Huang Ji Huang from China: How to Eat Fun Stewpot
Huang Ji Huang | 黄记煌 三汁焖锅 Three Sauce Simmer Pot (aka Hojoho) originated from the “Spicy Fish Sauce 香辣汁鱼” in the Imperial Cuisine of Food during the Qing Dynasty. The first Huang Ji Huang outlet was set up in 1998 in the Xuan Wu Meng street in Beijing by the Founder, Mr Huang Geng.
In May 2008, he established Huang Ji Huang company in Beijing and became the Chairman of the Board. In a short period, the company opened several restaurants in many parts of China and expanded its business internationally to more than 640 restaurants in China and overseas.
In 2020, the largest food chain in China, Yum China that has more than 8,700 restaurants under its wing, will be acquiring substantial shares of Huang Ji Huang to expand its F&B industry. Over the years, Huang Ji Huang has owned a lot of awards and recognitions which place the company in a very marketable and trustworthy position.
Our family members of six (five adults and one child) took our lunch in the restaurant of Huang Ji Huang | Hojoho | 黄记煌 for Three Sauce Simmer Pot | 三汁焖锅. My brother recommended it to us. He had tried it before and said the stewpot had an interesting concept that we should see.
The waitress brought us to our table in which three people could sit on each side of the table. There were two stew pots on the table. We could use either one or two stew pots together. However, each used stew pot would be charged S$15.00 with a vegetable base and a choice of sauce. Thus, we only want one stew pot for six of us.
The fun concept was to create your stew out of a choice of more than 12 items from the list. You have to order at least four plates of food to achieve the optimal taste, but a single stew pot cannot exceed six ingredients in it.
The above image showed the vegetable base for the stew pot.
We selected two fish and four meat from the list which made up our “Combi Pot 自由组合”. They are Dory Fish 龙利鱼 (S$12.00), Cat Fish 鲶鱼 (S$12.00), Pork Chop 猪排 (S$10.00), Chicken Drum 鸡腿肉 (S$12.00), Frog 牛蛙 (S$18.00) and Sliced Beef wrapped with Enoki 金针菇肥牛卷 (S$9.00).
Subsequently, the vegetable base and all the meat would be left to stew for 15 minutes. We also ordered the Spring Rolls 春卷 (S$5.50) and Chilled Cucumbers 刀拍黄瓜 (S$3.50) as a side dish while waiting for the soup to boil.
The raw chilled cucumbers were dipped in some dark sauce which tasted like a combination of light soy sauce with a drop of sesame oil. Cucumbers dipped in the sauce was a bad idea as they have no absorbing capacity, I did not taste the flavour of the sauce that much except a mouthful of raw cucumbers taste.
The fried Spring Rolls came in a plate of six pieces. We snapped all up hungrily, but there was nothing special about the spring rolls. It tasted like those being sold everywhere out there. I would not recommend the two side dish above because it was nothing special.
About 10 minutes later, six pieces of sliced beef wrapped with enoki were placed on top of the food and stewed for a few more minutes.
There were a few choices of sauces on the menu. Hence, we were in a dilemma of what to choose. The waitress told us that the “Seafood” sauce had a milder taste compared to the “Original” sauce when we asked for her recommendation. They have “Original” and “Spicy Original” sauce. We chose “Original” sauce because it was non-spicy as we had a kid around. The sauce was then added, stirred into the food and stewed for a while more.
Our food was finally ready to eat. We drooled over the taste of the sauce. My brother commented that the “Spicy Original” sauce tasted better than the “Original” sauce after having tried both of them. Despite the sauce being very savoury, all the meat was tasteless except for the sliced beef wrapped with enoki which was the most delicious of all.
The aromatic flavour of the sauce was somewhat lost when eaten together with the meat. It did not taste as good as I had expected. The natural taste of frog meat should be tasty even without the sauce. It tasted bland like the chicken meat. Maybe the meat was of low quality or kept too long.
I am always very particular about the pork taste. It tasted somewhat smelly, which I resented. I did not eat more than two pieces of it, although all my family members thought that the taste was acceptable and not like what I had described.
The other amusing discovery about this 三汁焖锅 | Three Sauce Simmer Pot food concept is that water could be added to the thick sauce in the stewpot at any time to transform it into a soup so we could put more food inside and boil it.
When we had finished all the meat and left with some vegetable in the soup, we ordered additional Lettuce 生菜 (S$3.50) and Crab Balls 蟹肉丸 (S$5.00) to put inside the pot. The result of the soup was so full-flavoured that everyone was praising the aroma that derived from the goodness of the food stewed earlier. The soup was slurped so quickly until the last drop.
The total bill came as S$ 141.26 (after GST) with some drinks, rice, towels and a 10% Service Charge. The average cost per pax would be S$ 28.25. The concept of this stew pot is targetted for more than two people because a minimum of four types of meat and fish are required to form the “Combi Pot 自由组合” to maximise the aroma. Therefore, expect to pay around S$30.00+.
One marketing concept of Huang Ji Huang company was cooking the food without the chef. I would think that this is slightly expensive and yet unique to have a go. It was like a steamboat concept with a bit more creativity in it. Anyway, really glad to have tried it! For delicious Dim Sum in Singapore, follow the link.
Fascinating Story of Huang Ji Huang Three Sauce Simmer Pot Origin
(In Mandarin Narration with Chinese and English Subtitles)
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