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Coming Soon...
Tuesday, Feb 25
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
All Day  Indigenous Writers and Their Critics: International Symposium
1:00 PM Film & Discussion: The Farewell
6:00 PM African-American Women in Film
6:00 PM Gaslamp Mardi Gras Party Hop
7:00 PM Victoria Martino: Carnival in Venice
7:00 PM  Sonia Nazario At Writer's Symposium By The Sea
7:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
8:00 PM Music: The Chieftains
Wednesday, Feb 26
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
7:00 PM  Writer's Symposium with Pico Ayer
7:00 PM Stage: Dream Hou$e
7:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
7:30 PM Stage: Orestes 2.0
Thursday, Feb 27
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
10:45 AM Book Talk: Baja California Land of Missions
1:00 PM Music: Kembang Sunda Gamelan
3:20 PM Talk: Urban Redevelopment Projects in South Africa
7:00 PM Stage: Dream Hou$e
8:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
Friday, Feb 28
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
5:00 AM  28th Annual Kuumba Festival
3:30 PM Talk: The Racial Imaginary at Work Poetry and the Visual Arts
6:00 PM Music: Antonio Carlos Jobim Tribute
7:00 PM Música En La Plaza: Los Montaño
7:00 PM Stage: Dream Hou$e
7:30 PM Stage: Orestes 2.0
8:00 PM Film: Jojo Rabbit
8:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
8:00 PM Stage: She Loves Me
Saturday, Feb 29
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
11:00 AM  28th Annual Kuumba Festival
2:00 PM Stage: Safa's Story
2:00 PM Stage: Orestes 2.0
2:00 PM Spoilers Book Club: Native Son
3:00 PM Stage: Little Rock
7:00 PM Stage: Safa's Story
7:00 PM Stage: Dream Hou$e
7:30 PM Stage: Orestes 2.0
8:00 PM Film: Jojo Rabbit
8:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
8:00 PM Stage: She Loves Me
9:00 PM Music: Los Pericos, Los Estrambóticos & Ecno
9:00 PM Spanglish At Finest City Improv
Sunday, Mar 1
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
11:00 AM  28th Annual Kuumba Festival
12:00 PM 7th Annual Mariachi Festival
1:00 PM  Music: Kembang Sunda Gamelan
2:00 PM Acting Shakespeare Panel
2:00 PM Stage: She Loves Me
3:00 PM Los Angeles Balalaika Orchestra
7:00 PM Music: Irving Flores Afro-Cuban Jazz Quartet
7:00 PM Stage: Dream Hou$e
7:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
7:30 PM Music: Miguel Zenón Quartet
Monday, Mar 2
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
7:30 PM Stage: Winston Churchill
8:00 PM Music: iLe
Tuesday, Mar 3
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
9:45 AM Classics 4 Kids: Ferdinand The Bull
11:30 AM Classics 4 Kids: Ferdinand The Bull
6:30 PM  Talk About Series: Venezuela - What Does It Mean To Live in a Failed State?
7:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
7:30 PM Stage: Winston Churchill
Wednesday, Mar 4
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
9:45 AM Classics 4 Kids: Ferdinand The Bull
11:30 AM Classics 4 Kids: Ferdinand The Bull
7:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
7:30 PM  Music: ABBA Mania
Thursday, Mar 5
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
9:45 AM Classics 4 Kids: Ferdinand The Bull
11:30 AM Classics 4 Kids: Ferdinand The Bull
3:00 PM Kumeyaay Rock Art in the San Diego Region
6:00 PM Talk: Diversity in Medicine Lecture
7:00 PM USD Mariachi Showcase Opening Night
8:00 PM Stage: House of Joy
8:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
Friday, Mar 6
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
9:00 AM Amnesty International Annual Human Rights Conference
9:45 AM Classics 4 Kids: Ferdinand The Bull
11:30 AM Classics 4 Kids: Ferdinand The Bull
5:00 PM Contemporary Chinese Photography in Conversation
6:30 PM USD Mariachi Student Showcase
7:00 PM  12th Annual Brasil Jazz Festa
7:30 PM Stage: Orestes 2.0
8:00 PM Stage: House of Joy
8:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
8:00 PM Stage: She Loves Me
Saturday, Mar 7
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
9:00 AM Amnesty International Annual Human Rights Conference
6:00 PM Stage: The Cabinet of Tia-Juana
6:30 PM USD Mariachi Professional Showcase Grand Finale
7:00 PM Italian Film: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
7:30 PM Stage: Orestes 2.0
8:00 PM Stage: House of Joy
8:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
8:00 PM Stage: She Loves Me
9:00 PM Stage: The Cabinet of Tia-Juana
Sunday, Mar 8
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
9:30 AM Amnesty International Annual Human Rights Conference
11:00 AM National City International Mariachi Festival
1:00 PM Finding Difficult Passengers on the Eillis Island Manifests
2:00 PM Documentary Film: Beyle
2:00 PM Stage: She Loves Me
7:00 PM Stage: Hurricane Diane
Monday, Mar 9
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
4:00 PM Talk: A Journey Through Turbulent Times - China and America
Chongqing Hot Pot the Authentic Way!
The Participant Observer Recipe of the Month is Chongqing Hot Pot. A great party dish to share with friends. We give you the low down on all the variations and styles. It looks like a soup, but it is not eaten like one. Everything is dipped in a sour and savory sauce before consuming.

Hot pot cooking

Chongqing is a major city in southwest China. Administratively, it is one of China's four direct-controlled municipalities (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and is the only such municipality in inland China. The Yangtze and Jialing rivers flow through the city making it a busy trade entrepot. In days gone by, the city had many many ports and docks.

