Choose your hot pot ingredients more wisely with this menu of popular items. By Deborah Lin
You might be looking forward to your reunion dinner of steamboat, but do you know what’s in your hot pot? Like – yikes – how a tablespoonful of pork belly will cost you 120kcal?
Don’t forget that an average Asian woman with a sedentary nine-to-five lifestyle should keep within her recommended daily intake of 1,800 calories, 50g of fat (not more than 18g should be saturated) and 2,000mg of sodium. (Note: A tablespoonful of meat weighs about 25g.) Here’s our guide of nutritional information for 34 favourite ingredients so you know what you’re putting away.
And so you know, boiling or steaming doesn’t add or subtract calories from your food. But overcooking food will lead to the loss of vitamins and minerals, especially in vegetables. If the green leafy ones turn yellow, they’ve lost most of their vitamin B. You are mistaken to think that drinking the soup they were cooked in may help you regain some nutrients. Most vitamins (like B and C) would be destroyed with continued exposure to high heat, says Jaclyn Reutens, clinical dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants.
Likewise, overcooking meat, chicken, fish, and even tofu will alter the proteins and make them harder to digest. As a guide, cook bite-sized food items in boiling water according to the following times:
Green leafy vegetables 3 minutes or less
Hardier vegetables (like mushrooms, carrots and cabbage) 10-15 minutes
Chicken, pork and seafood 3-5 minutes
WHAT’S IN YOUR HOT POT?
Tau pok (one)
53kcal, 3.9g fat, 4mg sodium
Bitter gourd with fish paste (one)
9kcal, 0.2g fat (0.1g saturated), 0.3g fibre, 73mg sodium
Red chilli with fish paste (one)
8kcal, 0.2g fat (0.1g saturated), 0.5g fibre, 71mg sodium
Lady’s fingers (one)
4kcal, 4g fibre, 4mg sodium
Chicken frank (one)
77kcal, 5.7g fat (1.6g saturated), 0.4g fibre, 353mg sodium
Next: Nutritional information of meat and seafood items