Steamboat is definitely one of the favourite meals to have among Malaysians. However, while it appears to be a very healthy choice as you can boil your favourite ingredients in your favourite broth and keep the nutritional value intact, there are some things Malaysians should watch out for as steamboat may not be as perfectly healthy as it seems.
Although it’s much healthier as compared to deep-frying, barbecuing or heavy grilling of food, the main culprits of steamboat being not as healthy as what most think is the hidden sodium and fats in the ingredients used in a steamboat!
So, how do you prepare a delicious steamboat meal without going overboard? And what are the must-have steamboat ingredients? Where do you find steamboat ingredients from frozen food suppliers in Malaysia who can do fresh frozen food delivery? Continue reading to find out!
The common steamboat ingredients you’ll find in Malaysian steamboat dinners
There are different types of steamboat depending on which ingredients you add. The typical Malaysian steamboat meal will include some variations of the following, depending on what you and your guests like. They include:
Seafood is one of the main components of a steamboat meal. You can’t have a steamboat without fish! In fact, the most commonly available steamboat ingredients are thin slices of any types of fish, such as salmon, tilapia, codfish, and sea bass!
In fact, the key to a great steamboat is fresh fish. It imparts a great base of flavour and natural sweetness to the broth while giving a great bite!
A healthy addition to your steamboat is of course, tofu. You can add all types of tofu such as vegetarian seafood tofu, tofu skin, silken tofu, and pressed tofu.
No matter which variety of tofu you choose to add to your steamboat, it is always a healthy option for your steamboat! Tofu is high in protein and easily digestible, plus it is great for the whole family, including babies and toddlers. That’s just a few of the reasons why tofu is so popular in steamboat!
To make the steamboat soup creamier and thicker, eggs are a great way to add oomph to your steamboat soup. All you have to do is crack the eggs and pour them in when the broth is boiling! Don’t forget to stir them while they’re being cooked!
Another core part of a steamboat meal is the sheer variety of vegetables! If you enjoy eating vegetables, a steamboat is your best option to enjoy a wide spread of greens! Some of the most popular vegetables are chinese lettuce, cabbage, spinach, bok choy, broccoli, mustard greens, corn, and many more.
Let’s not forget the popular root vegetables! This includes carrots, radishes, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squashes, pumpkins, and lotus roots. Friendly reminder: Don’t cut them into small pieces because they will dissolve in the broth.
Oyster mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms and also enoki mushrooms are great additions to any steamboat meal. In fact, they cook very quickly in the steamboat broth while being both healthy and delicious.
No steamboat is complete without noodles. Our favourites include the common yellow noodles, vermicelli, kway teow or even tang hoon!
G) Soybean & Pre-Cooked Food Products
Besides all the above ingredients, it is common in Malaysia to add soybean products to the steamboat, such as:
- Fish, beef or chicken balls
- Bean Curd Roll
- Dried Bean Curd
- Bean Curd Skin
Why is steamboat not 100% healthy as many might think?
a) It can add too much sodium!
If you take a closer look at the salt content of common hotpot soup bases, you’ll see that they often contain a high amount of salt! In fact, a typical hot pot broth exceeds 7000mg of sodium per serving. In comparison, the recommended daily allowance is only 2000mg!
b) It can contain much more fat than you think!
Fat is common in soup broths, especially in the popular spicy mala soup bases that tend to have a lot of oil. Things like coconut milk (like in laksa) or offal or fatty meats also increase the fat content in the soup!
c) It can have ingredients that contain hidden calories!
Ingredients like vegetables, tofu and lean meat (chicken, fish) are good low-calorie and healthy choices for steamboat. However, pre-fried foods, offal, fatty cuts of meat and shabu-shabu are often high in calories and fat!
How to have a healthier steamboat meal?
If you love to eat steamboat yet do not want to gain a few extra pounds then check out these healthy eating strategies!
i) Choose your soup base wisely
The secret to a great steamboat meal is the soup base! It adds flavours to the foods and creates an aroma that is hard to resist. Popular soup bases such as satay, curry, and Sichuan chilli are favourites among steamboat lovers, but they tend to be oily and are higher in calories, fat and sodium.
You can still enjoy a flavourful and aromatic soup broth when you choose healthier, less-salty and less-fatty broth that is based on tomato and corn, fish-based or even soy milk-based.
ii) Create a sauce with herbs
One of our favourite aspects of steamboat is the accompanying condiments. Steamboat dinners often include a wide array of ways you can create sauces to provide the flexibility to pick and choose as you like!
However, condiments such as chilli oil and satay, peanut and sesame sauces, are calorie-dense, salt-heavy and full of fat.
Hence, to taste and appreciate the natural flavours of foods, you can create a sauce that is made with herbs and natural flavours such as parsley, garlic, spring onions, vinegar and soy sauce. If you like it spicy, add chopped or crushed chilli peppers instead of chilli oil and chilli paste!
iii) Eat your vegetables first
Before placing the popular meats and protein must-haves into the bubbling and aromatic hotpot, you can start with your vegetables first. Vegetables are a source of dietary fibre, which helps to create the feeling of fullness and pace your appetite.
iv) Save the meat (and protein) for last
To put it simply, you can end your hotpot by eating seafood and lean meats instead of dessert! Shrimps, scallops, oysters, and lean meats such as chicken and fish fillets are healthier choices. Dumplings, wantons and fish balls are your next best options.
v) Stop drinking all the soup
After cooking and boiling everything, the steamboat soup stock is often incredibly tasty. However, it also contains all the fats and salt from the food cooked earlier! The continuous boiling process leads to an increase in the nitrate content in the soup!
Get your quality steamboat ingredients and seafood from trusted suppliers like Supreme Frozen
With these facts and benefits, you now know how to have a healthy steamboat dinner with the right kind of steamboat ingredients! In fact, you can get fresh frozen food delivery from the comfort of your own home.
As one of the pioneering frozen seafood suppliers locally, Supreme Frozen is one of the best fresh frozen food delivery providers in Malaysia. We have a fantastic variety of food products available to you including seafood, poultry and vegetables as well.
Visit our online store today and make your excellent selection yourself!