sichuan spicy numbing hotpot

priscilla’s family is crazy for hotpot, especially when it comes to hot and spicy. their favorite is sichuan-style, which is both spicy and numbing. it hurts your mouth and tongue like crazy at first, but somehow, that excitement is really addictive.

the procedure to make the hotpot soup-base is easy, basically boil all of the ingredients in a pot of liquid. but the hard part is adjusting the amount of spice, heat, and numbness to your liking. we like it hot and numbing, so that’s why we add a lot of chili and numbing peppercorns. but you can start with half the amount first and adjust accordingly. the longer you boil, the more of the flavor comes out from the spices.

dried whole chili peppers 1 cup
numbing peppercorns 1/2 cup
fennel seeds 1/4 cup
coriander seeds 1/4 cup
nutmeg 1/4 cup
star anise 10 pieces
cinnamon stick 2
bay leaves 5
large onion 1
garlic 5 cloves
ginger 1 inch nub
oil 1 liter
water 1 liter
chicken stock 1 liter
salt 1 tbsp

  • chop up the onion, garlic, and ginger
  • in a large pot, warm up all of the oil on medium-low heat and toss in all of the spices and aromatics
  • cook them for about 10 min to bring out the fragrance, making sure they don’t burn
  • add the liter of water and chicken stock slowly into the pot, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil
  • turn the heat back to low to simmer for at least an hour
  • salt to taste, about 1 tbsp
so many different spices go into making this hotpot soup

so many different spices go into making this hotpot soup

simmer all of the spices for at least an hour to release all of the flavors

simmer all of the spices in liquid for at least an hour to release all of the flavors

such intense heat and spice, it's really addictive

such intense heat and spice, it’s really addictive


9 responses to “sichuan spicy numbing hotpot

  1. Yes great to see your posts again. I just wanted to check with you about the liquid ratio of this mixture. 1/3 of this soup is oil? Or is that a misprint? The nutmeg in your picture looks whole do you grate it or crush that to get the 1/4 cup…..because regular ground nutmeg is much stronger than freshly grated so 1/4 cup of that would be pretty powerful I imagine. So fascinating it sounds so intriguing I would love to try it, just had a lot of questions 😀 also numbing peppercorns? Is that regular black peppercorns? Thanks and I love the pictures!

    • hi sewing,

      yes we used whole nutmeg, the smaller white ones instead of the typical larger brown ones. If you can’t find them then the regular brown ones is just fine, just use half the amount. The herbs and spices are first cooked in oil to draw out the flavor and aroma. Then add water afterward and bring to a low boil.
      Numbing peppercorn is different from black peppercorn. It actually gives a numbing sensation to your mouth and tongue when you bite into it. It may also be called Sichuan peppercorn. You can find these in the Asian supermarkets. Hopefully that answered some of your questions 👍

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