Communal steamboat is popular during Chinese New Year, but it carries some risk with Covid-19 and all. If you feel iffy about sharing food, 7-Eleven has launched a new range of instant, single-pax hotpots.
Three flavours available
It comes in three flavours: Mala Chicken, Tomato Seafood and Herbal Chicken. Each hotpot costs a promotional price of just $4.50 till Feb 16 (usual price: $4.80).
How this ‘hotpot’ works
No fire is actually involved for this chilled hotpot, which is a plastic bowl filled with fresh (not frozen) ingredients. You just need to microwave it for about three minutes to heat it up. Incredibly, you don’t even have to add water — a soup base paste is hidden under the pile of hotpot ingredients, and becomes soup once heated up.
We try out the three flavours below:
Tomato Seafood, $4.50 (usual price $4.80)
For its wallet-friendly price, we’re surprised by the amount of ingredients crammed into the hotpot bowl. The Tomato Seafood flavour has fish chunks, prawns, crabsticks, clams, lotus root, enoki mushrooms, tomatoes, and tang hoon (vermicelli) floating in a tomato-based broth. And it’s pretty darn tasty for an instant hotpot. The broth is concentrated, like steamboat soup that had been simmering for a while and thickened from the ingredients cooking in it. The seafood and veggies (save for the prawn, which is more limp than springy) are also fresh and yummy.
It ain’t premium Haidilao, but at $4.50, this is a value-for-money — and filling — one-bowl meal for when you want something fuss-free.
Mala Chicken Hot Pot, $4.50 (usual price $4.80)
This flavour comes with spicy chicken, luncheon meat, a corn cob slice, spinach, black fungus, lotus root, tofu, napa cabbage and vermicelli. According to 7-Eleven, the mala soup base is made with “a unique blend of nine different spices”. It’s spicy enough to numb our tongue, and the choice of ingredients (including the marinated chicken) goes well with the spicy mala soup.
Herbal Chicken Hot Pot, $4.50 (usual price $4.80)
This pick is not as heavy as the other two flavours, though it also comes with plenty of veggies like spinach, black fungus, carrot, napa cabbage, tofu and vermicelli, plus chicken thigh chunks. Its chicken soup base double-boiled with seven Chinese herbs, like wolfberries, is flavourful enough, and we even got a piece of what looks like dang shen (also known as Poor Man’s Ginseng, though it ain’t that cheap too) in our soup. Good deal.