10 Best Steamboat Soup Recipes + 6 Dipping Sauces

We love our steamboats. Surely, it is the go-to choice for celebrating Chinese New Year, home dinners and impromptu get-togethers as we gather around the hot pot to cook and chat while having fun.

Steamboat is appealing also because it’s easy to prepare. In this blog post, we present 10 easy and hassle-free steamboat soup recipes, dipping sauces, and some must-have tips for steamboat preparation. The best part – you can even prepare for a steamboat as late as one day before the gathering, especially with online supermarkets that deliver groceries right to your doorstep.

Preparing steamboat is quick and hassle-free

For busy Singaporeans, steamboats are particularly popular because they don’t require much preparation work. For a steamboat feast, you only need to prepare the stock, slice up the ingredients, get some basic condiments for diners to mix their own dipping sauces, and you’re ready to go.

You’ll be serving mostly fresh ingredients to be cooked at the table so you don’t have to slave away for hours in the kitchen. And compared to catering or delivery/take-out, steamboat is relatively inexpensive and give your guests more satisfaction of being served with home-cooked food.

Suiting everyone’s taste

The variety of ingredients used for a steamboat makes it so popular because every diner can indulge in his or her favourite food. Steamboat blends the best of these ingredients, resulting in a tasty and irresistible broth.

Steamboat is probably one of the healthiest meals you can have during this festive season because the ingredients often are sources of vitamin and protein.

Just make sure to watch the amount of dipping sauce you consume, as bottled sauces can contain high amounts of salt and sugar. No matter how yummy or tasty, don’t over-drink the steamboat soup, which can become laden with sodium by the end of the meal.

So as the days turn shorter and the weather turns stormy, gather your friends, family and loved ones for a steaming, bubbling and comforting feast. Look no further, we’ve hand-picked 10 steamboat soup base recipes for you.

Ranging from the traditional to the exotic, these steamboat stock recipes are quick and easy to make while also being absolutely delicious.

10 Steamboat Stock Recipes:

  • Herbal Chicken Steamboat Soup Recipe
  • Jpot Superior Steamboat Broth Recipe
  • Jpot Vegetarian Steamboat Broth Recipe
  • Mala Steamboat Soup Recipe
  • Laksa Steamboat Soup Recipe
  • Kimchi Steamboat Soup Recipe
  • Satay Sauce Steamboat Soup Recipe
  • Tom Yum Steamboat Soup Recipe
  • Sukiyaki Steamboat Soup Recipe
  • Umami Soy Milk Steamboat Soup Recipe

Herbal Chicken Steamboat Soup Recipe

Photo by: Xinzi Rao

Serves: 4 to 6 | Prep and cooking time: about 2.5 hours

This hearty soup base derives its flavour from a combination of pork bone, chicken and Chinese herbs. The secret lies in simmering the soup for sufficient time, which allows the herbs to impart its sweetness to the broth. When used for steamboat, this broth can entice all diners because of its richness resulted from diverse ingredients. Get the full recipe from Coaster Kitchen.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can also use the pre-packaged herbal mixtures if you don’t have the time to visit the Chinese medicine hall.

Ingredients required:

  • Chicken carcass (1)
  • Pork bone (about 500g)
  • Red dates, pitted (15)
  • Dried longan, pitted (15)
  • Angelica sinensis (dong quai, 当归) (8)
  • Discorea yam (huai san, 淮山) (3)
  • Codonopsis pinadula (dang shen, 党参) (1 to 2)
  • Solomon’s seal (yu zhu, 玉竹) (20gm)
  • Goji berries (枸杞)(1 tbsp)
  • Water (4 litres)
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Rinse dried herbs with water, drain and set aside.
  2. Blanch pork bone for 10 mins, and chicken carcass for 5 mins. Drain and set aside.
  3. Bring 4 litres of water to boil. Add blanched pork bone and chicken carcass, and rinsed herbs (except goji berries).
  4. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours.
  5. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Strain soup and transfer to steamboat pot.
  7. Add goji berries just before the steamboat starts.

Local hotpot restaurant chain Jpot has been generously sharing its steamboat stock recipes via the Internet, and we love the simplicity of these following recipes.

Jpot Superior Steamboat Broth Recipe

Photo by: Cory Doctorow

Serves: 4 | Prep and cooking time: about 3.5 hours

This fuss-free recipe combines pork and chicken for a simple and tasty steamboat stock. Get the full recipe from Jpot Restaurant via Shape.com.

