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Fondue Chinoise – The “Swiss Hotpot”

Fondue Chinoise is one of the most popular party and family meals in Switzerland.

Fondue Chinoise – The “Swiss Hotpot”
Hot pot or hotpot, also known as soup-food or steamboat, is a cooking method that originates from China, prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table. Of course the Swiss have their own version of hotpot – the ‘Fondue Chinoise'.

Fondue Chinoise is one of the most popular party and family meals in Switzerland. For good reason: Firstly, it can be prepared in advance, so that the hosts can also enjoy the event. Second, everyone can decide for themselves what and how much they want to eat. Which meat types and quantities are chosen is a matter of discretion. We recommend around 250 grams of meat/fish per person, for example thinly sliced slices of beef- or veal fillet, chicken breast and lamb loin.

For the not so meat enthusiastic fish is a viable alternative. Choices are abundant and to your taste – from cod to tuna but also shrimp are an excellent choice. Pasta is also great and we recommend Tortellini or Ravioli stuffed with your favorite ingredients, with meat or the vegetarian alternatives. Important is that they are fresh pasta specialties that do not require a long cooking time and that they hold on a fondue fork. Vegetables can of course also be used. Favorites are broccoli and cauliflower florets, carrots, etc.

A strong meat bouillon is required for Fondue Chinoise. This can be refined with a dash of sherry as desired. Finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, leek, celery and onions also enhance the flavor bouquet, as do spices such as pepper, bay leaf, chili and cayenne pepper. If you opt for a vegetarian Fondue Chinoise, substitute the meat bouillon with a vegetable one.

The sauces are just as important for the Fondue Chinoise as the immersion bath. Some like the classic ‘Chinoise’ sauces, others think: the more refined the better. Most of the sauces are based on mayonnaise, and crème fraîche. Various herb butters also go well with meat, vegetables and pasta, freshly grated horseradish, an exotic peanut and coriander dip or a fennel green pesto.

Usually salads are served with ‘Fondue Chinoise’ and potato chips as cold sides. Warm side dish include rice or French fries. If that's too boring for you, try sweet potato fries, fluffy garlic bread, baked potatoes or a corn on the cob with lime and sesame salt for a change.

Among connoisseurs, the soup is then, so to speak, the crowning glory of diving pleasure. For example, it can be enriched with ‘Fideli’ or thin noodles, which are al dente in a flash. Refine the soup with a splash of sherry or cognac for a delightful ending of the meal.

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