One of the hidden gems of Chinese cuisine is gan guo. Gan guo (literally, "dry pot") is a small metal pot or shallow bowl that is placed over a flame right at your table. Inside the pot can be any number of things. For us, it is usually potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, lotus, and other kinds of vegetables.
In addition to the hot temperatures, gan guo is also filled with lots of red hot peppers and other serious spices. And, just when you think you are all done with your hot and spicy feast, there are usually raw white onions placed underneath all of that gan guo goodness. As you are working on the main course, the onions are being cooked in all of the oil and juices that seep to the bottom. They make a nice treat late in the meal, which is best enjoyed slowly and with a big bottle ofYanjing Pijiu (the cheap, local beer).
What a shame that gan guo has not yet made its way from the alleyways of Beijing to the Chinese restaurants of America. This stuff is the real deal!