Your 5-Step Guide To Preparing Steamboat At Home This CNY

how to organise hotpot

In a blink of an eye and it’s the Chinese New Year season again! During this festive season, most Singaporeans follow a series of CNY customs and traditions, which includes having a reunion dinner! This annual affair sees families and friends catching up over a meal, usually in the form of a steamboat. But rather than spending hours queuing at a restaurant, why not enjoy your steamboat at home instead? With the right steamboat equipment and a list of ingredients, you can whip up a Singapore-style steamboat meal in no time! Read on for our step-by-step guide and useful tips on how to organise your very own steamboat party at home.

Checklist for preparing steamboat at home this 2024

What you need Recommended items Price
Steamboat pot Mayer Steamboat Induction Cooker MMIC1619 $65.90
Cornell Yuan Yang Pot $52.80
IONA 2 In 1 Steamboat and BBQ Grill $79.90 – $89.90
Hot pot base HAI DI LAO Hot Pot Sauce $3.80
Beauty In The Pot
Food People Soup Base $12.90 – $19.90
Souper Home Cook Soup Base $17.78 – $17.90
Meat Sanuki Wagyu Beef Shabu $104.90
Pork Belly $7.80
Fresh Chicken Fillets $6.66
Seafood Fresh Red Grouper Fillet $19.50
Jumbo Japanese Scallops $36.80
Large Black Tiger Prawn $21.90
Yoshihama Abalone $15.84 – $36.80
Mushrooms Enoki (100g) $0.69
Shiitake (250g) $2.56
White Button (1kg) $13.90
Hon-Shimeiji (150g) $1.43
Vegetables Chinese Spinach (200g) $3.00
Chinese Cabbage (200g) $1.50
Fresh Corn (2/pack) $3.50
Fresh Yam (850g – 1kg) $9.50
Fresh Pumpkin (850g – 1kg) $4.10
Chilled pre-cooked food Fried Fish Cake (230g) $3.25
Cooked Fishball (500g) $3.95
Fish Ball With Roe (500g) $9.50
Cheese Tofu (200g) $3.74
Noodles Glass Noodles (1kg) $9.30
Frozen Udon 5P $6.90
Condiments Lao Gan Ma Chili $2.95 – $3.35
Roasted Sesame Dressing (500ml) $10.58
Drinks Asahi Kuronama Beer (24 x 350ml) $94.06
Sapporo Premium Draft Beer (24 x 330ml) $62.90
Pokka Jasmine Green Tea (24 x 300ml) $16.70
Minute Maid Qoo White Grape (12 x 300ml) $10.50

A simple guide on how to prepare a steamboat at home

1. Get your hands on good steamboat equipment

steamboat at home
(Credit: Cera / Unsplash)

Before you go all out, you must first ensure you’ve got the right steamboat apparatuses. This means getting a reliable cooker that can boil and cook all your steamboat ingredients. In Singapore, most coffeeshops and hawker stalls opt for portable gas stoves for better heat control. However, this requires regular replacement of gas canisters which is often a hassle. To avoid this, do yourself a favour and get a portable induction cooker instead.

In particular, we recommend the Mayer Steamboat Induction Cooker MMIC1619 (available on Mayer Official Store)! This Mayer induction cooker comes with a user-friendly knob and eight power levels for easy operation and efficient cooking. Want to enjoy two steamboat flavours at the same time? If so, remember to get the Cornell Yuan Yang Pot (available on Cornell Singapore Official Store)! Alternatively, go for the IONA 2 In 1 Steamboat and BBQ Grill (available on Iona Official Store) to have the best of both worlds! If you’re still undecided, be sure to check out our comprehensive list of the best steamboat pots in Singapore to cook your ingredients in!

2. Pick your favourite broth

steamboat at home mala broth
(Credit: Luna Wang / Unsplash)

Gone are the days when you had to spend countless hours brewing your favourite broths with stock! From tangy tomatoes to umami mushrooms, there are countless pre-packaged soup bases available for you to choose from. Here are some recommended brands for the best soup bases in Singapore to steep your steamboat ingredients in.

