Searching for a hearty, delicious meal but trying to watch your carbs? We feel your pain. Sticking to a low carb diet can be tricky when your favorite foods are off limits. But have no fear – hot pot can easily be made low carb!
Hot pot is a popular Asian dish where meat, veggies, and noodles are cooked tableside in a communal broth. While traditional hot pot uses higher carb ingredients like rice noodles, by swapping a few simple ingredients you can enjoy this tasty meal while still meeting your low carb goals.
The key is to skip the noodles and rice altogether. Instead, use shirataki noodles, zucchini noodles, or thinly sliced cabbage in place of traditional noodles. Shirataki noodles are extremely low in carbs, with only a few grams per serving. Zucchini noodles or cabbage noodles are delicious, carb-free substitutes. For the broth, opt for a homemade broth using bone broth and low carb veggies and seasonings like garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Add fatty meats like beef or lamb and load up on low carb veggies like bok choy, mushrooms and bean sprouts.
With a few easy swaps, hot pot transforms into a mouthwatering low carb meal. The savory broth, tender meats and crisp, fresh veggies satisfy your comfort food cravings without the carb crash later. Get ready to enjoy sizzling, flavorful hot pot while sticking to your healthy low carb lifestyle. Let’s dig in!
What is Hot Pot?
For those new to this popular dish, hot pot is a Chinese meal where meat, veggies, and noodles are cooked tableside in a communal broth. Diners grab ingredients with chopsticks and swish them around the bubbling pot until cooked. The broth is often spicy and full of mouthwatering flavors. It’s an interactive, social dining experience.
Traditional hot pot recipes use higher carb ingredients like rice noodles, potato starch noodles, or dumpling wraps. But the basic concept of simmering foods in an amazing broth offers the perfect chance to go low carb.
Why Try Low Carb Hot Pot?
Here’s why creating a low carb version of hot pot is worth it:
Satisfies comfort food cravings. Hot pot is cozy, warm, and satisfying – exactly what you want from a comfort meal. The steaming broth and tender meats soothe your soul.
Flavorful, not boring. Low carb doesn’t have to mean sacrificing excitement. A properly spiced hot pot still delivers zesty, dynamic flavor.
Perfect for gatherings. Hot pot is already designed as a social experience. Making it low carb means you can enjoy it with friends and family without worrying about your diet.
Warms you up. Slurping a hot, delicious broth really hits the spot on chilly nights. Hot pot is a wonderful wintertime meal.
Easy to make low carb. With just a few simple ingredient swaps, traditional hot pot transforms into a low carb meal. Read on to learn how!
Tips for Making Hot Pot Low Carb
Luckily, it’s easy to tweak hot pot to be low carb. Just follow these tips:
Use Low Carb Noodles
Skip the rice noodles or wheat noodles. Instead try:
- Shirataki noodles – Made from konjac yam, these translucent noodles are extremely low carb with just a few grams per serving. They soak up the broth flavor. Rinse well and boil briefly to reduce any odor.
- Zucchini noodles – Spiralized or julienned zucchini creates long, noodle-like strands with no carbs. Boil briefly so they don’t get mushy.
- Cabbage noodles – Thinly slice cabbage into strands and boil briefly until tender but still crunchy.
- Bean sprouts – Not noodles, but crisp, hydrating sprouts add filling texture.
Use a Low Carb Broth
The broth is key to delicious hot pot. For a low carb broth:
- Start with bone broth – Beef or chicken bone broth offers deep flavor as well as collagen for gut health.
- Flavor with aromatics – Garlic, ginger, scallions, mushrooms and chili peppers build flavor.
- Add a splash of soy sauce or fish sauce – Use sparingly as both contain carbs.
- Use sesame oil – Just a drizzle adds nutty richness.
- Skip potatoes or corn – Starchy veggies raise the carb count.
