|Alternative names||Spicy soup, 胡辣汤|
|Place of origin||Henan|
|Region or state||Xi'an, Henan|
|Main ingredients||Beef broth, capsicum, black pepper|
Hulatang (胡辣汤), or Hu La Tang, is a kind of Chinese traditional soup, which is an important part of Chinese people's daily diet. Hulatang can also be found in the United States, where it is known as spicy soup. It was introduced by Chinese American immigrants.
Hulatang was invented by people in Henan province. It can be divided into two different genres. The one is Xiaoyao Zhen (a town near Zhoukou City), the other is Beiwudu. As the name implies, capsicum and black pepper are put into the broth made by beef soup.
Past and present
The invention of Hulatang can be dated back to the ancient dynasties of China. There is no record of who first cooked it. However, pepper was brought to China during the Tang Dynasty. According to records, the ingredients used were similar to present day recipes. In addition to pepper, some herbs and flavorings such as ginger, aniseed and fennel are added into the boiling soup to improve the flavour and make it spicy and hot. The taste makes people feel a warm current throughout their whole bodies.
In modern China, especially for northern people, Hu La Tang is one of the most popular elements of breakfast. In the morning, people get up early so they can go out and eat the soup before working and studying. A bowl of soup usually starts at 4 Yuan, but can be more expensive depending on the fame of the restaurant, quality and variety of its ingredients.