Spice Up Your Hotpot with These Tasty Dipping Sauces

Dearest reader, are you tired of the same old boring dipping sauces for your hotpot? Are you yearning for an exotic flavor that transports you somewhere far away? Look no further! I present to you my recipe for hotpot dipping sauces. With this recipe, I promise to take your taste buds on a journey across Asia through the bold and flavorful spices used in each sauce.

Hotpot, also known as steamboat, shabu shabu or Beijing hot pot, is a traditional Asian dish featuring boiling broth at the center of a table, surrounded by a variety of raw meats, seafood, vegetables and tofu to be cooked by diners at their own pace. And while dipping sauces might seem like just a small accompaniment to this meal, they can truly make or break the overall dining experience.

In Chinese restaurants, hotpot dipping sauces are presented in small bowls with choices such as classic sesame paste sauce or chili oil sauce. But with my recipe, you can now elevate your hotpot game by creating not one, not two, but seven amazing dipping sauces that will leave your guests impressed and satisfied.

As we embark on this culinary journey together, I urge you to keep an open mind and embrace the bold flavors of Asia. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Hotpot Dipping Sauces
Hotpot Dipping Sauces

If you’re a fan of hot pot, you know that the dipping sauces are just as important as the main ingredients. That’s why I’m excited to share with you my hotpot dipping sauce recipe!

Firstly, this recipe is incredibly versatile. You can adjust the spice level to your liking, whether that’s a mild kick or fiery heat. Plus, with options like sesame paste, peanut butter, and chili oil, there’s a flavor profile for every palate.

Secondly, making your own homemade dipping sauces elevates the entire hot pot experience. You’ll impress your guests with the delicious flavors and personal touch. It’ll be an unforgettable meal that brings people together and creates cherished memories.

But most importantly, this hot pot dipping sauce recipe is simply delicious. The combination of roasted Sichuan peppercorn, minced garlic, and soy sauce creates a savory umami flavor that adds depth to any dish. And when mixed with sesame oil and fresh chili, it provides a fragrant aroma and slight spiciness that hits all the right notes.

So why settle for generic store-bought dipping sauces when you can create your very own masterpiece? Trust me – once you try this hotpot dipping sauce recipe, you won’t want to go back to anything else!

Ingredient List

 Captivating colors and flavors in these hotpot dipping sauces!
Captivating colors and flavors in these hotpot dipping sauces!

Ingredients You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon roasted Sichuan peppercorns
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons red chili flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chinese sesame paste or peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil (optional)
  • Raw egg, served on top of the finished dipping sauce mixture (optional)
  • Chopped fresh garlic (optional)
  • Finely chopped red chilli pepper (optional)

This recipe requires some skills for making the perfect hotpot dipping sauces. The ingredients I listed above are all key to create a delicious and authentic flavour. Please note that some non-mainstreaming ingredients are labelled in bold. You can find them at Asian grocery stores or order online from specialty food websites.

The Recipe How-To

 Add some heat to your meal with these sauces.
Add some heat to your meal with these sauces.

Now that you’re familiar with the ingredients and their measurements, it’s time to start preparing our hotpot dipping sauces! As I mentioned earlier, this recipe will yield three distinct sauces. You can either make all three or select your favorites.

How to Make Garlic Sesame Sauce

This garlic sesame sauce is an absolute classic dipping sauce usually served in Chinese restaurants. It pairs perfectly with hotpot or even simple boiled vegetables. Here’s how you can create it:

  1. In a small bowl, combine one tablespoon of Chinese sesame paste and two tablespoons of light soy sauce.
  2. Mix until well combined, and then add one tablespoon of sesame oil, one tablespoon of minced garlic, and a pinch of roasted Sichuan peppercorn.
  3. For some extra spice, add a pinch or two of red chili flakes.
  4. Slowly pour in some warm water while stirring vigorously until the sauce reaches a smooth and creamy consistency.
  5. Adjust the salt content by adding a pinch of salt if necessary.
  6. Allow the sauce to sit for about 30 minutes before serving, so the flavors have time to blend together.

How to Make Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce

If you’re looking for something slightly tangy and nutty, this Thai peanut dipping sauce is the perfect alternative! It pairs perfectly with both meat and vegetable ingredients in hotpot.

  1. In a small bowl, combine three tablespoons of peanut butter and one tablespoon of chopped red chili pepper.
  2. Mix until well combined before adding two cloves garlic, one tablespoon of minced fresh ginger root, one tablespoon agave syrup or honey, two tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, and juice from one lime.
  3. Add grated carrots or finely chopped cilantro as desired for extra flavor and texture.
  4. Lastly, slowly pour enough warm water into the bowl while stirring until you achieve a thick and smooth consistency.
  5. Adjust the taste by adding more salt or red chili flakes.