Chaotian Men (meaning "a door at the top of the sky") port was and is the busiest port in Chongqing. It is located where the Yangtze and Jialing rivers meet. Historically, there were many slaughterhouses operated by the Hui people, who lived there. The Hui people are one of the 56 officially recognized minorities in China. Hui don't generally eat organ meats or sweetbreads, so these parts were often simply discarded. Poorer boatmen and sailors, who couldn't afford fresh meat from the market, collected the discarded meats and cooked them in a big pot of water spiced with chilies making the first Chongqing hot pot. It is now a dish (and style of eating) that is enjoyed by people of all socio-economic levels and ethnic origins throughout China.

There are at least 5 main varieties of hot pot in China.

Traditional Beijing hot pot known as Shuàn yáng ròu (instant-boiled lamb), a fragrant, mild broth is made in a large brass pot heated by burning charcoal set inside a central chimney. Nowadays it is more common to use a gas burner instead of charcoal.

Another variation is Chongqing má là (Chongqing numb and spicy) hot pot, to which Sichuan pepper (known here as prickly ash) is used. Combined with spicy ingredients like chili, it creates a sensation on the tongue that is both spicy hot and mouth numbing. In order to help diners find the meat and vegetables they want to eat next, a multi-sectioned frame is placed in the cooking pot and only one type of ingredient is cooked in each section. To say that the residents of Chongqing are fond of their hot pot would be an understatement. Every year, they host a hot pot festival in which tens of thousands of people participate. In addition to nearly one thousand regular hot pots in this festival, there is a giant hot pot that is 30 feet in diameter and three feet tall holding almost 3 tons of hot pot!

Normally, Chongqing hot pot seasoning is spicy, while in the Beijing variety, the soup is much milder. The dipping sauces differ as well. In the south, people prefer sesame oil and black vinegar whereas in the north, especially in Beijing, simple sesame paste is favored.

In Yunnan, in southwest China, spicy seasoning is popular but wild ingredients and vegetarian ingredients figure more prominently, particularly mushrooms. This type of hot pot is called Jùn gu (means fungi and mushrooms) hot pot or Jùn gu stew. In this kind of hot pot, people rarely use meat.

Manchurian hot pot uses plenty of Suan cai (Chinese sauerkraut) to make the pot's stew sour. Thinly sliced pork is a main ingredient in this variation.

Lastly, a Cantonese variation includes mixing a raw egg with the condiments which is thought to reduce the amount of 'heat' absorbed by the food, thereby reducing the likelihood of a sore throat according to Chinese herbalist theories. Yet another variant includes the use of rice congee (rice porridge) instead of stock. Cantonese hot pot also uses more sea food, such as fish balls and geoduck clams.

Besides these 5 main variations, many other emerging styles of hot pot can be found throughout mainland China, such as fish head hot pot, goose feet hot pot, and rabbit hot pot.

Hot pot tastes different from restaurant to restaurant because there is no established essentials for seasoning a hot pot or ingredients that are cooked or the sauces used. Each restaurant concocts their own hot pot seasoning and these are often considered to be "trade secrets."

Chinese hot pot is always cooked at the dinner table. There really is no other practical way to cook it. It is cooked either in a "steamboat" (with a central chimney like in Beijing style) or a very large pot. Actually the chimney style hot pots that are locally available are too small to use if you have more than a couple of diners, so pull out the large pot if you have a party! You can use an induction heater with an iron pot (safest by far), a portable electric or gas stove, or an electric pot.

Hot Pot Ingredients
Lots of Ingredients!

Ingredients:

Please note: Giving exact amounts of individual ingredients for this dish is not very helpful because you must adjust the amounts to the number of diners and also according to what ingredients are available and what diner's prefer. See pictures for reference. Chinese often use organ meats when they cook hot pot

Ingredient suggestions
Meat - thinly sliced pork, beef, lamb and or chicken
Seafood - shrimp, squid, octopus
Quail eggs (available in cans)
Seafood balls (these come in quite a variety)
Fried tofu
Vegetables - leafy greens, mushrooms, squash, winter melon, bean sprouts etc.
Root vegetables (all in quarter inch slices) - potatoes, taro, shanyao (or Japanese nagaimo)
Noodles (your choice)
Chinese hot pot seasoning (Chongqing is the hottest, Sichuan is a bit milder. Little Sheep hot pot seasoning comes in mild and spicy versions.)

Dipping Sauce:
garlic (to taste)
Chinese black vinegar
Chinese sesame oil (or substitute Japanese sesame oil)

Preparation:

Prepare Dipping Sauce:
  1. Peel and crush several cloves of garlic (more or less to taste).
  2. Put about 1/8 of a cup of black vinegar and the same amount of sesame oil in each diner's bowl.
  3. Add crushed garlic to each bowl.
Prepare Hot Pot:
  1. Slice meat and vegetables into thin slices, and set aside on individual plates.
  2. Fill 2/3 of the hot pot with water and stir in seasoning mix.
  3. Bring hot pot to a boil.
  4. Add a portion of each hot pot ingredient to the pot (not everything at once!). Note: different ingredients require different cooking times. Test doneness! Also be careful not to overcook the shanyao as it will become mushy and break apart. Warning: The yolks of quail eggs remain liquid even after they are fully cooked. As such when you bite into one, the yolk might stick to the roof of your mouth and burn you. Please be careful, if necessary let the eggs cool for a few minutes in your bowl!
  5. As each ingredient reaches doneness, each diner can take from the hot pot what they want. Lightly dip the cooked ingredients in the dipping sauce and enjoy!

Recipe by Xuedi (aka "Gina") Yuan
Photos by Kim Douwes
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