Recipe sharing #1 - Thai Steamboat Dipping Sauce

Hello people. I shall update a whole new category of entries from now on. So, for a start, to those who love to eat steamboat - the Chinese style, Thai style, Japanese style or even the Korean style, I'm here to enlighten your taste buds into trying to dip all of those beautiful, fresh, amazing seafood, beef strips, chicken, lamb and veges with this Thai Dipping Sauce!

I was pretty much inspired by our (me and Farid) favourite Thai Steamboat Restaurant; Johnny's Steamboat. Well, to be honest, the place isn't that good but not so bad either. The selection of items for the steamy soup "skin-dipping" session may be a little bit limited. Even the fresh beef is not that fresh. Some of the items we usually have would be the fish noodles, Enoki mushrooms, and lots and lots of fish cakes/balls. The soup is acceptable to our tongues - not too salty and not that tasteless like some other steamboat restaurants we went before.

*Veges, some balls and tofu!

*Put EVERYTHING into the pot!

*Photos are taken by dad and I got it from him!
Mostly, we love the dipping sauce that we had gone crazy eating at other Steamboat Restaurants not tasting the same like theirs! So, in solution, I tried googling and recreating the dipping sauce during the Chinese New Year dinner with my family and well, I think it tasted almost the same! Except for I was lied by Mom saying that we have a full bottle of Sesame oil at home and to find none in the kitchen.

If you have a Steamboat pot at home, try preparing all the ingredients you love (I'd go for Enoki mushrooms and lots of BEEF!), make some chicken stock or any seafood or beef broth and the sauce yourselves!

I'm sorry that I don't have the pictures at the moment since I am an amateur and since I've never really thought of doing this in the first place. I promise to upload the cooking/preparing/serving in the next recipe!

Ingredients needed:

Group A

  1. 4 tomatoes
  2. 2 cloves of garlic
  3. A handful of chilli padi (depending on how hot you want your sauce)
  4. 2 cm of ginger
  5. 2.5 cm of galangal or lengkuas
  6. 2 lemongrass or serai
  7. An onion
  8. Coriander leaves
  9. 2-3 cups of water
  10. 3 tbs of olive oil
  11. Salt and sugar
Group B
  1. 4 lime (get the juices)
  2. 3 tbs of Nempla or the Thai Fish Sauce
  3. 3 tbs of Sesame oil and seeds (which my Mom lied to me so didn't put any but if you put this, your dipping sauce will definitely taste more authentic!)
  4. 3 tbs of Cooking vinegar
  5. 2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
  6. 2 tsp of Paprika
  7. Salt and sugar to taste
  8. This is optional but if you want to make your sauce thicker, you could either put a tsp of corn flour or 2-3 tbs of that Thai Chilli Sauce
Here are the steps to make the magic:
  1. Heat up a pot and pour in olive oil. Then, saute all of the ingredients from Group A for 5-6 minutes. Add the water and let them simmer. Add salt and sugar to taste. Don't overcook the tomatoes. Take it off from the heat and let them cold for a while.
  2. Next is to blend all cooked ingredients earlier on in your food processor. You probably don't want to add anymore water as the cooked ingredients, especially the tomatoes are now juicy and wet! You don't want to dip your food in soup now do you?
  3. When you have food-processed everything, pour back into the pot on a slow heat. Now, challenge your taste bud. Try and put the ingredients in B and get the taste right!
  4. Of course, some of you might like it extra hot, so add more of the Cayenne and Paprika. But if you prefer it to be sour, add more of the cooking vinegar or the lime juice. So as to those who love salty and fishy dipping sauce!
  5. To serve this dipping sauce, pour it nicely into the sauce plate and pour a bit of the sesame oil and seeds and some chopped coriander leaves!
You can add the sauce into your soup so it will taste more spicy or you could just dip your fish cakes/balls in it! Whichever way you're having it, you'll love it!

Good luck to those who are brave enough to try. I've tried and I succeed. And mom and dad let me take the steamboat pot home. So, guess what dish I'll prepare for Farid once we're married?  



  1. Assalam Adibah, I found your website while googling recipes for Johnny's steamboat sauce. I tried it today and I must say the result is fantastic! Thank you for sharing! Will tag your website on my instagram post about the sauce 😊


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