The Different Types of Chinese Steamboats

During early invention of hotpot or steamboat style of cooking it was more common during winter as people used the vessel to serve piping hot food and also keep the house warm. But now restaurants offer steamboat buffet in Singapore and in several large cities across Southeast Asia around the year while chefs are making new variations to retain interest of locals around this popular dish. The dish traditionally called hotpot got the nickname “Chinese steamboat” due to the structure of the bowl which has a funnel like shape in the center that appears like the funnel of a steam boat. People that have adopted this form of cooking in their daily lives across Asia have made their own variations to suit their cooking styles and convenience.

Here are some regional variations of the traditional Chinese Steamboats:

Beijing hotpot

The structure of this hotpot is very similar to the traditional coal heated ones made popular by traders and travelers across mainland China. These are divided into different sections and are common across restaurants and homes. Most traditionally designed restaurants offering steamboat buffet, offer Beijing hotpot in large brass dish that is sectioned off with different types of broths in each section. The base of hotpot vessel is placed above burning hot coals and it also has a chimney like structure at its center making the base look like a large donut.

Manchurian hotpot

True to its name the Manchurian hotpot has plenty of pickled cabbage that is commonly used in local dishes. This sauerkraut gives a distinct flavor to the steamboat and does not affect the flavor of other products like fishes and meat that are added to this soup. Though the Manchurian hotpot was only available in local homes, the movement of people from that region across China and other nations has increased its popularity.




Sichuan hotpot

This is a spicy version of Chinese steamboats that can leave first time tasters gasping for water. Aptly named as Ma La Hotpot or Numb and Spicy as it makes the tongue numb, its spicy flavor is due to existence of Sichuan Pepper. Along with meats and vegetables this Sichuan recipe that has a pride of place in steamboat buffet contains several local spices.

Besides the most popular ones stated above there are other variations of Chinese steamboats popular across the region like Yuan Hang Hot Pot, Cantonese hotpot, Taiwanese hotpot and several fusion versions invented by adventurous cooks that offer a mix of different regional vegetables.

Five Foods You Must Have On Your Weekend Hotel Stay In Singapore

Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world but despite that it offers an astonishing variety of culinary delicacies from all over the world. It presents a multicultural population with Chinese as a majority but Indians and Malay also form part of a big expat population. The effect of its diverse cultures thus can be seen in the cuisines that are prepared with the finest ingredients in Asia. Here are 5 foods that you must taste during your weekend hotel stay in Singapore.

Frog porridge

Do not shudder with distaste when you hear the name of this delicacy. It is one of the cleanest and lithest dishes that you would find in Singapore. Frogs are marinated in wine, spring onions and soy with ginger and spicy chili. It is then cooked properly. You will find that the frog meat is delicate sweet and succulent to taste. The dish is accompanied by the porridge which is quite light and served with a sauce made of green onion.

Mud crab

An entire hard-shelled and mud crab is specially stir-fried either with black pepper or dry in a thick tomato and chili sauce. Which the mud crab recipe with chili is an older one, the pepper version is equally mouth-watering.

Bah Kut The

This recipe has been developed by the Hokkien immigrants who came over from China. While translated, the recipe means ‘meat bone tea’ and has been one of the most popular dishes of Singapore since a long time. Some people claim that the recipe got its name due to its brown and tea-like appearance. The dish constitutes of juicy ribs of the pork that is simmered for several hours in an herbal broth that is rich in texture.

Chicken rice

This is indeed a delightful combination and originates from the immigrants who came down to Singapore from the southern tip of China. Chicken rice has unofficially become the national dish for the people of China. The dish is often voted as one of the most delicious combo in the entire world. It follows the Hainanese tradition where an entire chicken that is preferably plump and old is taken and laden with oil. It is then dipped into a warm chicken and pork bone broth till it gets cooked properly. It is subsequently sliced and then served with rice that had been cooked separately. A hot and delicious chili dip is also served with this dish and is topped with soy and ginger sauce.

Sambal Stingray

This dish is a unique culinary invention of Singapore. The dish is prepared by grilling the fish in a banana leaf so that it retains its natural flavors. Sambal is a blend of peppers, chili, shrimp paste, spices and shallots that are spread on its top.