How to Make Beijing Style Hotpot Dipping Sauce

This Beijing-style hotpot dipping sauce is a variant of the traditional sesame oil-based hotpot dipping sauce. It has a slightly thinner consistency that doesn’t overpower the flavor of the broth, making it perfect for those who enjoy mild dipping sauces.

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together one tablespoon of Chinese sesame paste and three tablespoons low sodium soy sauce.
  2. Add two tablespoons of chilli oil and one tablespoon of finely chopped garlic.
  3. Preferably, add a raw egg yolk if desired for an added creaminess and thickness.
  4. Slowly pour enough warm water while stirring until you obtain the desired consistency.
  5. Lastly, add some chopped scallions on top for an extra pop of flavor and texture.

With these three dipping sauces in your arsenal, you’ll have no trouble impressing your guests

Substitutions and Variations

 Your hotpot will thank you for these tasty dipping options.
Your hotpot will thank you for these tasty dipping options.

As with any recipe, it’s always fun to experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations to find the perfect taste for your palate. Here are some substitutions and variations to try out in your hotpot dipping sauces:

– For a nuttier and more flavorful taste, swap out the peanut butter for almond or cashew butter.

– Use tahini instead of sesame paste for a creamier and smoother sauce.

– To add some heat, add sliced jalapenos or Thai bird chili peppers to your dipping sauce.

– Swap out the light soy sauce for dark soy sauce for a richer and more savory taste.

– If you prefer a sweeter dipping sauce, swap out the red chili flakes with honey or brown sugar.

– For a vegetarian-friendly version, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

– Instead of using raw eggs in your dipping sauce, try 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise or sour cream for a creamier and tangier taste.

– If you can’t find roasted Sichuan peppercorns, replace them with regular black peppercorns or pink peppercorns.

These variations can help you tailor the recipe to suit your preferences or dietary restrictions. Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun experimenting!

Serving and Pairing

 From savory to sweet, these dipping sauces have got you covered.
From savory to sweet, these dipping sauces have got you covered.

Now that your hotpot dipping sauces are ready, it’s time to serve them up and enjoy them with your hotpot meal! The beauty of these sauces is that they can complement any hotpot protein and vegetable option you choose. You can dip your beef slices in the sesame sauce, shrimp in the garlic sauce, or tofu in the peanut sauce.

To create an authentic Chinese dining experience, serve these dipping sauces alongside your hotpot at the center of the table. Provide a variety of plates filled with vegetables, meats and seafood for your guests to dip into their desired hotpot dipping sauce.

If you prefer more heat, sprinkle some roasted sichuan peppercorn or red chili flakes on top of your sauce before serving. Pairing it with a side of steamed rice or noodles is also a great idea to balance out the flavors.

Feeling adventurous? Try adding a dollop of raw egg to your dipping sauce for added creaminess, especially for spicy sauces like chili oil or Sichuan pepper salt.

All in all, these hotpot dipping sauces will add an explosion of flavor and excitement to your meal. Whether you are enjoying them for dinner with friends, family or as a solo indulgence, they’re sure to bring warmth and satisfaction to your taste buds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Aesthetic meets delicious in these hotpot dipping sauces.
Aesthetic meets delicious in these hotpot dipping sauces.

If you’re planning to prepare your hotpot dipping sauces in advance, then you’ll be glad to know that they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. You could also consider freezing them for up to 3 months, although we all know homemade sauces are best fresh so try not to freeze them for too long.

When reheating your dipping sauce, simply place it in a small pot over low heat on the stovetop until it’s warmed through. If you’re short on time, microwaving works well too – just be sure to reheat it in 30-second increments, stirring each time until it’s heated through.

If you find that your sauce has become too thick as it sits in the fridge or freezer, feel free to thin it out with a little bit of water. Alternatively, if your sauce is too thin and lacks depth of flavor, consider adding more roasted Sichuan peppercorn or chili flakes for additional spice.

Remember that the longer your sauce sits, the more intense and flavorful it will become. The flavors will have time to meld together and create a more complex and rich taste. So don’t hesitate to make a big batch of dipping sauces in advance!

Overall, hotpot dipping sauces are known for their versatility and can be used as a condiment for any number of dishes. They’re perfect for enhancing the flavor of hotpot or steamboat dips, but also pair well with grilled meats or vegetables.

