Spicy Hotpot At Home

Hotpot (or Steamboat), depending on which Asian country you are from, is a very popular dish and cooking method, originating from China. A simmering soup stock is placed at the centre of a dining table surrounded by thinly sliced raw foods (meats & vegetables) that are then poached and cooked in the broth. There are so many different style broths and a plethora of ingredients and accompaniments to have with a hotpot, so what I'm going to be sharing is a very much 'Choose Your Own Hotpot' adventure style recipe. 

Whilst hotpot isn't technically a traditional Lunar New Year dish, I thought it would be the perfect dish for you to try at home because firstly, it's easier than you think, fun, delicious and interactive because everyone eating has to cook the food at the table. It genuinely brings people together, which is why it's one of my favourite dishes when celebrating with family.

Serves 4-6
Ingredients 12
Cooking Time 1-2 hours
Skill Level Easy

There are 4 main parts to the hotpot:

The Stock
  • The base liquid cooked using bones from meat or vegetables which becomes the broth for the hotpot
The Broth Topping
  • A blend of aromatics and spices finely minced, fried till fragrant and added into the stock just before serving.
The Hotpot Accompaniments
  • A whole assortment of meats, proteins, vegetables and noodles that you can choose to poach into your hotpot.
The Hotpot Cooking Process
  • An interactive cooking process where you cook everything at the dining table with your guests and eat as you cook.

Watch the process




  • 1kg of your choice of bones (either pork, beef, chicken or fish)
  • 2 Tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of palm or white sugar
  • 3 star anise
  • 6 cardamom pods (crushed with the back of your knife)
  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • 2 stalks of spring onion
  • 1 piece of ginger, cut into slices
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2-20 dried chillies, depending on how hot you like it
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut in half

Hotpot Broth Toppings

  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 stalks of spring onion
  • 1 small piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Chilli Oil
  • 2 teaspoons of Sichuan peppercorns

Hotpot Accompaniments

  • Meat - Your choice of thinly sliced meat (beef, pork, lamb, chicken). You local Asian grocer will sell these pre-sliced and frozen in packs which is convenient, otherwise you can slice this yourself or ask your butcher. For this recipe I've used pork belly and wagyu beef.
  • Vegetables - you can use any vegetables, just make sure it is cut into bite sized pieces. My favourites to use are:
    • Bok Choy
    • Mustard Leaves
    • Choy Sum
    • Chinese Broccoli
    • Lotus Root
    • Sugar Snap Peas
    • Spring Onion
    • Chinese Cabbage Wombok
    • Carrot
    • Snow Peas
  • Other proteins (vegan/vegetarian friendly)
    • Enoki Mushrooms
    • Black or White Fungus
    • Baby King Oyster Mushrooms
    • Fried Tofu Puffs
  • Noodles - You can use any type of noodles, below are my favourites to use:
    • Rice Vermicelli - Thin white noodles made from rice
    • Udon Noodles - Thick Japanese noodles made from wheat flour
    • Cellophane/ Glass Noodles - Super transparent and thin noodles made from mung beans.


Making the stock

  1. To cook your stock, place your pork bones into a stockpot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, drain the bones into a colander in your sink and discard the liquid. Also give your pot a quick rinse/clean. By initially blanching the bones you get rid of most of the impurities and will get a clearer stock at the end of the process than if you didn't do this.
  2. Place the bones back into your stock pot and fill the pot with a few litres (or as much as your pot can hold) of cold water. Then add in your choice of aromatics and spices.
  3. Heat back on the stove on high and once boiling, lower to a low simmer and cook for an hour or so until your stock is flavoursome. Every 20 minutes or so, use a sieve or large spoon to skim off the scum and impurities floating along the top of the stock. Repeat until completely clear.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove as much of the bones and aromatics from the stock, and then strain the stock into another pot to remove everything so you have a clear, smooth stock. Use a sieve of spoon to remove any final impurities. You will have more stock than you need for a hotpot, so i recommend freezing the leftover in containers to use for your next hotpot craving or any soups in the future!
  5. To season your stock, add in some sugar ( I usually use palm sugar but white is fine too) soy sauce, sesame oil and a dash of fish sauce to make the broth slightly sweet, salty and savoury.

Hotpot Broth Toppings

  1. Clean and peel all of your aromatics. If using a food processor, roughly chop them before blitzing into a rough paste consistency. Otherwise finely chop all ingredients using a knife until you get a similar consistency.
  2. Heat a pan with oil, add in all of the paste, a few generous tablespoons of chilli oil and stir fry for about 5 minutes on medium or until the paste turns golden and fragrant. Remove most of the paste into a small jar/bowl (you can freeze for future hotpots) and leave behind two heaped tablespoons for the hotpot you're about to eat.

Hotpot Accompaniments

  1. Cook your noodles as per packet instructions, once cooked strain and rinse using warm water in a colander until ready to serve.
  2. Prepare your accompaniments, making sure the meat is thinly sliced and the vegetables are cut into bite sized portions.

Cooking Process

  1. To cook hotpot you will need either an induction cooktop or a portable gas burner placed in the centre of your dining table, so that you will be able to cook all of your ingredients at the table and maintain a boiling broth.
  2. Place all accompaniments around the hot plate and set a bowl, chopsticks and soup spoon for each person, as well as tongs, a ladle and slotted spoon for the hotpot.
  3. Now ladle in 2 litres or so of your stock back into the pot/pan that you want to use as your hotpot vessel, and add in 2 tablespoons of the broth topping and bring to a boil. 
  4. Carefully transfer your pot/pan of the hotpot broth onto the hotplate and heat to a simmer. 
  5. To cook, Simply place your choice of ingredients one by one from the longest to cook to shortest so that they will all be ready to pull out at the same time. Generally place touch vegetables (greens, carrots) in first, then soft vegetables and proteins (tofu, mushrooms).
  6. Place in your meats and seafoods in last just as you are about to eat as they will only need 30 seconds to cook.
  7. Place some noodles of your choice into your bowl. Spoon in the meats and vegetables that have been poaching, and ladle over a few spoonful's of the broth until you get a mini noodle soup. Eat immediately and continue to cook and eat until you're full!

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