Singapore Hot Pot

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The Singapore hot pot, or steamboat hot pot, is a dish similar to fondue that involves cooking raw, fresh ingredients in a tasty simmering broth.

Singapore Hot Pot is whole30 gluten free and paleo

One of the main differences between fondue and a hot pot recipe is the broth for a hot pot. The broth can vary a lot since it really depends on how you season it!

You can keep it simple and add seasoning or sauces to the meat after cooking or have some fun and make a hot, salty, sweet, sour, or spicy hot pot broth.

Singapore Street Food and Markets

Spencer and I had Singapore hot pot, in (of all places), Singapore, on our honeymoon. My first thought was “Asian fondue!” Well, not exactly.

We went to one of those huge open-air markets that serve a dizzying array of delicious street food. The one we went to was close to Chinatown and just a few blocks from the water.

One thing about Singapore is that it’s spotless. It’s probably one of the cleanest cities I’ve ever been to. So we had no fear of eating from the vendors.

The Singapore hot pot is served in an elaborate pot with a burner, similar to a fondue.

You cook your own meal at a little outdoor table in the square, by adding the ingredients to the bubbling broth.

Singapore Hot Pot loaded with fresh vegetables, shirataki noodles and tofu. Add condiments to your bowl to make it spicy, sweet, or salty to your taste.

What is a Hot Pot?

Hotpot Singapore, sometimes called a Singapore steamboat soup, is a method of cooking fresh, raw ingredients in a simmering soup base.

Similar to cooking in a fondue pot, each diner chooses and cooks the ingredients of their choice right in the pot.

The difference is the broth that the meat and hot pot veggies are cooked in, as well as the sauces or ingredients that would be served with each dish.

When ordering a steamboat Singapore, the hot pot arrives first with a very simple, almost flavorless broth. It’s followed by a large platter of the meats, seafood, or vegetables you’ve chosen.

Next, grab your chosen ingredient, such as thinly sliced beef, with your chopsticks and lower it into the soup broth. 

Cooking rarely takes more than a minute. You can add vegetables and pull them out when they’re tender. Just like fondue, you can use dipping sauces for your meat.

The Chinese hot pot, soup-food, or steamboat originated in China and has evolved with other variations in Singapore, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Singapore Hot Pot Ingredients

I developed this Singapore hot pot broth recipe based on the soups we had in Singapore and Malaysia.

It is a nice soup for “divided” households, where one or more family members are vegetarian or like different kinds of meat. 

Simply serve the chicken, shrimp, or beef separately, and you won’t have to cook twice for your vegetarian.

This is also a fantastic soup to serve to someone who is feeling a bit under the weather. Add more garlic, ginger, and chili oil to help clear up stuffy sinuses!

Though the broth starts out very plain, the magic flavor comes from the steamboat ingredients.

Put out small bowls of ingredients like Asian chili oil, Thai fish sauce, GF soy sauce, sesame oil, coconut aminos, chopped peanuts or cashews, extra bean sprouts, and fresh cilantro.

Add your choice of hot pot condiments, and the simple bowl of broth becomes a hot, sour, salty, spicy, or sweet soup, depending on how you jazz up your own bowl.

Singapore Hot Pot in a bowl

There are no “rules” when it comes to the steamboat soup base recipe. Start with vegetable or chicken broth, add sliced onions, thinly sliced carrots, fresh ginger, and lots of minced garlic.

Just a few minutes before serving, add snow peas, cubed tofu, and bean sprouts. I used to add udon or glass noodles, but since discovering shirataki noodles, I add those to the broth for a gluten-free, low-carb alternative.

Shirataki hot pot noodles are made from white yams, and they have a similar texture to glass noodles. I purchase them from the produce section of my local grocery store.

Singapore Hotpot is Healthy and Great for Diets!

While I don’t believe in counting calories, a few times a year I just need to give my body a break to get back into the cycle of healthy eating.

January is one of those times when the family begs for this “clean” soup after we’ve all had our fair share of calorie-dense holiday foods.

Soups are a great way to feel full without extra calories. This hot pot recipe fits into Whole30, gluten-free, Paleo, or Keto, making it a great choice for a healthy lifestyle.

