Going by Hai Di Lao and Beauty In The Pot’s lengthy queues, it’s clear Singaporeans love steamboat for dinner. Since Chinese New Year 2021 is just around the corner, one can surely expect hotpot to feature on CNY reunion dinner menus. If you dread jostling with crowds with your family in tow, have steamboat at home instead! Not sure how to get started with your DIY hotpot dinner? Read on for our step-by-step guide and useful tips on how to organise a steamboat party at home!
1. Get a good steamboat pot
Before buying steamboat ingredients in Singapore for steamboat at home, you must have the right pot. Most steamboat fans swear by portable gas stoves that allow you to control flame intensities! To avoid the fuss of replacing the gas canisters after every meal, get yourself an induction cooker. This Mistral induction cooker (available on Mistral Official Store) allows for fast cooking, is easy to clean and has a multi-safety protection system that prevents accidental short circuits and electrical fires. Still unsure on which one to get? Check out this guide to picking the best steamboat pot in Singapore for more ideas!
2. Pick your favourite broth
The wide variety of hot pot and steamboat broths out there means you no longer have to spend hours brewing your favourite broths. Sellers such as Hai Di Lao and Food People Official Store have pre-packaged their soup bases for sale, which you can easily use for your steamboat at home! Our best-selling broth is undoubtedly the Hai Di Lao Spicy Sauce (available on Hai Di Lao) — a hit amongst Singaporeans who love spicy food!
3. Select your hotpot ingredients
Among all the steamboat ingredients in Singapore, meat and seafood stands out because of its popularity. Cuts like wagyu shabu (available on MEATLOVERS), pork belly (available on Tasty Food Affair) and chicken fillets (available on Kee Song) are often used in steamboats because they boost the broth’s overall flavour. However, if you’re seeking an all-in-one package for your convenience, check out these marinated chicken and shabu shabu platter listings (both available on SL Foods Official Store)! Pro tip: Cut the meat into thin slices so it can be quickly and evenly cooked.
Want natural sweetness in your steamboats? Make sure to prioritise seafood ingredients! When it comes to seafood, our personal favourite is salmon (available on Snow Treasures) as it goes well with an assortment of broth flavours. For those keen on more seafood variety, we have you covered. From Japanese scallops (available on SilverSea Mall Official Store) to tiger prawns (available on Ah Hock Kelong), there’s no shortage of quality seafood to complement your steamboat home experience.
For extra an umami kick in your broth, we suggest mushrooms based on your preferred textures. For example, if you prefer a noodle-like texture you can go with enoki (available on GrocerKing Official Store) or if you want something thicker and with some flavour of its own, you can go for the shiitake. Other common mushrooms include button, straw (our personal favourite) and king oyster mushroom (available on GrocerKing Official Store).
Common steamboat vegetables include napa cabbages, baby bok choy, carrots, spinach, winter melon, and corn (available on GrocerKing Official Store). These will be enough to get you started with a simple meal but if you want more variety of hotpot ingredients, you could include stronger flavours such as pumpkin (available on GrocerKing Official Store) and taro.
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 fish balls (available on MingFa Fishball Official Store). Similarly, for those who like ingredients with filling, balls with fish roe and cheese tofu (available on BoBo Fishball Official Store) are popular steamboat ingredients in Singapore that are worth a try!
Don’t worry carb fans, we haven’t forgotten about you! Noodles are one of the most popular choice for steamboat ingredients in Singapore. They come in many shapes and sizes and fit in nicely with your hotpot meal! We’d particularly recommend adding glass noodles (available on Hanguk Kitchen SG) and udon noodles (available on Oriental Food & Services Official Store) as they are better able to absorb the broth’s flavour. This makes them the go-to choice for your diverse array of soups and steamboat ingredients.
4. Prepare condiments for the dipping sauce
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 spicy mala sauce (available on Food People Official Store) or roasted sesame sauce (available on FirstShoppie). To make your steamboat experience at home more legit, mix your own sauces like how you usually do at restuarants! 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 chili padi into the sauce to spice it up!
5. Order drinks to cool yourself down
No shopping experience for steamboat ingredients in Singapore is complete without a good selection of drinks. All the heat is bound to get you sipping on a nice cold drink to cool down your taste buds. If you love alcohol, go for Asahi with the Japanese Suki-Yaki soup base or get a Taiwan beer (available on S-Mart by Shopee Official Store) to soothe the spiciness of the mala broth. If you don’t fancy alcohol, opt for green tea or winter melon tea (available on Food People Official Store) to cleanse your palate so you can have more appetite to continue feasting!
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to stock up on beverages for your steamboat at home, Shopee has a good selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks going at affordable prices.
(Bonus): Quick, fuss-free hotpots for busy or lazy days
Organising a last-minute hotpot party? We have you covered! Introducing the Instant Noodles of Hotpot: The Self-Heat Lazy Mala Hotpot (available on ilove_eat). In addition to its various condiments, it also comes with a heat pack so you can prepare your mini-hotpot within minutes! To clarify, the mini-hotpot serving is just right for one person so order more if you’re inviting a larger group. Overall, we still recommend the actual thing as this is a preview of the flavours that a genuine steamboat can provide.
Enjoy the convenience of steamboat at home this Chinese New Year
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 eight guests. This is because the beauty of hotpot and steamboat is that you get to chit-chat during meal prep, unlike à la carte meals. Bonus points if you find someone who loves the same flavours as you do!
Armed with this handy guide and access to our collection of CNY steamboat products, it’s time to set forth and plan a hotpot gathering! Don’t live near a supermarket? Fret not, these meat delivery services and seafood vendors deliver the freshest steamboat ingredients in Singapore right to your doorstep! Alternatively, if you can’t decide on what to buy for your steamboat at home, these steamboat delivery restaurants offer steamboat packages and platters for various group sizes and taste buds. Enjoy!
This article was updated on 13 January 2021. Additional research done by Bryant Tay.