I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting condiments to dip my food into.
And when it comes to hotpot, the dipping sauces really make or break the experience (and meal!)
The variety of ingredients cooked in the simmering broth means you need a diverse lineup of sauces to fully bring out all the flavors.
After years of hotpot-ing, I’ve rounded up my personal favorites – the best hotpot dipping sauces that no meal should be without!
- 1 Best Hotpot Dipping Sauces
- 2 What Makes A Sauce Good For Hotpot Dipping?
- 3 Lastly
Best Hotpot Dipping Sauces
Some of the best hotpot dipping sauces include:
- Sesame Sauce
- Spicy Mala Sauce
- Ponzu Sauce
- Garlic Sauce
- Peanut Sauce
- Spicy Sichuan Sauce
- Hoisin Sauce
- Satay Sauce
This nutty, aromatic sauce is a staple for hotpot.
The perfect blend of toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and ginger packs a tasty punch.
It’s especially delicious with sliced beef and leafy greens.
The sweet tanginess of the sauce complements the natural flavors of the ingredients. Just a drizzle of this sauce will elevate your hotpot experience!
Spicy Mala Sauce
For some heat, you can’t go wrong with a Sichuan-style mala sauce.
The fiery blend of chili oil, Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, and fragrant spices gives you a mouth-numbing kick.
It’s wonderfully addicting and pairs well with any of the meats and seafood.
Add some crushed peanuts for extra crunch too. If you like spice, this hot sauce is a must-have for your dipping lineup.
The Japanese citrusy ponzu sauce adds a bright, tasty layer of flavor.
Made with soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and yuzu, it’s tangy, sweet, and savory.
I love dunking thin slices of pork or shrimp tempura into ponzu – it’s a match made in heaven!
The acidity helps cut through the richness of oilier ingredients.
It’s a versatile sauce that complements many hotpot items.
For a simple, flavor-packed concoction, whip up a garlic sauce.
Combine minced garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon, sugar, and cilantro.
The pungent garlic and potent sesame oil are so addicting.
I especially love it with blanched vegetables like bok choy, broccoli, and mushrooms.
The garlic sauce enhances their natural sweetness. It’s easy to make and packs such an umami punch!
Don’t forget the classic Chinese peanut sauce!
The nutty flavor is so addictive when combined with sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and garlic.
I love dunking dumplings and boiled meats in this sauce.
The creaminess pairs perfectly with heartier ingredients. You get sweet, salty, nutty and aromatic flavors in one dip!
Spicy Sichuan Sauce
For extreme spice lovers, whip up a traditional Sichuan hot pot sauce.
It often contains chili oil, Sichuan peppercorns, fermented black beans, and toasted sesame paste.
The result is a mala sauce turned up to 11!
Your mouth will tingle and go numb from the intense Sichuan peppercorn zing.
Use it sparingly on beef and lamb slices. This sauce should come with a warning label for its extreme spiciness!
Hoisin Sauce and Satay Sauce
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box of traditional Asian hot pot sauces too.
Hoisin and satay sauce are both boldly flavored condiments that can enhance the hot pot experience.
The thick, sweet hoisin pairs nicely with among meat and seafood.
And the peanutty satay sauce adds great flavor to beef and vegetables.
So expand your hot pot sauce horizons for an unexpected twist!
What Makes A Sauce Good For Hotpot Dipping?
A sauce is good for hotpot dipping when it enhances and complements the flavors of the ingredients, offers a balanced taste profile, and has a pleasing texture. It should not overpower the inherent flavors of the hotpot ingredients but should rather heighten the overall dining experience.
through lots of trial and error (and eating way too much hotpot), I’ve identified the key factors that set a great hotpot dipping sauce apart. Here are my tips on what to look for in a sauce that will truly level up your next hotpot meal!
Balancing Flavors is Key
A balanced sauce blends salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami in just the right proportions.
This allows the sauce to accentuate the natural flavors of the ingredients instead of overpowering them.
For instance, a sauce with the right balance of sweet and salty tones can make Beef slices taste even more succulent and enhance the inherent umami.
Nail the Texture
Let’s talk texture – it makes all the difference!
A properly made sauce should coat and cling to foods with just the right viscous consistency.
Too thin or watery and it slides right off. Too thick and gloopy and it overwhelms.
Look for sauces with a silky, luxurious mouthfeel that perfectly clings to ingredients as you dip.
Pick Complementary Flavors
Think about how the sauce interplays with your particular hotpot ingredients.
A light ponzu goes beautifully with delicate seafoods like shrimp or scallops. Heartier meats pair well with thicker, roasted sesame sauces.
Mix and match to find flavor combinations that are complementary, not conflicting.
Consider Culture and Personal Taste
Regional traditions influence sauces too!
Sichuan peppercorn sauce is right at home in a Chinese mala hot pot. And satay sauce adds a Thai twist.
Not to mention your own personal preferences.
Love spicy? Go bold with chili oil.
Prefer creamy? Opt for a peanut or hoisin sauce.
Add your own stamp!
A really great hotpot sauce is versatile enough to pair well with any ingredients you have cooking in the pot.
And it can be tweaked to suit different broth types or dietary needs.
Before committing to a sauce, dip a few different items in it to make sure it enhances everything.
So there you have it – my must-have hotpot dipping sauces!
With this arsenal of flavors, you’re guaranteed to have a sensational hotpot experience.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and mix different sauces too.
The possibilities are endless when you have this dream dipping team by your side.
Now get dipping!
Hello, I’m Jeremy, a sauce enthusiast and taste trailblazer! My endless pursuit of new flavors has led me on a journey to master sauce making at home, along with try out a range of exciting brands and sauce offerings. Now I share my recipes, tips and recommendations on WeWantTheSauce to help fellow foodies find the perfect sauces.