Hotpot With Loved Ones – Halal Soup Base Recipe

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Hotpot With Loved Ones – Halal Soup Base Recipe

Halal soup base? What for you wonder? One favorite pastime most Malaysians know and love has to be hotpot-ing. Similar to steam-boating minus the grill part. Hotpot is originally Chinese.

We spend hours on end eating to our heart’s content this staple gathering food. Chatting with old friends and family, while cooking our food in delicious broth as we go.

The broth comes in two variations; mild and spicy. Being South East Asian, naturally, we have a knack for spice so most of us favor the spicy broth. But, essentially both are of the same basic meat broth.

Traditionally, the hotpot broth starts as a meat broth. The mild broth hotpot base is essentially a simple yet tasty meat broth with no spice additions. While the spicy broth hotpot base is the same meat broth base with special chili, spices and bean paste added.

Traditionally also, this broth is made from chicken and pork bones. Many Malaysians cannot eat pork so this will be a hotpot halal soup base recipe for both versions. Therefore, everyone can enjoy it and eat to their heart’s content. This recipe will leave a mark on you and your guests.

Chicken broth & mild broth hotpot halal soup base recipe

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The mild broth served as hotpot with no spice additions. (Image via

It’s traditionally made with pork bones so we swap it out with a whole chicken to be an “all consumer friendly” broth. Also, for this recipe, we opted to add more aromatics because that’s the good stuff.

Making the broth is fairly easy. Have a large pot clean and ready with filtered water. Drop all ingredients in and leave to boil. Voila.

This is to make it from scratch, but if you feel it too tasking, feel free to just use bought stock base diluted.


1 Whole Chicken (chopped up into smaller pieces)

1 Whole Onion (roughly diced)

1 large Ginger piece (peeled and sliced)

1 bunch of Scallions (roughly sliced into 1-inch pieces)

1 Carrot (roughly sliced)

5 cloves of Garlic (peeled and smashed)

1 long Celery stalk (roughly chopped)

1 Bay Leaf

1 tablespoon Salt

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

½ teaspoon MSG (feel free to omit)

1 Chicken stock cube

3 L of Water


  1. Place all the ingredients in a very large pot, with water being the last.
  2. Turn the heat on to medium and leave the chicken to simmer for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off and leave once done.
  3. Dish into your hotpot set for a hot pot experience with mild chickeny goodness. Or, keep for other uses.

Spicy hotpot halal soup base

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The spicy paste for spicy hotpot. (Image via

This one is not for the faint of heart. Spicy lovers rejoice though this is the spicy goodness filled halal soup base that hotpot is more known for.

Traditionally, this dish originates from Sichuan so red Sichuan peppercorns are a staple ingredient in this dish. However, it may be hard to locate Sichuan peppers or they may be expensive. Don’t know where to buy them? Look on Lazada and Shopee. They have both red and green peppercorns.

But, in the spirit of making the dish easily re-creatable, we included a substitute for Sichuan peppers of black pepper and coriander. It isn’t an exact replacement but it’s an acceptable substitute.


5 tablespoon Cooking oil/ Rendered chicken fat

3 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns

1 Cinnamon stick

3 Chinese cardamom pods/ Tsaoko (cracked open)

5 pieces Star anise

1 teaspoon Cloves

3 Bay leaves

5 Red dried chilies

2 inch Ginger (sliced)

8 cloves Garlic (peeled and smashed)

1 bunch Scallions (roughly chopped)

3 tablespoons Doubanjiang/ Spicy soy bean paste

3 tablespoons douchi/ fermented black soybean paste

Mild broth halal soup base (from just now)

1 handful Fresh cilantro (not chopped)

Sichuan peppercorn substitute

3 teaspoon black peppercorns

¼ teaspoon ground coriander


  1. Heat cooking oil/ rendered chicken fat. Add in Sichuan peppercorns/ substitute, cinnamon stick, Tsao ko/ cardamom, star anise, bay leaves, and cloves. Stir fry until fragrant.
  2. Add in dried chilies, ginger, and garlic. Continue to stir fry until garlic browns slightly.
  3. Spoon in doubanjiang/ spicy soybean paste and douchi/ fermented black soybean paste. Drop in scallions. Stir fry until bubbly then pour in pre-made broth to top.
  4. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Drop in a handful of cilantro and serve.

Enjoy hotpot with your halal soup base!

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Image via

Be it mild or spicy, tickle your pickle. The ball is in your court since you made it yourself. That’s the best part about cooking for yourself. You call all the shots. How salty, spicy, peppery, or whichever way you want. You tweak it.

This recipe may seem intimidating, but trust me it’s well worth it. And, isn’t too hard once you try it out. Serve it with your choice of an array of meats, veggies, noodles, and sauces to make the most delicious pot of hotpot. That is on par with the restaurant stuff. Be sure to have friends and family over because hotpot is best enjoyed together.

The most rewarding part of cooking? Seeing other people light up because of what you cooked. And believe me, if you make homemade hotpot with this halal soup base, you’ll earn the title of “hostess with the mostess”.

All the best in your kitchen adventures! Making it from scratch is a real game changer. But, if making it from scratch seems a bit too taxing and maybe beyond your expertise, buy a paste. There are plenty of great hotpot soup base pastes on the market that rival homemade ones. Lee Kum Kee, Little Sheep, Lao Gan Ma, and Hai Di Lao make a really delicious paste.

Kuscera Youngblood About the author

Her writing is focused on millennial content. Particularly local content. She's passionate about the local scene and wants more people to know about it through her writing. Check out her articles on, which she actively writes for.