Whether you're new to Keto, or an old pro, hotpot is a flavourful way to check all your Keto boxes and have fun in the process. Hotpot originated sometime in the Zhou dynasty in China circa 1046-771 BC. Since then this comforting dish has travelled the globe, appearing in a variety of countries in one form or another.
In Japan hotpot is called nabemono, in Taiwan it is shabu shabu, and in Cambodia it is yao hon. Depending on where you go, the ingredients in this dish change drastically, which is what makes it the perfect Keto feast.
You can find our Red Hot Keto hotpot recipe down below!
What is Hotpot?
Hotpot is essentially a multi ingredient soup. Generally, it is eaten as a social dish among friends, family or colleagues. The soup continues to bubble away as you alternate between adding ingredients and grabbing out the good stuff.
While there are an array of standard ingredients to expect in hotpot depending on the country you're inspired by, the magic of hotpot is that you can make it your own.
Red Hot Keto Hotpot
Keto is a diet which requires a low carb count. If you're still working on weight loss, rather than maintenance, you also want to watch your calorie intake. Hotpot makes this possible, without losing the fun or flavour.
Step 1: To get started on a Keto hotpot, the first thing you need is a low carb broth. We went with chicken broth, and checked the nutritional information for additives which may increase the sugar levels. From there, the flavour comes from the seasonings you choose. You can make a mild hotpot with hearty umami flavours, or amp up the heat with chilis and Sichuan peppercorns. Of course, with a name like Red Hot Keto, you can guess which route we took.
Step 2: Once your broth is chosen and your spices are ready to go into your pot, you need to select your ingredients. For a non-Keto hot pot, common ingredients include noodles, dumplings, and other high-carb delights. In our hot pot we went with a mix of seafood, beef, chicken, and vegetables.
Step 3: Mix up your dipping sauce. The soup broth you choose will infuse flavour into your chosen ingredients, but no hotpot is complete without dipping sauce! Grab your favourite sauces (preferably ones which work well with the ingredients you've chosen) and fill a small bowl or ramekin.
Step 4: Eat, eat, and eat some more! Hotpot isn't a sprint, people. It's a marathon, so, come prepared to get your eat on!
Our Keto-friendly Hotpot Recipe
As I mentioned, you can use any ingredients which tick the Keto boxes and taste good to you. For our hotpot, we used the following:
Broth and seasonings: Chicken broth, garlic, dried chillies, Sichuan peppercorns, cumin seeds, dong quai, star anise, bay leaves, cao guo, and bai dou kou.
Veggies: Bok choy, onion, celery, mushrooms, zucchini cut into coins and large chunks.
Meat: Tonight we thinly sliced lean beef. You can use any cut you like, but remember, the thinner you slice the faster it will cook!
Poultry: Whole rotisserie chicken, pulled apart and ready to dunk in the pot. You can use raw chicken (and we usually do), but we had a Costco rotisserie chicken that had to be eaten or thrown out.
Seafood: Sweet scallops, and shrimp.
Sauces: Dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, homemade hot chili oil, sesame oil, sesame paste, black vinegar, sriracha, and chili garlic sauce. (We don't use all of these sauces mixed together, but rather pick and choose. You might like two mixed together, while your friends like a single sauce. Everyone is different.)
If you want to grab some tasty Asian sauces for your hot pot, we recommend visiting any local Asian grocery store! For Halagonians like us, we recommend Tian Phat on the Bedford Highway, Taishan on Queen Street, and J.J. Korean Oriental Foods on Gottingen Street.
Be sure to check the labels for the carb counts. We recommend paying close attention the serving size as well. 1 gram of carbs doesn't look too threatening until you realize it is per 1/4 teaspoon.
No hotpot? No problem!
A little hotpot lifehack from us to you - just use your rice cooker! This is no joke. We first heard about this during a YouTube video featuring Mikey Chen of Strictly Dumpling. In the past, we had used our fondue pot for hotpot, but it wasn't quite cutting it. A few weeks back, we switched to our rice cooker and haven't looked back.
If you liked reading about our Hotpot experience, let us know! We would love to hear what kinds of Red Hot Keto blog updates and Instagram posts you'd like to see in the future. Thanks for reading and stay safe!