Vietnamese steamboats are perfect for entertaining because the guests cook their own just the way they like it. Luke Nguyen's recipe for this flavoursome Vietnamese seafood soup uses prawns, barramundi, scallops, calamari and mussels but you can use whatever seafood you like.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (80 votes)


3 litres chicken stock
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
½ Chinese cabbage (wombok), washed and sliced into 4 cm pieces
1 bunch mustard greens, washed and sliced into 4 cm pieces
1 bunch chrysanthemum leaves (tan o), washed and torn into 10 cm pieces
500 g raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
500 g barramundi fillets, sliced into 5 mm pieces
500 g mussels
500 g calamari
12 scallops, on the half-shell
225 g dried vermicelli noodles, cooked
4 bird’s eye chillies, thinly sliced
125 ml light soy sauce for dipping

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For this recipe you’ll need a portable gas stove for cooking at the table and a special steamboat hotpot or a large saucepan.

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock, salt, sugar and fish sauce. Mix well and bring to the boil. Place the gas stove and steamboat hotpot or large saucepan in the middle of the dinner table.

Transfer 2 litres of the chicken stock mixture to the steamboat. On separate platters, arrange the vegetables, herbs, seafood and vermicelli. In small dipping bowls, add some sliced chilli and soy sauce for dipping.

When the stock starts to simmer, each person dips some greens and seafood into the stock until cooked. They then retrieve their cooked ingredients with their chopsticks and ladle some stock into their bowls.

As the greens and seafood cooks, the more flavoursome the stock becomes. When the stock starts to boil down, replenish the pot with more stock.

Dip into soy and chilli.