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Xiangcao, which translates as “herb,” is a restaurant chain specializing in Yunnan-style hotpot.
During the wild mushroom season, one of the most popular ways in Yunnan to enjoy freshly harvested fungi is in a hotpot. Many restaurants in the capital Kunming put a variety of mushrooms on display, allowing customers to choose which they want in their hotpot.
The special broth at Xiangcao is made from stewing various kinds of mushrooms. The pot is divided into four sections, three — mushroom, tomato and sour — are used to cook the meat, vegetables and tofu. A fourth in the middle is for mushroom dishes only to make a delicious soup.
These restaurants also offer wild mushroom platters, with either four or six varieties of mushrooms, including white, black and yellow boletus, Caesar’s mushrooms and matsutakes.
Tofu from Jianshui, a county in Yunnan, is also a specialty here.