I love steamboat. It always looks impressive, while it’s really a sneaky way to make guests cook their own food. More seriously, it’s a snap to prepare! It’s fun for everyone to get involved and encourages conversation. Plus it’s an excellent opportunity to let your creativity shine. You can do it your own way, choosing your favourite marinated meats, dumplings, vegetables and noodles.

My first steamboat experiences were family events, put together by my grandma. Now I love sharing the experience with friends for Chinese New Year and special occasions.

Here’s a guide to how I do it, but go wild and give it your own special touch!

SteamboatPerson looking over steamboat ingredients

Serves 8


For stock

  • half onion
  • bulb of garlic
  • 10 cm ginger
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • dried shiitake (optional)
  • hot water

Wok filled with steamboat

For beef

  • 500 g beef
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cm ginger
  • hoisin
  • dash of sesame oil

For chicken

  • 500 g chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cm ginger
  • oyster sauce
  • dash of sesame oil

For fish

  • 500 g fish
  • coriander root, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • dash peanut oil
  • dash soy sauce

For wontons

  • 500 g pork mince
  • 1/2 onion
  • dash sesame oil
  • wonton wrappers


  • Noodles (udon, Hokkien, Singapore)
  • Bok choy (and/or other vegetables of your choice)


  1. The night before, marinade beef, chicken and fish with their listed ingredients.
  2. An hour before the meal, make the stock in an electric wok in the middle of the table. Bring the stock ingredients to the boil and simmer until mealtime.
  3. Mix the pork mince, onion and oil for the dumplings. Wrap the wontons.
  4. Set out all the marinated meats on the table, along with noodles and vegetables.
  5. Guests choose their own selection from the meats and vegetables to cook in the simmering broth. Noodles are best added near the end of the meal when the broth is rich from cooking the meats.

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