A Guide to Hotpots in Shanghai

In Shanghai, many people will choose to eat hot pot with friends and colleagues in the spare time. It is because people have different tastes of eating; however, hot pot, as a highly inclusive dish, can be the perfect choice for meeting the needs of different groups of people. Consequently, we want to explore the reason why people love hot pot and what is the magic of hot pot. We decide to collect data of hotpot in Shanghai for illustrating the guide of hot pot, which helps people choose the right hot pot satisfied their tastes.

About the Chinese Hotpots

First and foremost, we use google to collect the history of hot pot. Hot pot - is the most famous dish in China. Hot pot consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. Hot pot meals are usually eaten in the winter during supper time. The Chinese hot pot has a history of more than 1,700 years. Hot pot seems to have originated in Mongolia where the main ingredient was meat, usually beef, mutton or horse. It then spread to southern China during the Tang Dynasty and was further established during the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. In time, regional variations developed with different ingredients such as seafood. By the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644 to 1912), the hot pot became popular throughout most of China. Today in many modern homes, particularly in the big cities, the traditional coal-heated steamboat or hot pot has been replaced by electric, gas or induction cooker versions.Because hot pot styles change so much from region to region, many different ingredients are used. The hot pot developed gradually, adapting to historical introduction of vessels, social demands and ingredients, just like China’s dietary development. For instance, it was impossible to have spicy hot pot before huajiao (pricklyash peel) and chili peppers were introduced to China. During the Three Kingdoms period, Emperor Wendi of Wei noted the “Five-Section Vessel” which could be used to cook different foods at the same time. This vessel is similar to today’s “2 in 1 Hot Pot.” In the Southern and Northern Dynasties, bronze was the most common vessel, which gradually evolved into today’s hot pot. Furthermore, based on this information, we defined that there are 6 genres of hot pot in Chinese, such as North, Sichuan, Guangdong, Yunnan & Guizhou, East and Hainan by reading a report entitled “2015 Chinese Hot Pot Big Data” online, which helps us a lot. It was released by Meituan and Dianping research institute in 2015. We only focus on hot pot in Shanghai. And we have 4 aspects of data to collect after discussion.

  • The flavor of soup
  • The number of store
  • The percentage of dishes
  • The types of sauce

Data Collection

Here are 2 websites provide basic data for us. One is www.xiaomishu.com, other one is www.dianping.com. We study all the menus uploaded on these 2 websites and we also collect data by counting the numbers of store and types of dishes. To sum up, we investigate 57 stores in Shanghai, they belong to 6 genres of hot pot. We collect the data of the preceding 4 aspects from these stores. After 1week data collection, we have the dataset by using Numbers. Therefore, we have the rough table. Each color represents each genre of hot pot. And we make some calculations for the average value and percentage, etc.
We know that people have diverse tastes in eating hotpot, some people love spicy hot pot; however, some people are vegetarian. So we decide to present a guide for different people. We hope this guide helps them choose their favourite hot pot. We analysed the categories using different softwares.
Click to check the dynamic diagram made with infogr.am about the flavors of hotpot soup, the numbers of stores in shanghai, the distribution of dishes in the different genres (video versions available flavor of soups | the number of stores).

more visualizations and analysis in the full datastory in pdf || datastory online

Project by ZHENG Lu | YOU Fangzhou | XU Chen | WANG Zhili

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