  • Haidilao

One of the best-selling broths is undoubtedly the Haidilao Mala Spicy Hot Pot Soup Base (available on Scarlett Supermarke 思家客国货超市 Offical)! Adapted from the authentic Sichuan mala, this mala soup base will leave your tongue with a tingling yet satisfying sensation. Alternatively, consider other mouth-watering Haidilao broths such as tomato, shrimp, and mushroom to diversify your steamboat flavours.

  • Beauty In The Pot

Popular hotpot restaurant Beauty In The Pot is another place where you can get the best soup bases as your steamboat ingredients in Singapore. In particular, we love their exotic Vitamin C Tomato Sweet Corn Broth and Cooling Coconut Broth which goes well together with pork bellies and mushrooms. 

  • Food People 

Online retailer Food People is another great option for steamboat soup bases — a core steamboat ingredient in Singapore. Specifically, we love their Collagen Soup Base (available on Food People Official Store) which has such a rich and intense taste that you’ll want more after every sip. Their Spicy Mala Soup Base (available on Food People Official Store) also packs a punch with its mouth-numbing yet insatiable taste.

  • Souper Home Cook

Looking to try something out of the ordinary? Then you’ve got to try the Asian-inspired soup bases from local brand Souper Home Cook! Its stocks are made without MSG and contain ingredients such as kelp, anchovies and bonito flakes — all individually packed. Its bestsellers are the Shiitake Dashi Soup Base and Bonito Soup Base (both available on Souper Home Cook Official Store), both of which are packed with antioxidants, calcium, and minerals.

3. Snag the freshest steamboat ingredients in Singapore

  • Meat

steamboat at home meat
(Credit: Esperanza Zhang / Unsplash)

Those in Singapore preparing a steamboat definitely can’t miss out on some meat! Dip some thinly-sliced Sanuki Wagyu Beef (available on MEATLOVERS) and Pre-cut Pork Belly (available on Tasty Food Affair) into the broth and watch them simmer. And don’t forget to add some Fresh Chicken Fillets (available on Kee Song Official Store) to enhance the broth’s flavour.

If you want to save some time on food prep, why not get your steamboat meat from some of our trusted meat delivery vendors in Singapore instead? These vendors can help you save some valuable time and provide you with some fresh juicy cuts of meat. They include: Meat Mekanik Pte Ltd, CS FoodsLeong Hup Food Pte Ltd, Mmmm! Singapore and Meat Pride Official Store — just to name a few!

  • Seafood

steamboat at home seafood pot
(Credit: ccusong / Pixabay)

To add some natural sweetness to your steamboats, make sure to have some seafood ingredients! Our personal favourite is the Fresh Red Grouper Fillet (available on TankFully Fresh Official Store) as it goes well with an assortment of broths. If you’re feeling generous, you can also consider adding some Jumbo Japanese Scallops (available on SilverSea Mall Official Store) or Large Black Tiger Prawns (available on PickMe Official Store) to your steamboat. With so many options out there, there’s no shortage of premium seafood to complement your steamboat experience at home. And if you’re ever feeling lazy, you can opt for some fresh seafood delivery in Singapore. Sourcing steamboat ingredients has never been this easy!

  • Abalones

steamboat ingredients list abalone
(Credit: La La / Unsplash)

No CNY steamboat at home is complete without some auspicious abalones! Get spoilt for choice with options like Yoshihama Abalone (available on Good Lady Official Store) and New Moon Abalone Treasure Pot (available on Watsons Singapore Official Store) at your fingertips. With these in the mix, your steamboat at home gets a savoury edge that will garner raving reviews. Looking to impress your relatives and friends even more? Then make use of the best canned abalones and follow these easy abalone recipes!

  • Mushrooms

steamboat ingredients list mushroom
(Credit: Andrew Ridley / Unsplash)

To get an extra umami kick, consider adding some mushrooms to your list of steamboat ingredients at home! Those who prefer a noodle-like texture can go with Enoki Mushrooms. On the other hand, Shiitake Mushrooms will help to provide a fibrous and earthy taste to your steamboat. Otherwise, White Button Mushrooms and Hon-Shimeiji Mushrooms (all available on IWantVeggies Flagship Store) are good choices that will elevate your steamboat experience at home.