Ingredients required:

  • Water (5 litres)
  • Pork (500g)
  • Pig’s leg bone (1kg)
  • Chicken (500g)
  • White pepper to taste


  1. Bring water to boil on high heat.
  2. Add pork, pork bone and chicken. Boil for 3 minutes, and remove scum floating on top.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours.
  4. Add a dash for pepper before serving.

Jpot Vegetarian Steamboat Broth Recipe (Vegetarian Version)

Photo By: Michelle Tribe

Serves: 4 | Prep and cooking time: about 3.5 hours

This next Chinese steamboat soup recipe from Jpot is not only easy to make, but it’s also suitable for vegetarians. For this broth, the main ingredients are starchy tubers, which are simmered to extract their natural sweetness and flavour. Get the full recipe from Jpot Restaurant via Shape.com.

Ingredients required:

  • Water (3 litres)
  • Carrots (200g)
  • Turnip (300g)
  • Mao bamboo cane root (2 sprigs)
  • Chestnuts (100g)


  1. Bring water to boil on high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add all ingredients.
  3. Simmer for 3 hours before serving.

Mala Steamboat Soup Recipe

Photo by: linan0827 via Wikimedia Commons

Serves: 4 to 6 | Prep and cooking time: about 1.5 hours

Here’s a Taiwanese-style Mala Steamboat recipe to delight your guests. The recipe uses herbs, spices and dried longan for a subtle sweetness, which matches well with various steamboat ingredients. Although this recipe is packed with spices, don’t worry about burning your tongue. Get the full recipe from MySingaporeFood.com.

Ingredients required:

  • Chicken stock (3 litres)
  • Dried chillies (10, cut into 3-cm pieces)
  • Green cardamom pods (6)
  • Dried bay leaf (2)
  • Goji berries (枸杞) (50g)
  • Chinese red dates (6, large)
  • Whole nutmeg (1)
  • Dried longans in shell (10)
  • Cumin seeds (1 tsp)
  • Garlic (10 cloves)
  • Thai cardamom pods (6)
  • Ginger (50g)
  • White peppercorns (1 tbsp)
  • Sichuan peppercorns (1 tbsp)
  • Spring onion, cut into half, including the bulb (6g)
  • Salt (1 tbsp)


Preparing this broth is simplicity in itself. Just combine all ingredients and boil for 1 hour.

Laksa Steamboat Soup Recipe

Photo by: Tiberiu Ana

Serves: 4 to 6 | Prep and cooking time: about 1.5 hours

A spicy steamboat soup base that is comfortingly Singaporean, this Laksa steamboat recipe can save your time and energy thanks to readily available pre-packaged laksa paste. Remember to include fishcake and tau pok to go with this steamboat soup recipe. Get the full recipe from eckitchensg.com.

Ingredients required:


Combine everything and simmer until fragrant. You can add some tau pok while cooking the broth for some yummy appetisers.

Kimchi Steamboat Soup Recipe

Photo by: T.Tseng

Serves: 4 to 6 | Prep and cooking time: about 30 mins

Tart and spicy kimchi definitely enrich ia hot pot broth. This Korean-style steamboat soup recipe gets its flavour mainly from kimchi and gochujang, while anchovies and soy sauce add umami. Get the full recipe from Noob Cook.

Ingredients required:

  • Water (2 litres)
  • Kimchi (600g)
  • Ikan bilis (100g, in a soup pouch)
  • Gochujang (4 tbsp)
  • Sesame oil (4 tsp)
  • Minced garlic (2 tsp)
  • Shaoxing wine (2 tbsp)
  • Leek (1, sliced thinly)
  • Light soy sauce, to taste


  1. Combine kimchi, ikan bilis, gochujang, sesame oil, minced garlic and Shaoxing wine.
  2. Bring water to boil, add anchovies and leek.
  3. Add kimchi in Step 1.
  4. Simmer 10 mins, or until fragrant.

Satay Sauce Steamboat Soup Recipe

Photo by: QL Kitchen

Serves: 8 pax | Prep and cooking time: 1 hour

Looking for something other than the usual steamboat soup base? Here’s a crunchy and flavoursome alternative. Inspired by Malay cuisine, this satay sauce soup base goes great with meat and fish. Skewer the steamboat ingredients and encourage everyone to dip in! Get the full recipe from QL Kitchen.

