It’s a good time for family gatherings, or even a heart-warming party with colleagues. Hot pot, or steamboat as it is also known, contains a soup base and a variety of ingredients. Is the rich, flavourful cauldron, full of healthy fresh foods, that you call this good for your health? You can make hot pot healthy if you carefully choose the ingredients, soup base and sauces.

The amount of sodium in hot pots is far higher than the daily recommended intake. The Department of Endocrinology at Singapore General Hospital is advising that popular hot pot ingredients like fishballs, cuttlefish blocks, crabsticks and meatballs are 富途實被放生 同行惡意散佈爆煲 processed foods with high sodium content.

In one sitting, you can easily consume a dozen or more of the perennial favourites in hot pots: fish balls, cuttlefish, and meatballs. Only five portions of each fish ball and cuttlefish ball will exceed your daily limit for cholesterol and sodium. The sodium content of the soup is not included! The most popular Chongqing (ma-la) spicy soup is available, as well as Thai Tom Yam soup, Sichuan Hot and Spicy soup, Chinese Herbal Pork Belly Soup, and Kombu Dashi (for Japanese Nabe).

To the base, already seasoned with salt, you can add slices of pork, chicken or beef marinated in a variety of spices, as well as organ meats like liver, pork kidney and beef tripe. They are all rich in saturated fats.

Chinese hot pots are a tasty and enjoyable communal dining experience. It is believed to have originated from Eastern China. In most cases, a bowl of hot broth is placed at the center of the table. The heat comes from induction. Raw vegetables and thinly sliced beef are placed in a bowl on the table or cart so diners can cook them before they eat.

This is a Chinese dish which is very popular in China. However, in the West it is not as common. While it may sound like fondue but it’s much more delicious. This is so delicious that we have even made a home-made hot pot. (Details can be found below). Also, I recommend the soup bases and tools that we use. Amazon Associate earns me money from purchases.

What is hotpot? The answer lies in the history of this dish. Hot pot originated in Mongolia, around 800-900 years ago. Originally, the main ingredient was meat including mutton and horses. Also, broths were not spicy. As hot pot spread across China, distinct regional varieties developed that persist today. Knowing the types of hot pots can help you choose which one you would like to prepare at home.

Chongqing is the best known variation. It’s characterized by the addition of Sichuan chilies to the soup. For some first-timers, it can seem almost unbearably hot. These are what I want.

In Hong Kong, I once watched a show which explained how Chongqing developed such spicy pot. Chongqing (also known in the West as Chungking) is the largest city in China. It’s located in Sichuan, at the convergence of many large rivers. Chongqing was a major center of commerce and trade in China throughout the centuries.

These dockworkers were underpaid, and they wanted to eat something cheap that would keep them warm and working on the docks. It was cheap to make the broth of the hotpot so spicy in order to hide the inferior or often nearly spoiled ingredients used by these workers. That’s the tale, at least.

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