DIY Healthy Dipping Sauces
Mains & Sides

DIY Healthy Dipping Sauces


20 January 2017


With Chinese New Year reunion dinner just around the corner, now’s the time to plan the menu. One of the most popular dishes to enjoy during Chinese New Year is a hot pot dish. There are many ways to prepare your hot pot, but for a clean and healthy diet, it’s important to use only fresh ingredients – this makes for a tastier hot pot too.

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The Dipping Sauce Can Make All The Difference

When it comes to hot pot preparation, apart from the broth, the dipping sauce is also one of the key elements for a delicious hotpot. For a classic hotpot, the broth is often very light in taste, so the sauce is very important. A nice and fresh sauce can further increase the flavour and spice up the dish.

Be Careful!

There is a wide variety of sauces you can purchase off the shelves such as garlic chili sauce, sesame sauce, sweet and spicy sauce, amongst others. However, if you pay attention to the ingredients list, you may notice that they are often loaded with additives such as:

  • MSG: Flavour enhancer, over consumption can lead to headaches, fatigue, etc.
  • Colouring: Artificial colouring is added to make the sauce look more appealing.
  • Flavouring: The garlic flavour in the sauce is likely to come from flavourings rather than fresh garlic.
  • Preservative (eg. Sodium benzoate): This is added to give the product a longer shelf life of up to two years.
  • Sugar : The sugar content in sauces can be as much as 10 teaspoons per 100g.

So the next time you reach for that bottle on the supermarket shelf, remember that you’d be getting a lot of chemicals, and also empty calories.

5 Healthier DIY Sauces

The best option is to make your own dipping sauces so you can ensure its freshness and that the flavours come from ‘real food’. Here are five types of sauces that you can make for your hot pot dinner – all you need to do is put the ingredients in a bowl, stir for the flavours to blend together, and voila! That’s it.

Chili Padi sauce (basic hotpot sauce)

  • 8 Chili padi, finely chopped
  • 1 medium lime,  juiced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (you can put in more if you are a garlic lover)
  • 4 tablespoons of tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil

Mandarin Orange Miso sauce (great for red meat)

  • 2 tablespoons Mandarin orange juice
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons miso
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Spring Onion Ginger sauce (great for white meat like chicken)

  • 70g green spring onion, chopped
  • 30g ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 100ml sesame oil

Ginger Vinegar sauce (great for seafood)

  • 30g ginger chopped
  • 40g brown sugar
  • 180ml rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Healthy Peanut Butter Sesame sauce (sacha sauce)

  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tahini butter
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds

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