Ingredients required:

  • Peanuts (800g, fried and ground)
  • Onions (16)
  • Garlic (8 cloves)
  • Lemongrass (2 stalks, smashed)
  • Galangal (8cm, smashed)
  • Shrimp paste (6cm)
  • Dried shrimps (100g)
  • Dried chili (30)
  • Brown sugar (8 tbsp)
  • Tamarind juice (2 tbsp)
  • Water (1 litre)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil (14 tbsp)


  1. Blend together onions, garlic, shrimp paste, dried shrimp and dried chillies until fine.
  2. Saute all blended ingredients with galangal and lemongrass until fragrant.
  3. Add water, followed by peanuts, tamarind, brown sugar and salt.
  4. Simmer for 20 to 30 mins, until desired thickness, and serve.

Tom Yum Steamboat Soup Recipe

Photo by: Kent Wang

Serves: 4 pax | Prep and cooking time: 30 mins

Aromatic and with a spicy kick, this Tom Yum steamboat soup recipe yields a light and versatile stock that goes well with almost anything. We recommend serving lots of fresh prawns and seafood with this soup base to create a wonderful seafood Tom Yum soup by the end of dinner. Get the full recipe from Eat What Tonight.
Ingredients required:

  • Water (1 litre)
  • Chicken stock (1 litre)
  • Tom Yum paste (4 tbsp)
  • Evaporated milk (2 tbsp)
  • Fish sauce (4 tbsp)
  • Galangal (8cm, smashed)
  • Lemongrass (2 stalks, base portions, sliced)
  • Blue ginger (2 pieces, sliced)
  • Lime leaves (8 pcs)
  • Shallot (1, sliced)
  • Thai red chillies (4, sliced)


  1. In a large pot, combine water, chicken stock, lemongrass, blue ginger, lime leaves, shallots, chillies and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat to a simmer and add tom yum paste, fish sauce and evaporated milk.
  3. Continue to simmer till flavour develops, then serve.

Sukiyaki Steamboat Soup Recipe

Photo by: hirotomo (Flickr) Wikimedia Commons

Serves: 7 pax | Prep and cooking time: 1 hour

The secret to delicious Japanese sukiyaki likes in a sweet and savoury broth that highlights the natural taste of fresh ingredients. Try this quick and easy recipe to make your own sukiyaki steamboat soup base to enjoy with thinly sliced beef, pork and chicken. Get the full recipe from Happy Homemaker88.

Ingredients required:

  • Water (3 litres)
  • Bonito soup base (2 sachets)
  • Large onions (2, peeled and sliced)
  • Large carrots (2, sliced)
  • Dried Shiitake mushrooms (5, soaked till plump and sliced)
  • Tsuyu (1 cup)
  • Mirin (1 cup)


  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients together and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Adjust seasoning to taste, by adding more mirin or Tsuyu, and serve.

Umami Soy Milk Steamboat Soup Recipe

Photo by: Christopher

Serves: 4 to 6 pax | Prep and cooking time: 10 mins

This soy-milk based steamboat broth recipe will surprise your tastebuds with its umami packed flavour profile. And guess what? It only takes 5 ingredients and 10 minutes to prepare!Get the full recipe from eckitchen.sg.

Ingredients required:

  • Soy milk (1 litre, unsweetened)
  • Water (1 litre)
  • Mirin (7.5 tbsp)
  • Sake (7.5 tbsp)
  • Salt, to taste


Combine all ingredients into a large soup pot, bring to boil, season to taste, and serve.

Steamboat dipping sauce recipes

Of course no steamboat meal is complete without a dipping sauce, and the right combination of condiments can elevate your steamboat dinner from “meh” to “marvellous!”

What makes a good steamboat dipping sauce? Ask 10 steamboat connoisseurs and you’ll likely get 20 different answers. Because we all have different preferences for tastes such as saltiness, spiciness and sweetness.

You want a sauce that complements the food you’re eating and obviously suits your taste. Let your guests blend their own dipping sauce because it’s fun and enjoyable.

You’ll want to offer sweet, salty, spicy, sour, rich and umami (savoury) flavours. And because texture and mouthfeel are also crucial in elevating the taste of the steamboat, consider choosing a variety of condiments, herbs and spices.

To get you started, here’s a table of steamboat dipping sauce ingredients, as well as some recipes for you to experiment with.

Powder Sauce/Paste Oil Herb/Plant Others
Sour Lime juice
Sweet Sugar Onion
Salty Salt Soy sauce
Fish sauce
Spicy Ground white pepper Gochujang
Chilli oil Garlic
Minced radish
Rich/Fragrant Toasted sesame seeds Peanut sauce Sesame oil
Garlic oil
Spring onion
Raw egg
Umami Oyster sauce
XO sauce

Insanely Hot Chilli Padi Dip

Photo by: Gurmit Singh

Warning: This fiery dip is for experienced chilli lovers only. If you can handle the heat, the freshness from the lime juice and the savoriness of the soy sauce and garlic make it a great dip for steamboats that feature milder soup bases. You can also go milder by using less chilli padi, removing the seeds, or even switching to large red chillies. Get the full recipe from Noob Cook.


