Handmade by artisans in China, this "yin yang" divided copper pot is the style used in upscale Sichuan hot pot restaurants and is also the perfect vessel for home hot pot, providing both superior heat conduction and modern style. Made from heavy-gauge, pure copper, it weighs nearly 4.5 pounds. Its bottom is lined on the underside with induction-compatible stainless steel, so it can be used on induction or gas heat sources.
The streamlined design, brushed copper and "ear" handles provide both pleasing form and efficient function. The securely welded yin-yang divider separates the pot so it can be used for two different soups, which is popular in Chengdu-style hot pot. One side is for the numbing and spicy mala broth and the other side is for a mild bone broth. The soup bowl has a diameter of 13 inches at the top, and each side of the pot holds 6 cups (1.5 liters) of soup broth, for 3 liters total. Considered a medium pot, it is designed to serve 4 to 6 people.
Made from food-grade copper, the pot is not treated or lacquered and will acquire a patina quickly. Especially after it interacts with the acids in hot pot soup, it will quickly gain a darker-hued palette, a color that many prefer. If you prefer the brighter copper, use a copper cleaner such as Twinkle or wipe the pot with half a sliced lemon or lime and salt. It will brighten nicely, though it will oxidize over time.
Note that, while heavy and substantial, this is a somewhat rustic, casual pot, just as hot pot itself is a rustic, casual meal. The fact that each one is made by hand shows. There are small tabs of brass where the handles are attached; the handles sometimes have a visible indention on the inside of the pot; and there is visible copper welding where the divider is attached. Nonetheless beautiful to behold, this is a hot pot to be used and enjoyed for festive gatherings for years to come.
See a report on hot pot as it's eaten in Chengdu here.
See the Mala Market recipe for mala hot pot from scratch here.
Purchase Chengdu's favorite readymade mala hot pot soup base here.
Dimensions: 20 x 15.5 x 3.5 inches; holds 3 liters; serves up to 6 people
Shipping notes: This item will be shipped UPS and cannot ship to a P.O. box. All other Mala Market products are shipped USPS Priority mail. If you are ordering additional items (other than hot pot soup base), please place that order separately. (There is room in this box for very little else.) Please contact us for a custom shipping quote for Hawaii and Alaska.