Update Feb 15: Went to Woodlands & Senoko for CNY food factory shopping and found a factory that specialises in a wide variety of steamboat ingredients at incredible prices. Check out my Chinese New Year 2015 Food Factory Wholesale Shopping @ Woodlands & Senoko post to find out more.
I am currently planning on what to buy for our CNY Eve Reunion Steamboat Dinner and I thought it’d be a good idea to expand my list and include all possible ingredients (I have more than 150 items on my list!) that are suitable for steamboat when a few people recently asked me for ‘new’ and ‘creative’ ideas because they had been eating the same thing year after year.
Unfortunately, I must say nothing will be new or creative unless you’re thinking of munching boiled insects or exotic meats and this list of ingredients has probably all the boring ‘common’ stuffs but I’m sure it will come in handy as there might be something on it that you haven’t thought of.
Anyway, if steamboat is not your kind of thing, I have a collection of CNY recipes that might just inspire the cook in you. Check out my post on 12 Easy Chinese New Year Recipes for Good Luck & Prosperity. And how about a Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng Recipe too for a prosperity toss?
Ingredients for steamboat
Wong Bok Cabbage
Yam or Taro
Chinese Yam or Huai Shan
Sliced Lotus Root
Brinjal (Egg Plant)
Seaweed / Kelp
Preserved Mustard Greens
Chicken Wing (Drumlet or Mid-Joint)
Sliced Pork Belly
Sliced Pork Collar
Sliced Wagyu Beef
Sliced Smoked Duck
Sliced Batang Fish
Sliced Red Snapper
Sliced Soon Hock
Sliced Dory Fish
Sliced Imitation Abalone (Squid Paste)
Flower or Mud Crabs
Fried Fish Skin
Foo Chow Ball
Firm Beancurd (Tau Kwa)
Fried Beancurd Puff (Tau Pok)
Vegetarian mock meat
|Noodles & Rice
Egg Noodles (Mee Kia or Mee Pok)
Thin or Thick Rice Vermicelli (Beehoon)
Bee Tak Mak
Sweet Potato Vermicelli
Korean Rice Cakes
Chinese Rice Cakes
Mee Hoon Kueh
Preserved Century Egg
I know many people prefer cod as it doesn’t contain any fishy smell and its meat is much sweeter too but do note cod fish disintegrates easily when boiled so it is not quite an ideal fish to have for steamboat. But if you still want to have it, make sure you slice the cod in thicker pieces and cook it within the steamboat ladle otherwise you’d have a hard time digging for it.
For soup bases, it is easiest to grab store-bought soup stocks in tetra packs and cans or use seasoning powder and bouillon cubes but I never like them because of their high sodium or MSG content. It is not difficult to make fuss free soup bases at home. Here’s a few which I had experimented before:
a) Miso – simply scoop 1-2 tablespoonful of white miso paste into hot boiling water and stir till the paste dissolves. Add some dried seaweed for more aroma.
b) Chicken stock – this can be made one day in advance. Refer to my recipe here on how to make chicken soup. Go easy on the salt (or just totally omit it) as the ingredients will eventually flavour the soup.
c) Pork or Beef stock – just get the bones you want from the butcher and add carrots, onions, celery and 1-2 pieces of bay leaves.
d) Fish stock – best is to use salmon head and bones which you can get from the fishmonger or sometimes NTUC Fairprice. Add celery, onions, carrots and ground fried ikan bilis for extra flavour. When the stock is ready, add some evaporated milk for a fragrant, milky broth just like the soup in fried fish bee hoon.
e) Vegetable stock – carrots, onions, celery, sweet corn, radish, potato.
It’s really not necessary to make the broth flavoursome because you want to enjoy the original taste and freshness of the ingredients that you’re cooking in it and because so many items are going to go into the broth, you’d end up having an inedible (overly salty) soup if it already starts off salty.
Lastly, I would like to recommend my two favourite dipping sauces which you can get from the supermarket:
The Dancing Chef brand is my most preferred between the two. Before serving, just add minced garlic, toasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander for the extra kick. I like this sauce with mushrooms and yong tau foo items.
The Triple A brand is much more spicy than Dancing Chef and I like it with meat and seafood for the extra fiery punch.
Both contain no MSG, preservatives or artificial colourings and are priced between $2.50-$3.00. Very affordable!
If you think there’s any ingredient that I may have left out in my list, feel free to let me know. Bon appetit, folks!