  • Chilli padi (10, sliced)
  • Garlic cloves (4, peeled)
  • Light soy sauce (2 tbsp)
  • Lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
  • Sesame oil (1 tsp)


  1. Blend chilli padi and garlic cloves together.
  2. Add light soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil to taste.

Chinese-style Sesame Sauce Dip

Photo by: Jules

A rich and satisfying dip full of sesame fragrance, with subtle hints of tartness and chilli spiciness. The toasted sesame seeds provide crunch and little pops of sesame flavour for every bite. This recipe has a Chinese origin, so definitely use this for your Chinese steamboat buffet. Get the full recipe from Makansutra via Yahoo.

Ingredients required:

  • Sesame paste (1 tbsp)
  • White sesame seeds (1 tbsp, lightly toasted)
  • Vinegar (½ tbsp)
  • Sesame oil (¼ tbsp)
  • Chilli oil (½ tbsp)
  • Light soya sauce (1 tbsp)

Cantonese-style Sauce Dip

Photo by: Public Domain Pictures

Inspired by a typical Cantonese recipe for preparing fish, this dip features a good amount of grated ginger to complement fishes and other seafood. Meanwhile, sesame oil adds fragrance while also allowing the natural sweetness of ingredients such as prawns to stand out. We recommend using this dip if your steamboat is heavily seafood-based. Get the full recipe from Makansutra via Yahoo.

Ingredients required:

  • Ginger (30g, grated)
  • Spring onion (1 stalk, chopped)
  • Sesame oil (2 tbsp)
  • Salt (½ tsp)

Taiwanese Shacha Sauce Dip

Photo by: Prattflora via Wikipedia Commons

Did you know that the Teochew also has a version of satay sauce made from fish? More commonly seen in Taiwanese cuisine, Shacha Sauce (沙茶酱) is a rich and strongly flavoured sauce that goes well with fresh ingredients that are lightly cooked, which is often the case with steamboat. Wondering where to find this out-of-ordinary sauce? You can find it at Yue Hwa in Chinatown. Follow the recipe below for a steamboat dipping sauce that will give a Taiwanese twist to your next steamboat gathering. Get the full recipe from Makansutra via Yahoo.

Ingredients required:

  • Shacha sauce (2 tbsp)
  • Spring onion (2 stalks, chopped)
  • Minced garlic (½ tbsp)
  • Sugar (⅓ tbsp)
  • Light soy sauce (1½ tbsp)
  • Water (1 tbsp)
  • Raw egg yolk (optional)

Singapore-style Chilli Sauce

Photo by: Charles Haynes

Chilli and garlic are the heavyweights in this steamboat sauce recipe, along with vinegar and salt to keep your tastebuds alert. You may notice that this recipe calls for a higher-than-usual amount of garlic – it’s a 1:1 ratio here. Including this much garlic will result in a much more fragrant dipping sauce. Other ingredients include sugar and vinegar, which help to tame the heat from the chilli padi. So if this recipe proves too hot to handle, try increasing the amount of sugar and vinegar to tone down the spicy level. Get the full recipe from Makansutra via Yahoo.

Ingredients required:

  • Chilli padi (60g)
  • Big red chillies (40g)
  • Garlic (100g)
  • Sugar (1 tbsp)
  • Vinegar (8 tbsp)
  • Salt (2 tsp)
  • Water (100ml)

Directions: Blend everything together and serve.

Vietnamese Pepper Steamboat Dip

Photo by: Ajale

This is a steamboat dip from Vietnamese cuisine. The recipe is a simple pepper-and-salt combination, but includes fresh cut chillies and lime for a tart and spicy kick. This dip is usually served alongside grilled meat, but it also goes well with poached meat and seafood. Try this if you need a break from heavier flavours. Get the full recipe from Makansutra via Yahoo.

Ingredients required:

  • White pepper (½ tbsp)
  • Salt (1 tbsp)
  • Fresh chilli (1, chopped)
  • Lime (juice from 1)

Directions: Squeeze the juice out of the lime and pour onto the pepper and chilli combo. Stir the dip gently.

Soups, broths and sauces oh my!

All at your fingertip: 10 delicious and simple steamboat soup base recipes, and 6 wicked dipping sauces for all your festive feasting needs.