and next time I'll remember that. I manage to usually get in on only one or two such mushroom hotpot feast a year.

For the sake of having all the information in one place for future reference, I might as well add the restaurant details.

Jing Chuan Wild Mushroom King 京川野菌王。 Address -- Corner of Guanshang and Guanxing Streets 关上关兴路180号。 Phone -- 0871-7152168. Reservations accepted.

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Not at all. I appreciate the correction. Seems I often type sloppily, even when I know better. That's a bad habit.

青椒 it is.

I didn't even know that 请教 even existed as a word, and therefore wasn't vigilant when my Hanzi tool offered it as first choice. I see now it means to consult or ask for guidance. So that's also something handy for me to know and I'm glad to be able to say it.

Got a bonus from your kind efforts that went beyond fixing a typo.

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Re 請教, I use it quite often when I want to sound polite. (Though my tone probably does not always match the term when I speak to my subordinates.) And when I use it during a phone conversation, 90% of the time the other end would immediately say, almost as a reflex, 不要客氣. Which means that using 請教 is considered to be very 客氣, at least in this part of the world.

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  • 1 year later...

In mid-September of this year, 2014, got together again with a couple of local friends and made our annual trek to part of Kunming where a dozen or so wild mushroom hotpot restaurants line the street for two or three blocks. (关兴路 in 官渡区) It's always a treat, but since it's pretty expensive, it's something we only do once a year.

 

This year we had 5 kinds:

 

Niugan jun -- 牛肝菌 -- Porcini. These come in two kinds, one yellow and one very dark brown. We had the yellow ones.
Jiyou jun -- 鸡油菌 -- Chanterelle
Songrong jun -- 松茸菌 -- Matsutake
Naijiang jun -- 奶酱菌
Qingtou jun -- 青头菌

 

We were two or three weeks too late in the year for the tender 松茸菌 that can be thinly sliced and eaten raw. The ones we ordered had to be cooked.

 

After choosing the mushrooms from a cooled display case, you select a stock in which to cook them. Choices include free-range chicken, pigeon, and goose. (We had pigeon.) The broth also contains some seasonings and herbs, but is not spicy. I saw 枸杞 berries and 红枣, among other things.

The waitress cooks the mushrooms at your table and, for safety reasons, won't even let you dip a chopstick in the pot until they are ready. (Strictly enforced.) Last year I made the mistake of poking at one of the mushrooms while they were still cooking and she took away my chopsticks and brought me new ones.

She adds the different varieties one at a time, according to their required cooking times. I was glad to see that our waitress/cook took her duties seriously. When they are ready, she serves them for you. You can dip them in a sauce if desired. My sauce dish had 芝麻油 and fermented tofu ("lufu" -- don't know the Hanzi.)

 

We had some green vegetables that we cooked in the stock after the mushrooms as well as a side order of cucumber and cherry tomatoes. The starch was a plate of small pumpkin cakes.

 

Made for a good special-occasion meal.

 

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I can't honestly tell for sure if they say it with an "L" or an "R" sound. The pictures of 乳腐 and 卤腐 both look right. 

 

It's spicy and pungent. Real good on hot 馒头。 I buy it in the wet market from an elderly vendor who scoops up a chunk or two from a covered stone crock (hence no label.)

 

It's an acquired taste: at first I didn't like it, but now I do. Usually keep a chunk in the fridge and use it with stir-fried vegetables. Add it at the last minute for a pleasant kick. Especially tasty with eggplant.

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I see now that the 卤腐 is the term used in Yunnan. It's the same thing as 乳腐 and 豆腐乳.

http://yunnanmeishi.abang.com/od/yunnantechan/a/lufu.htm

卤腐又叫乳腐或者豆腐乳,卤腐是云南当地的叫法。它和其他地方的豆腐乳有所不同,更加的辣和香,还加入了一些云南特色的东西。

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