Steamboat V.S. Steam Pot, Which Do You Think is Healthier?


For a country where her citizens’ favourite past time is eating, the term “Steamboat” and “Steam Pot” are definitely not alien to many of us. However, have you ever ponder which of the two is healthier? Team My Fat Pocket sent the two cuisines to 3 rounds of battle and managed to find out the answer. 

Credit: Istock

Steam Pot? Say What?

If you have no slightest idea what steam potting is, it actually involves the usage of an innovative high-speed steamer that cooks the food under 6 minutes. Firstly, rice grains, dried baby shrimps, and water are poured into a ceramic dome, and then a steaming tray is placed to separate the bottom hemisphere. The remaining ingredients are then laid out on the steaming tray and covered with a lid.



Battle 1: Retention of Nutrients in Vegetables

Honestly, nutrient loss is inevitable regardless if you choose to send your greens bubbling in the hot sea (steamboat) or sun tanning on the steam tray (steam pot). When compared with boiling (as seen in the steam boat), steaming (steam pot) is certainly a better way of avoiding nutrient loss. 

Credit: Instagram/kelliexie
Steam pot doesn’t require the greens to be submerged, thus avoids the loss of nutrient through leaching, which is a common woe associated with steamboat. In fact, a study found that when broccoli was steamed, 81% of vitamin C was retained, and this is almost thrice the amount compared to boiling. Though you might argue that you can regain some of these leached nutrients by drinking the steamboat soup, yet most soup bases are high in sodium. Besides, in reality, most of the vitamins (Vitamin B and C) would be destroyed with continued exposure to high heat. 
Battle 1 Winner: Steam Pot

Battle 2: The Possibility of Overcooking & Need for Sauces

Have you ever picked up a piece of meat that tastes so rubbery and bland, and you have no choice but to dip it in the sauces to enhance its palatability? Well, our team definitely do, especially when we’re having our usual steamboat dates. Chances are, we’re too busy chatting over the meal (or filming IG stories), and ended up overcooking the meat. Overcooking causes the fats, proteins and sugar molecules in the meat to fuse together, which explains the tough meat.
Credit: Thebestsingapore

Thankfully, overcooking is never an issue when it comes to steam pot. For steam potting, the temperature is controlled to ensure the food is not overcooked. Such that to prevent the pot from drying out, water is pumped from the water containers under the dining tables. Besides, there’s a pre-set timer that comes along with the high-speed steamer, hence it’s almost “impossible” to overcook your meat. Therefore, you get to enjoy tender and juicy meat that requires no sauces. F.Y.I, most sauces are high in sodium, and a high sodium intake can increase your blood pressure, and result in an added burden on your heart.


Battle 2 Winner: Steam Pot


Battle 3: Soup Broth

Steamboat definitely triumphs over steam pot when it comes to the variety of soup broths being offered. Don’t you agree for steam pot, there seems to be only a single choice of soup broth, and its flavour depends on the kinds of ingredients you picked? For the broth is purely concocted of juices from the ingredients that dripped through the steam tray into the dome during steaming. Despite the poor choices, our team does think that the broth of steam pot is actually healthier than that of steamboat. 

Credit: Everything in the kitchen sink

Most of the broths used in steamboat are prepared using commercially prepared soup stock, which can contain sodium that far exceeds the recommended daily salt intake. Besides constant boiling of the ingredients (e.g. meatballs, sausages or fish balls) can increases the nitrite content of the soup. The nitrite can transform into nitrosamines when digestive enzymes act on it and potentially increases cancer risk. Since steam pot comes with a pre-set timer and doesn’t require the ingredients to be submerged, the issue with nitrite is greatly reduced.

Battle 3 Winner: Steam Pot


Find out more about Steam Pot here.


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