Load up on Low Carb Vegetables
The magic of hot pot is loading your own plate with your favorite veggies. Low carb options include:
- Mushrooms (all varieties)
- Bok choy
- Bell peppers
- Bamboo shoots
- Green beans
- Snow peas
- Baby corn
- Water chestnuts
- Daikon radish
- Carrots (in moderation)
- Bean sprouts
Pick Lean Protein Sources
Hot pot is the perfect chance to add lean protein. Consider:
- Thin slices of beef (flank, sirloin or tenderloin)
- Lamb or mutton
- Chicken breast sliced thin
- Prawns or shrimp
- Fish fillets like cod, salmon or tilapia
- Tofu or edamame for a plant-based option
Sample Low Carb Hot Pots To Try
To get you inspired, here are some delicious low carb hot pot possibilities:
- Bone broth seasoned with garlic, ginger and scallions
- Thinly sliced beef
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Baby bok choy
- Shirataki noodles
- Sesame oil to serve
- Bone broth with chili oil, Szechuan peppercorns and garlic
- Chicken breast
- Baby corn
- Water chestnuts
- Bean sprouts
- Cabbage noodles
- Cilantro and scallion garnish
Japanese Sukiyaki Hot Pot
- Kombu and bonito broth
- Thinly sliced ribeye
- Enoki mushrooms
- Shirataki noodles
- Soft boiled eggs
Seafood Hot Pot
- Seafood bone broth
- Zucchini noodles
- Bok choy
Tips for Low Carb Dipping Sauces
The zesty dipping sauces are key to hot pot flavor. Make them low carb by:
- Using soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil or chili garlic sauce as the base
- Flavoring with garlic, ginger, scallions or citrus
- Thickening with a spoonful of sesame paste or almond butter instead of corn starch
- Mixing in chopped cilantro, chives, mint or basil
Make a Hot Pot Meal Plan
Having a plan helps ensure low carb success. Here is a sample meal plan centered around hot pot:
Breakfast: Eggs and avocado
Lunch: Baked chicken and greens
Dinner: Hot Pot
- Bone broth
- Protein: steak, shrimp, chicken
- Veggies: zucchini noodles, mushrooms, bok choy, bell pepper
- Sauces: sesame chili oil, garlic-ginger soy
Dessert: Sugar free jello with whipped cream
Planning a balanced day of protein, green veggies and healthy fats ensures you get nutrition while keeping carbs low at dinner.
Tips for Low Carb Hot Pot Success
Follow these tips for fabulous low carb hot pot every time:
- Read labels to check carb counts, especially on sauces
- Watch portions on starchy veggies like carrots and onions
- Balance your plate with plenty of greens and protein
- Stay hydrated by sipping electrolyte-rich bone broth
- Come hungry! That steaming broth is meant to be enjoyed.
Enjoy the Hot Pot Experience – Now Low Carb!
Traditional hot pot gets a healthy makeover when you skip the noodles and rice, use flavorful broth and load your bowl with proteins and low carb veggies. You still get that fun, interactive dining experience without the carb overload.
Hot pot is total comfort food – deeply satisfying on a cold day or as a fun meal with friends. By simply substituting a few ingredients, you can relax and savor hot pot to your heart’s content, even on a low carb diet. Give it a try! Your tastebuds will thank you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Low Carb Hot Pot
Isn’t the broth full of carbs from the vegetables?
The vegetables cooked in the hot pot broth contribute a minimal amount of carbohydrates. Focus on low carb vegetables like mushrooms, leafy greens, broccoli, and zucchini. Use starchy veggies like carrots and onions sparingly. Overall the broth gets most of its flavor from aromatics like garlic, ginger and chili.
Can I use regular noodles and rice in my hot pot?
It’s best to avoid regular wheat noodles and rice to keep your hot pot meal low carb. Even a small serving of these will add up in carbs. Shirataki noodles, zucchini noodles or cabbage noodles give you that satisfying noodle experience while being low carb alternatives.
What about dumplings and buns?
Dumpling wrappers and buns are usually made with white flour, making them too high in carbs for a low carb hot pot meal. Consider switching to a lettuce wrap or simply skipping the wraps and enjoying the dumpling fillings cooked in the broth.
Do I need a special hot pot cooker?
While electric and stovetop hot pot cookers are fun, you can create low carb hot pot in any broth pot! A soup pot on the stove or fondue pot works perfectly. Focus more on the ingredients than special equipment.
Can I enjoy hot pot if I’m gluten free or dairy free?
Absolutely! The broth can be made gluten free by avoiding soy sauce and using tamari instead. Skip the dipping sauces with soy or other gluten ingredients. Use bone broth instead of dairy-based broths. Hot pot is naturally friendly to many dietary needs.