  • Vegetables

steamboat ingredients list vegetable
(Credit: Solare Flares / Pexels)

Veggies are definitely an essential component for enjoying a square meal! There are a diversity of common vegetables to get for steamboat parties at home such as winter melon, carrots, Chinese Spinach, Chinese Cabbage and Corn. For the adventurous souls, you could include Yam and Pumpkin (all available on Market Boy Official Store) to add some strong and sweet flavour to the broth.

  • Chilled pre-cooked food

dodo fishball steamboat at home
(Credit: Enjoy DoDo Official Store)

For most soupy Asian dishes and steamboats at home, you can’t go wrong with pre-cooked seafood like Fried Fish Cakes (available on Enjoy DoDo Official Store) and Cooked Fishballs (available on BoBo Fishball Official Store). If you’re looking for a surprise in every bite, then opt for the Fishballs With Roe (available on FoodSMart Official Store) and Cheese Tofu (available on Enjoy DoDo Official Store)! Bursting with flavours, these options are popular steamboat ingredients in Singapore that are simply too good to pass.

  • Noodles

steamboat ingredients noodle
(Credit: montatip lilitsanong / Unsplash)

Don’t worry carb fans, we haven’t forgotten about you! Noodles are one of the staples inside the list of steamboat ingredients in Singapore. They come in many shapes and sizes and fit in nicely with your steamboat meal! Slurp up some Glass Noodles (available on Hanguk Kitchen SG) and Udon Noodles (available on DON DON DONKI Official Store) for an added chewy and flavourful texture. Simply irresistible!

4. Prepare condiments for the dipping sauce

steamboat at home sauce condiments
(Credit: Luna Wang / Unsplash)

The broth is enough to make the ingredients taste good but if you are looking for extra zing, you could try using dipping sauces like the all-time favourites Lao Gan Ma Chilli Sauce (available on Scarlett Supermarke 思家客国货超市 Offical) or Roasted Sesame Sauce (available on Prestigio Delights Official). To make your steamboat experience at home more legit, mix your own sauces like how you usually do at restaurants! Here’s an easy dipping sauce recipe for you to perk up your steamboat at home. Simply top up your regular sesame sauce with some green onions, cilantro, and sesame oil. This will make your sauce taste nutty yet fragrant at the same time. You can even chop up some chilli padi into the sauce to spice it up!

5. Order drinks to cool yourself down

steamboat at home beer alcohol
(Credit: Couleur / Pixabay)

After you’re done shopping for steamboat ingredients in Singapore, it’s time to complete the meal with some refreshing drinks. Go for an Asahi Kuronama Beer or a Sapporo Premium Draft Beer to soothe the spiciness of the mala broth. If that’s not enough, crank it up a notch and mix them with fruit juice or soda to create an invigorating glass of beer cocktail! Not a fan of alcohol? Opt for Pokka Jasmine Green Tea or Qoo White Grape (all available on Shopee Supermarket) to cleanse your palate instead. With a refreshed appetite, you can now continue feasting on your CNY steamboat at home!

Why do people have steamboat during Chinese New Year?

steamboat at home
(Credit: WenBin / Pexels)

Back in the day, many Chinese families were living and working in various cities scattered across the country. As transportation was expensive, the only opportunity for members to head back to their homes was during the CNY period. When reunited, family members would gather together and enjoy a steamboat with an extravagant spread of meats and vegetables. This is based on the belief that bountiful food would usher in wealth for the family in the upcoming year.

Enjoy the convenience of a steamboat at home this CNY

With everything prepared, the final (and most important) touch would be the presence of good company. It can be as intimate as a 1-on-1 meal or a steamboat party of five guests. While doing meal prep, you can also enjoy having small chit-chats to learn more about others. Who knows, you might just find a buddy or two with similar tastes and preferences!

Armed with this handy guide, it’s time to set forth and plan a steamboat gathering! But if you still prefer to have your steamboat outside rather than at home, then here are our recommended best hotpot places to do so. Besides steamboats, indulge in some of the best bak kwa and best pen cai in Singapore for the best CNY ever! Additionally, huat your way into the new year with these mahjong gifts that you can get for your loved ones!

This article was updated on 7 February 2024. Additional research done by Caryn Tan.