Whether made fresh or stored in advance, these sauces are sure to add an extra layer of depth and flavor to your meal. So go ahead – get creative and experiment with different combinations until you find your perfect dipping sauce recipe!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Vibrant and flavorful, these sauces will spice up your hotpot experience.
Vibrant and flavorful, these sauces will spice up your hotpot experience.

To achieve the perfect hotpot dipping sauce, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Firstly, ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature. This will allow for easy blending of flavors and ensure the consistency is not affected by any lumps or clumps.

When making the sauce, it’s important to start with a smooth base. Sift the roasted Sichuan peppercorn before mixing it with other spices to get rid of any impurities. This will help in achieving a seamless texture, which will make it easier for dipping ingredients during your hotpot feast.

When making the sesame paste, peanut butter sauce or chili oil-based dipping sauces, make sure you add just enough water to achieve your preferred consistency. Start off with little water as it is easier to thin a sauce, than thickening an overly watery one.

To add depth and umami flavor to your hotpot dipping sauces, mix light soy sauce and Chinese sesame oil with other ingredients. However, be mindful of not adding too much soy sauce as it can overpower the other flavors.

Finally, taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. If the dipping sauces aren’t spicy enough for your preferences, added minced garlic or red chili flakes for some heat. If they’re too salty or sweet, adjust with more chili oil or sugar respectively.

These quick tips guarantee a flavorful and well-balanced hotpot dipping sauce that complements any ingredient you dip into it.


Now that you have learned how to make these delicious hotpot dipping sauces, it’s time to address some of the most frequently asked questions about this recipe. Read on to get answers to some common questions that you may have about the ingredients, the flavor, or even how long these sauces can be stored for.

What are the ingredients in Hai Di Lao dipping sauce?

For this recipe, you will need some essential ingredients that will give an authentic taste to your dish. These ingredients include water, peanut butter made with roasted peanuts, salt, rapeseed oil, and palm oil. You will also need sesame paste, made purely from sesame seeds, GM soybean oil, fermented soybean curd, chives, and flower paste, which is a mixture of chive flowers, water, salt, and flavor enhancer E621. To prolong the shelf life of the dish, add a small amount of preservative E212. Please note that some of these ingredients, such as peanuts and soybeans, may contain allergens.

What is the dipping sauce at Chinese restaurants?

For centuries, soy sauce has been an integral component of Chinese cuisine, valued for its rich savory flavor. This versatile sauce pairs exceptionally well with dim sum and is often combined with other condiments, like vinegar, ginger, and chili oil to create a satisfying dipping sauce.

What are dipping sauces used for?

Dips are a versatile addition to enhance the taste and consistency of various foods. They can be paired with an array of items like crackers, seafood, raw vegetables, tortilla and potato chips, cheese, and even sandwiches, to name a few.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the hotpot dipping sauces recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves the authentic taste of Asian cuisine. With its flavorful ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, this recipe will certainly elevate your hotpot experience to the next level. From the classic dipping sauce recipes to homemade creations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, with the many variations and substitutions available, you can easily tailor this recipe to suit your preferences and dietary needs.

Whether you’re having friends over for a cozy night in or looking for a fun way to switch up your dining routine, hotpot dipping sauces will not disappoint. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to delve into the world of hotpot dipping sauces!

Hotpot Dipping Sauces

Hotpot Dipping Sauces Recipe

Again, many sauces can be used as dipping sauces, whether traditional Sichuan, Hunan, or mixing in a Thai or Vietnamese dipping sauce. The list here is purely those considered traditional in Sichuan cuisine. The list is from Fuschia Dunlop's "The Land of Plenty".
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Appetizer/Sauce
Cuisine Asian


  • sesame oil
  • peanut oil (consider the flavor of the oil in this case) or vegetable oil (consider the flavor of the oil in this case)
  • garlic
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sichuan peppercorn (for Sichuan pepper salt)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt (for Sichuan pepper salt)


  • Each of the ingredients above is a dipping sauce, all by itself, other than the sichuan pepper and salt.
  • Provide small bowls of each dip for each individual diner.
  • ============= Sichuan Pepper Salt ============.
  • Dry roast the Sichuan peppers until they are fragrant -- do NOT burn them.
  • Using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the peppers.
  • You may either serve the pepper and salt in individual dipping bowls or you can mix the salt and pepper to create a single dipping ingredient.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 11gSodium: 3488.2mg
Keyword < 15 Mins, Asian, Chinese, Szechuan, Weeknight
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