Have a Joyous CNY Reunion Dinner with Steamboat Essentials Under $100

It’s an age-old tradition for families to gather on Chinese New Year Eve to celebrate the start of the festivities together with a steamboat dinner. But, before you head out to get your ingredients, it would be good for you to go through the items you need to prevent yourself from busting your budget.

To help you with that, we’ve compiled a list of items across five main categories that will not only help you plan better but also keep your spending budget below $100.


You cannot have a steamboat dinner without the crucial soup base which cooks your food and offers you added flavours to the ingredients you’ve added. As Singaporeans particularly love spicy food, try the Hollyfarms Instant Tom Yum Goong Soup Paste which offers a rich flavoured Tom Yum broth with distinct spicy and sour notes!


From left to right:
1. Hai Di Lao Hot Pot Soup Base (Spicy), $3.95
2. Lee Kum Kee Soup Base for Hot Pot (Sichuan Hot & Spicy), $1.90
3. Swanson Clear Chicken Broth, $1.90
4. Dezhuang Hot Pot Base (Pure Green Pepper), $3.65
6. Hai Di Lao Hot Pot Seasoning (Tomato), $3.95


Meats are an essential ingredient for any great steamboat as it determines the depth of the broth’s flavour. Taking into account the cooking time for your meat, opt for thinner slices of meat of the shabu shabu variety which will shorten the wait time and allow you to enjoy more meats! Alternatively, you could also add luncheon meat or sausages if you prefer a change from the usual meat additions.


From left to right:
1. Sadia Frozen Chicken Breast (Strips), $3.15
2. Tradition Frozen Pork Belly Shabu Shabu, $7.50
3. BoBo Frozen Chicken Cheese Sausage, $2.75
4. Chef Delights Frozen Beef Shabu Shabu, $6
5. Tradition Frozen Pork Collar Shabu Shabu, $7.50
6. Maling Premium Pork Luncheon Meat, $2.85


For those who like to have a bit of umami in their soup, adding seafood to your steamboat would actually do the trick as it creates more layers and richness to your soup. As an alternative to abalone, opt for limpets which are an ideal inexpensive option that offers just as much flavour with a similar texture and bite.


From left to right:
1. DoDo Fishball, $2
2. Okeanoss Frozen Shrimp Paste, $3.90 
3. Seaco Frozen Snow Crab Flavoured Leg Meat, $5.95
4. Diamond Frozen Live White Prawns, $12.80
5. FairPrice Flavoured Crab Sticks, $1.75
6. Diamond Prince Limpets, $11.80


Apart from all the protein in your steamboat, you will also need to have some fibre as well. Vegetables will bring an added sweetness and hearty taste to your soup, which can help to balance out the overall savoury flavour of the soup stock.


From left to right:
1. Pasar Fresh Oyster Mushroom, $1.10
2. Peng Wang Cheese Tofu, $2.20
3. Pasar Enoki Mushroom, $1.35
4. BoBo Fried Tau Kee, $2.50
5. Gold Australia Wong Bok, $4.80
6. Pasar Prepacked Carrots, $0.95


Not all of us can do without carbs during steamboat so instead of rice, opt to have noodles which are known to symbolise longevity!


From left to right:
1. Chilli Brand Rice Vermicelli, $1.20
2. Swan Tai Ann Mee Sua Box, $1.75
3. Sun Brand Dried Egg Noodles, $1.05
4. My Noodle Handmade Noodle (Mee Pok), $3.50
5. Fortune Japanese Udon, $2.80
6. Singlong Korean Sweet Potato Vermicelli, $1.35


Your steamboat meal isn’t complete until you have the accompanying dipping sauces for your ingredients!


From left to right:
1. Hai’s Brand Steamboat Chilli, $3.50
2. Singlong Chinchalok with Chili, $2.50
3. Laoganma Chili In Oil, $2.30
4. Knife Brand Thai Dipping Sauce, $3.60
5. Thai Heritage Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce, $2.20
6. Taho Lemon Chili Sauce (Extra Hot), $1.65


Up your steamboat game (if you’re feeling indulgent) with some tasty specials that are usually popular during the Chinese New Year period. This includes abalone, pacific clams, razor clams as well as a do-it-yourself Buddha Jump Over The Wall!


From left to right:
1. Peimama Korean Braised Abalone in Superior Sauce, $76
2. Skylight New Zealand Superior Abalone, $29
3. Golden Chef South Korean Baby Abalone (8 pieces), $42.80
4. New Moon Pacific Clams, $9.90
5. Golden Chef Razor Clams, $8
6. New Moon Superior Buddha Jump Over The Wall, $8.95



Feature image credit: Imperial Treasure Steamboat