Looking for other Whole30 or low carb Asian dishes?

This Chicken Satay with “Peanut” sauce substitutes cashews for peanuts and is a delcious South Easte Asian street food with clean ingredients.

This healthier version of Chinese Chicken Salad skips the wontons and the carbs, but still gets lots of crunch from the almonds and cabbage.

Pork Meat Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce skip the wonton wrapper, but not the flavor!

Substitute cauliflower rice and this easy Stir Fry is a healthy and easy dish using either chicken, beef or tofu.

Chinese Lettuce Wraps can be made with ground chicken or beef.

Singapore Hot Pot is loaded with fresh vegetables, shirataki noodles and tofu. Add condiments to your bowl to make it spicy, sweet, or salty to your taste.

Singapore Hot Pot

A simple vegetable or chicken broth can be turned into a flavorful soup with the addition of your favorite vegetables or protein. If serving to multiple tastes, have cooked, thinly sliced beef, chicken or shrimp in small bowls so that each person can add their own. This soup is perfect for anyone following a Whole30, Paleo, Gluten free or Keto diet. Nutritional values are for soup broth and veggies, extra add-ins like chicken, shrimp or tofu will change nutritional value.
5 from 45 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Asian
Servings 6
Calories 127 kcal


Hot Pot Broth

  • 2 quarts chicken broth (or vegetable)
  • 1-2 limes juiced and zested
  • 2-3 cloves garlic of minced or sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger freshly grated
  • 2 Tablespoons Asian sesame oil

Vegetables for Hot Pot

  • Any combination of vegetables you choose such as:
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery thinly sliced diagonally
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 1 head Baby bok choy (or spinach)
  • 4 ounces snow peas sliced diagonally (add last)
  • 1 bunch green onions sliced diagonally (add last)
  • 4 ounces bean sprouts (add last)
  • 1 package shirataki noodles (optional)

Finishing the hot pot


  • Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Season broth with juice and zest of lemon or lime, fresh ginger, and minced or sliced garlic. Then add vegetables from firm to soft, starting with onions, carrots, celery, bok choy and mushrooms. Simmer gently until all vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • If serving protein separately, (beef, chicken, shrimp or tofu) cook and place in separate bowls. If not, feel free to add to the soup, cooking until meat is done. 
  • 5 minutes before serving add sliced snow peas, green onions and bean sprouts. Season to taste with sesame oil and fish sauce if desired.
  • Serve soup in large bowls with condiments on the side so that each person can season to his or her liking. Condiments can include: Asian or shirataki noodles, hot chili oil, extra lime wedges, additional sesame oil, chopped peanuts or cashews, cilantro, extra bean sprouts, fish sauce, rice vinegar, coconut aminos or soy sauce.

Condiments to add to the hot pot

  • Asian or shirataki noodles, hot chili oil, extra lime wedges, additional sesame oil, chopped peanuts or cashews, cilantro, extra bean sprouts, fish sauce, rice vinegar, coconut aminos or soy sauce.


Serving: 1personCalories: 127kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 1672mgPotassium: 412mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 3723IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. 5 stars
    I love hot pot, but have never made it at home! Thanks for this wonderful recipe, as now I can see how simple it is to make. Will be looking for those noodles at my Asian market next time I’m there. Your photos look so inviting, I could go for a bowl this morning!!

  2. 5 stars
    What a delightful meal Cynthia! I love the idea of hot pot where everyone gets exactly what they’d like. It also looks simple on the chef! Love the garlic and ginger, so good for you too, and glad to learn about shirataki noodles. Cheers to the New Year!

  3. 5 stars
    Yum. Made this for lunch (with some alteration based on ingredients I had). Step 1 says ‘onion’ instead of garlic. Also, I wasn’t sure if the 2 TB sesame oil listed in the ingredients is for adding during cooking or part of the optional garnishes? I added as part of the garnishing and it was still super delicious.

  4. I love hot pot so much! Lots of prep work but so worth it. My mother used her cleaver to slice meats and seafood and you could see light through the slices! It was one of the only fun meals we had as a family. Now it’s just for my husband and myself, sometimes a couple of friends. Such a wonderful way to eat. And healthy!

5 from 45 votes (41 ratings without comment)

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