Woohoo! We are officially ushering into the Year of Chicken in less than 2 weeks time. We have been smelling and tasting tons of buttery goodies almost everywhere we go. Family outing include going to supermarket and came back home with bags of food, drinks and goodies. Everyone is just busy with the Chinese New Year preparation.
Same for Eckitchensg! After baking all the CNY goodies, what’s next? Of course it will be the most looking forward reunion dinners and CNY gathering with our families and friends, crowding around the dining table, fishing for food from the steaming hot pot! Like my non-Chinese friend just told me, STEAMBOAT FESTIVAL IS COMING!
I have gathered a few hotpot soup base ideas and hopefully this will help to inspire on your hotpot preparation for the Steamboat Festival!
This post provides a list of soup bases from super instant…
to not so instant…..
this list will not be the complete list of all the soup base you can make. There are more soup base than this list has provided. Feel free to throw me ideas too so I can continue to add on to this list and let the list grow….
1.Japanese Beauty Hotpot BiJin Nabe (美人锅) –
Collagen-rich Chicken Soup
Bijin Nabe (美人锅) – is a pot of creamy collagen-rich chicken broth that is boiled under medium heat for more than 8 hours until the bone melted, the collagen has broken down and until every last bit of goodness is in the broth. It is a pot of soup that is good for bone health and superb for a wrinkle-free skin!
Like Tsukada Nojo, I also do not recommend adding ingredients that are too strong in taste, like beef, mutton, etc that will alter the original taste of the chicken soup. Prawns also to be added last as it will add a very sweet yet prawny taste to the soup.
You can prepare this soup base in advance and it store very well in freezer. Just put it into the chiller for a less frozen gelatine broth a day before you intend to use it.
Scoop the gelatinized broth into the pot for steamboat and let it melt over the heat in front of your guests. It will be entertaining and impressive!
You can even buy the sphere ice cube maker and make it into balls ~With an auspicious meaning 财源滚滚.
2. Umami-Rich Soy Milk Hotpot
Sounds weird? Surprisingly it’s not! I was skeptical about soy milk as soup base at first. However, after the first sip, I’m sold! It’s super simple to make yet it tastes complex. Of course we are not using sweetened soy milk. Use unsweetened soy milk from the chiller.. add water and salt (sake & mirin optional)… TaDA~ you will have a pot of rich and tasty soup base within 1 min!
3. Apple & Pear Pork Rib Soup
Apple and Pear Pork Rib Soup (清热苹果雪梨排骨汤) is one of my favourite soup ~ made with Apple, pear, almond kernels, honey dates, wolfberries and pork rib. Natural sweetness from the fruits elevated the complexity of the soup, in addition to the richness of the broth from the bones after hours of rolling boil. For hotpot, you can omit the pork rib and shabu the meat slices in the soup instead.
4. Ba Kut Teh Hotpot
This version of Ba Kut Teh is well-balanced with a hint of herbs and is extremely flavorful. It’s not too peppery, nor is it too herbal in taste. It is greatly loved by adults and kids, in addition to the properties this pot of bubbling hot soup posseses to improve overall health.
The herbs required is not very expensive and minimal. Definitely a feasible yummy pot of soup base for reunion hotpot.
Alternatively, just get any ba ku teh spices you can find and follow the instruction at the back of the packaging (less the adding of the meat part cause you are going to add in eat while eating steamboat).
5. “Shortcut” Fish-Head-Steamboat Style Hotpot
(without using fishhead or bones)
Who says fish head steamboat needs a lot of preparation and long time of boiling to bring out the deep flavour of the fish bones? Here is a shortcut recipe and it just taste as good or even better than some of the fish head steamboat you had ~ Less the bones and its kid friendly.
6. Kyoto Style Saikyo Miso Hotpot
Creamy Broth with elegant flavour and a dash of rice vinegar adds a refreshing accents to the sweet white miso. It is a soup base from Kyoto and it taste very different from the usual miso we have tasted. This soup base goes very well with the usual hotpot ingredients with a more appetising taste. Do prepare to eat more than usual
7. Chicken Soup Hotpot
This beautiful carton of chicken broth has been very helpful to many of us in providing a very tasty pot of steamboat soup base instantly.
Variations: You can add some wolfberries and angelica root (当归) for a more herbal taste. Or even wolfberries and chrysanthemum flowers (I haven’t tried this but I heard review that it’s tasty. It also give an auspicious feel 富贵开花 and looks pretty too with the flower floating on the soup base).
8. Tonkotsu Hotpot (Pork Bone Broth)
This is not only for steamboat soup base, it makes a very tasty bowl of noodle too! Do keep a bottle of this instant pork bone broth at home. It is really tasty and a good substitute if you want a bowl on quick Japanese Tonkotsu Ramen. We have been using this broth many years for steamboat and yield many positive feedbacks. Many of our friends and relatives have been asking where to buy this.
Do not expect it to be as creamy and gelatinise as the pork broth from the Ramen shop. But its good enough as an instant tonkotsu broth
This bottle of broth can be purchased from NTUC, Big box (Jurong), Isetan…. So far, these are the places I have seen it before. Go grab it asap cause I got a hard time finding these broth during the CNY period last year and luckily I still have some bottles at home.
Recipe: 1 Litre of water with 3 tablespoons of concentrated pork broth
9. Laksa Hotpot
Wow, this rich and spicy coconut milk broth is one if our favourite. Especially with the tau pok that was soaked with the broth… its beyond words.
We have tried 2 different types of instant laksa paste. Personally, I do not like one of them so I am only going to recommend this brand:-
The instruction at the back of the packaging is meant for making bowls of thick laksa with noodle.
For hotpot wise, please use the following recipe instead: 1 packet of Dancing Chef Laksa Paste, 800ml of water, 200ml coconut milk and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Add all the ingredients to the pot and let it boil.
This recipe yield 1 litre of soup base which is enough for 2 to 3 pax. Just multiply the portion based on the number of guests you are expecting.
10. Mala (Spicy) Hotpot
This pot is really boiling fiery! Spicy yet inviting!
There are tons of instant mala soup base around. However, the most renowned one is the famous Hai Di Lao one. For those who really hate the super long queue for waiting at Hai Di Lao, you can have it at the comfort of your own house. Although the instant one do not taste exactly the same as the one in the restaurant, but its quite similar.
Recipe: 1 packet of this paste yield about 1 litre to 1.5 litre of soup base (depending on your preference of spiciness). You can add extra dried chili for more heat with 1.5 litre of water. Then add salt or concentrated chicken stock to taste. Add Dried Mushroom to bring more intense flavouring to the soup base
Last but not least, We would like to wish you A Happy Chinese New Year ! Gong Xi Fa Cai! Wish you have a Wealthier and Healthier Year Ahead!