For the broth:

2 chicken carcasses

400 grams beef bones

2.5 liters water

2 tablespoons goji berries

20 red dates

salt (to taste)

For the hot pot (ingredients can include your choice of):

uncooked beef or chicken (thinly sliced)

uncooked fish fillets (thinly sliced)

prawns, squids or scallops

meatballs, crab sticks, fish balls or fish cakes

dumplings or wontons

corn, daikon, carrots, bean sprouts, etc.

tofu, bean curd skins, mushrooms, eggs

vermicelli noodles, glass noodles or egg noodles

bok choy, Chinese broccoli, wombok, garland chrysanthemum

soy sauce

fresh chilies

garlic chili sauce

sesame oil

chili sauce

dipping sauce to accompany (recipe follows)


1.  Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Boil the chicken carcass and beef bones for 5 minutes and discard the water. This is to remove scum.

2.  Pour 2.5 liters of water into the pot and bring it to boil. Add goji berries and red dates and simmer for 2 hours. Season with salt according to taste.

3   Once ready, transfer enough broth into a steamboat pot/hot pot to fill it about half full. Place it on a portable electric stove. Add in your chosen combination of meat, veggies and fish. Let it boil and cook. When ready, dish out into individual serving bowls with small wire strainer or ladle. Dip cooked food into condiments and enjoy.

4.   Repeat the same process by adding in meat, veggies and fish into the hot pot and allow to boil and cook once the first batch of cooked food has been distributed. Top up with broth when needed.

5.   Noodles and eggs are usually added towards the end when the broth is most flavorful after cooking all the ingredients.

adapted from


This is a nutty, savory, Beijing-style dipping sauce for hot pot. It uses a few fermented ingredients to create a super umami taste that pairs well with many types of hot pot soups. It is vegan or gluten-free adaptable.  (For gluten-free, replace the soy sauce with tamari).

¼ cup Chinese sesame paste (or unsweetened natural peanut butter, or tahini)

¼ cup water (or warm hot pot broth)

1 block red fermented bean curd

2 to 3 teaspoons Chinese fermented leek flower sauce (optional)

2 teaspoons soy sauce (or to taste)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon garlic, grated (2 cloves)

2 tablespoons cilantro, minced (or to taste, optional)


1.   Add the sesame paste into a big bowl. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, and use a spatula or a spoon to blend the water in until it forms a smooth paste. Add more water and repeat, until it forms a smooth sauce that is slightly runny.

2.  Add the red fermented bean curd. Break it apart while mixing it into the sauce, until fully incorporated.

3.   Add the rest of the ingredients and mix, until everything is fully dissolved into the sauce. Taste it and adjust it according to your taste. If you do not use the leek flower sauce, the sauce will be milder. You can add a bit more soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic to boost the flavor.

adapted from     

Leave a Reply