Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Hotpot (Vegan)

Sweet and Sour hotpot in rice cooker

Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Hotpot is the perfect recipe that will warm you up on winter days. It is suitable for social gatherings with picky eaters, the ingredients are customizable and fun to make. So healthy and nourishing, and you can have fun with the toppings!

What is Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Hotpot?

Hotpot is the best way to eat and socialize, especially when the weather cools down. It has a variety of ingredients laid out and a simmering pot in the middle. The pot would be on a portable stovetop or a rice cooker like this one. The idea is that you would put the fresh ingredients in the pot to cook on the heat, then scoop them out and eat, and repeat. The ingredients are ready after a few minutes of simmering, some may take longer to cook.

Hotpot very customizable and fun – like a buffet where you can choose to put any ingredient you like. This way of eating is perfect for children or picky eaters as there are a variety of ingredients to choose from.

What ingredients do you normally use in Hotpot?

The ingredients in Hotpot are usually very well-balanced and nourishing:

Vegetables: different types of mushroom, corn, broccoli, lotus roots, pineapple chunks, carrots. With a combination of vegetables, the broth becomes sweet and full of fiber and nutrients.

Protein: you can add any plant protein you like and have on hand, like tofu, tofu skin, edamame, cooked chickpeas and beans. Or plant-based meat.

Carbs: you can add rice noodles or instant ramen noodles.

Dipping sauce: feel free to use any hotpot dipping sauces you like, for this recipe I used a vegan fish sauce mix and peanut hoisin sauce!

What tool do you use for Hotpot?

The traditional way of preparing Hotpot is with a portable stovetop burner. Just need to put a pot on top of the burner, adjust the heat accordingly: Put the ingredients in on a high heat and after the ingredients are cooked, reduce the heat, scoop out the ingredients to enjoy. Then put in on high heat to cook the newly added ingredients.

However, if you don’t want to buy a separate kitchen appliance, you can use a rice cooker. Use the ‘cook’ function to cook the ingredients and switch to the ‘warm’ function to reduce the heat. Here’s the rice cooker that I recommend, it’s good for serving 4 people and can also be used to cook rice!

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Sweet and Sour hotpot

Sweet and Sour Hotpot – Rice Cooker friendly

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


The perfect recipe that will warm you up on winter days. It is suitable for social gatherings with picky eaters, the ingredients are customizable and fun to make. So healthy and nourishing also!


Units Scale

Hotpot Broth

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 pineapple (fresh or 1 can of pineapple)
  • 2 litre hot water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Veggies & Tofu

  • 2 corn
  • 5 shiitake mushroom (can sub with enoki mushroom or king oyster mushroom)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 napa cabbage
  • 2 bokchoy (or 4 baby bokchoy)
  • 1 lotus root (fresh or frozen)
  • 250 g tofu
  • 180 g bean sprouts


  • 4 servings instant noodles

2 dipping sauce

  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • fish sauce mix
  • minced garlic (can sub with garlic powder)
  • minced chili


Hotpot broth

  1. Add 1L of water to your portable pot/ rice cooker. Bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes and pineapples into large chunks.
  3. Smash the lemongrass with your knife to release its flavor and cut them into large pieces.
  4. When the water is boiling, put the tomatoes, pineapple and lemongrass into the water and simmer for 30-45 minutes. This will make the sweet and sour broth.

Prepare the veggies and tofu

  1. Wash and chop the corn, mushroom, carrot, and napa cabbage.
    Prepare veggies for hotpot
  2. Cut the root off the bokchoy then separate the leaves.
  3. Chop the lotus root into small slices. If used fresh, soak them in salted water for 5-10 minutes to prevent darkening.
  4. Drain the liquid off the tofu and chop it into bite-sized pieces (no need to press the tofu)
  5. Wash the bean sprouts and putt all prepared veggies on a board/plate.

Make the dipping sauce

  1. To make the peanut hoisin sauce: combine 2 tbsp peanut butter, 3 tbsp hoisin sauce/ soy sauce, minced garlic. Mix to combine and add warm water to thin the sauce out to your liking.
  2. To make the fish sauce mix: combine 2 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp sugar, juice from ¼ a lime, 4 tbsp warm water. Add the minced garlic and chilli and mix well to combine.

Eat the hotpot

  1. Put in a handful of ingredients each time, scoop them out to enjoy when they are cooked. Enjoy the hotpot with the flavorful broth or with either of the dipping sauce.
  2. Add more water to the broth as the pot becomes less full.


Leftovers of this taste well and can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. I sometimes use the broth as a soup to eat with rice!

  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese, vietnamese

Keywords: comfort food, healthy, nourishing, oil-free, party food, rainbow veggies, rice cooker recipe, vegan, vegetable

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