Easy Hot Pot Broth Recipe

cooked, simmering hot pot broth

Make this homemade hot pot broth at home for an easy and simple base for your next hot pot party. Whether you want a meat-based broth or veggie-friendly hot pot, this DIY hot pot broth is customizable for you and your guests. 

Types of hot pot broth

In the simplest terms, hot pot is when you dip raw ingredients into a simmering broth heated over a stove and continuously cook and eat during a meal. It originated in China as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC) and is now eaten in many countries. 

The broth is one of the main ingredients in hot pot and varies greatly depending on where in the world you’re eating. Many Asian cuisines have their own iterations. Chinese hot pot broth is mainly split between two varieties: Northern Chinese style is lighter, with water as the soup base, and Southern Chinese style is known for its mala seasoning (numbingly spicy flavor). My favorite Japanese hot pot style is sukiyaki, which has a sweet and savory soy sauce base.

For at-home “Vietnamese” hot pot, my family has in the past used instant broth paste, which was often a lemongrass-heavy, sour, Thai-style broth concentrate.

This DIY recipe we’re going to make from scratch is a lighter hot pot broth, though. It uses chicken stock and water as a base. I like homemade broth because it’s easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time. 

Instant hot pot broth kits

packs of instant hot pot broth

If you want to make hot pot at home easier for yourself or have a preferred broth from a popular hot pot chain, go the premade broth route. Some of my favorite premade broths are from Haidilao or Little Sheep. These packets are one serving and can easily feed 4-6 people. They’re also very potent and savory. All you have to do is add water and boil.

Typically, you can find them in Asian grocery stores like Ranch 99 and H-Mart. If you don’t have any Asian stores nearby, you can also order them online from Weee! Or Amazon.

These instant broth packets work in a pinch, but this is not why you’re here!

Ingredients in this broth recipe

This hot pot broth recipe is a good foundation for a light soup for any type of hot pot night. What I like about it is that it’s not entirely overpowering for ingredients but offers a flavorful foundation for ingredients to cook in and pairs well with most dipping sauces. 

raw ingredients for hot pot broth
  • stock is a great base for our broth; using stock is an easy way to get flavor instead of making it from scratch. If you are veggie-friendly, you can also substitute it for vegetable stock. 
  • fresh ginger slices give a spicy flavor and aroma to the broth. 
  • scallions impart a faint, sweet spiciness to the overall flavor and pair well with ginger. 
  • dried wood ear gives the broth mild and earthy notes.  
  • jujubes add a natural sweetness to the broth once they plump up after simmering.  
  • daikon radishes also have a subtle sweetness to them and add a mild spiciness to the broth. 
  • dried Sichuan peppers raise the heat level a bit for this broth; however, you can adjust the amount if you prefer spicier levels of hot pot. 

Tips for making hot pot broth

portable gas stove burner, close up on knob

Here are my top tips for making a DIY hot pot broth:

  1. To speed up boiling time, put a lid on it while on the stove.
  2. During periods when you aren’t actively eating and cooking, lower the heat to a simmer so you don’t overcook your ingredients or waste the broth. 
  3. Don’t be greedy and add too many things at once. This will lower the water temperature a lot and affect the cooking time. You want to keep a good balance when making hot pot. 
  4. As you continue cooking ingredients like meat and mushrooms, they will add more flavor to the broth. The broth is also constantly evaporating during dinner both creating a more concentrated broth. 

Refilling the broth with plain water as you cook

pouring hot water into pot of hot pot

Since the broth is continuously cooking throughout the night and you add more and more ingredients to flavor the broth, you’ll find it may be very concentrated. Whenever the broth level lowers too much from evaporation, grab a kettle of hot water and pour enough until it reaches about 2 inches from the top of the pot. 

This shouldn’t dilute your broth too much at this point (I typically use this about 45 minutes to one hour into eating and cooking). However, make sure to ask your guests if they want to continue eating hot pot or if they’re going to move on and use the broth concentrate to eat with noodles–this is always a fun second treat after hot pot. 

Making ahead of time or saving the broth

This broth is super easy. However, you can also make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until it’s time for the hot pot party if you know you’ll be short on time the day of hosting. But for best results, make the broth the day of.

I like to strain out all the broth ingredients first, so I don’t get any leftover disintegrating ingredients like wilted scallions. On the day of, just heat up the broth in the hot pot with a lid until it boils. Note, don’t save broth you’ve already hosted dinner with, since people may have dipped in their utensils, or it may be starchy and too concentrated from previously cooked ingredients.

hot pot broth closeup

Easy Hot Pot Broth Recipe

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Use this homemade and easy hot pot broth for your next hot pot party — it's customizable so that it can work for both meat and veggie friendly guests.
BY: Huy Vu
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes


  • 4 c stock chicken or veggie
  • 3 c filtered water
  • 1-inch ginger sliced
  • 2 scallions cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 large dried wood ear about 3 x 2 inches (about 18 g)
  • 2 jujubes
  • 2-inch daikon radish 2 x 2.5 inch cube
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppers
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Equipment Used

  • knife and cutting board
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • pot and lid
  • tongs


  • Wash, cut, prep the ingredients.
    hot pot broth ingredients
  • In a pot over high heat, combine all the ingredients (except salt): stock, water, ginger, scallions, mushrooms, jujubes, daikon, and Sichuan.
    all ingredients added to pot
  • Bring to a boil and lower the temperature until it leaves a simmer. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 20 minutes.
    simmering pot of broth
  • Taste test and add the salt.
    adding salt to hot pot broth
  • Let it simmer for another 10 minutes and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Hot Pot Broth Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Ingredients, Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: broth, stew, vegan, vegetarian
Did you cook this recipe?Tag @HungryHuy or #hungryhuy–I’d love to see it!

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