Chuan Chuan Xiang – A Hotpot Dish with Skewered Ingredients

chuan chuan xiang

Chuan Chuan Xiang, also known as “串串香” in Chinese, has a fascinating origin rooted in the mid-1980s in Chengdu, China. Initially conceived by unemployed individuals seeking livelihoods, these innovative entrepreneurs set up stalls in lively locations such as shopping malls, theaters, and video halls to sell Chuan Chuan Xiang.

The concept involves skewering various ingredients, such as tofu, rabbit loin, and more, onto bamboo sticks. These skewers are then briefly blanched in a flavorful broth and served with a dipping sauce featuring the signature Sichuan mala (numbing and spicy) flavor. Customers can enjoy Chuan Chuan Xiang while strolling, creating a casual and enjoyable dining experience. The dish is characterized by its rich flavors, diverse selection of ingredients, high-quality service, affordable pricing, and widespread popularity among diners.

Over time, chefs in the Sichuan-Chongqing region continued to innovate, expanding the variety of Chuan Chuan Xiang offerings and enhancing the quality of the base broth. The menu has evolved to include a broad spectrum of ingredients, ranging from seafood like fish, shrimp, crab, and shellfish to poultry, pork, beef, lamb, duck, goose, and even healthy options such as vegetables. Common choices include beef, chicken, Chinese wax sausage, crucian carp, squid, quail eggs, tripe, pork throat, meatballs, ham sausage, pig liver, duck intestines, chicken hearts, crab sticks, dried tofu, tofu skin, soybean tendon, potatoes, taro, green bamboo shoots, cabbage, lotus root slices, wood ear mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, pea shoots, and more – all threaded onto bamboo sticks.

The base broth for Chuan Chuan Xiang is meticulously crafted, incorporating chicken and pork bones to enhance the umami flavor. Over 20 Chinese herbs, including Amomum fruit, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon, are added to elevate the aromatic profile. Additionally, modern food biotechnology is employed to create a high-purity, high-quality seasoning base.

What sets Chuan Chuan Xiang apart is not only the exquisite taste of the skewered ingredients but also the delectable and nourishing quality of the broth. The broth acts as a flavorful complement, soothing the spice and heat, eliminating concerns about excessive internal heat, and offering health benefits such as calcium supplementation and overall well-being. It’s not just a meal; it’s a culinary journey that encompasses diverse flavors, textures, and nutritional elements.

Chuan Chuan Xiang has become a culinary phenomenon, captivating taste buds and earning its place as a cherished tradition in the vibrant culinary landscape of the Sichuan-Chongqing region.

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