Taiwan has been shaped by both Asian and Western cultures and this created today Taiwanese cuisine. It was believed that Aboriginals have lived in Taiwan for thousands of years before other settlers arrived. (Chen) By the early 16th century, the Hakka and Fujianese fled from China. Taiwanese cuisine was notably influenced by the Fujian province primarily, southern Fujian as they replicate their native food in Taiwan. The Portuguese and the Dutch has also shaped Taiwanese culture during the early 16th century. A fusion dish that was created is the Portuguese egg tart. (Chen) A notable Japanese influence can be found in Taiwanese cuisine because Taiwan was under Japanese rule between 1895 and 1945. Many people learn Japanese style cooking when Taiwan is under Japan colonization. The influence of Bento lunch, rice balls, sashimi, and miso soups are served in Taiwan with a Taiwanese twist.

Shacha Sauce

Hotpot is also one of those dishes that Taiwanese enjoy eating. In Taiwan, hot pot is also called shabu-shabu because of the Japanese influence. The main difference between Taiwanese hotpot and hotpot from other countries and regions is the dipping sauce. The dipping sauce is often made with shacha sauce and raw egg yolk. Shacha sauce is a Taiwanese barbeque sauce and it is a paste made from soybean oil, garlic, shallots, chilis, brill fish, and dried shrimp. The paste has a savory and slightly spicy taste. It is commonly used in both Taiwanese and Fujian cuisine.



Traditional, the Taiwanese hotpot is made with clear chicken broth and served with various types of vegetables and thinly sliced meat. However, there are many other types of broth you can choose from, and the spicy broth is becoming very popular in Taiwan.

Individual Mini Hotpot

The most common type of hotpot style local people eat is called the shabu shabu where people have their individual mini hotpot. Thinly sliced meats are dipped in hot broth and then swished back and forth to cook. Then, it is dipped in shacha sauce before being eaten.


  • You don’t have to share
  • There are different diet habits (some people might not eat meat)
  • No germ fear (You don’t have to worry about people being sick)


  • Eliminates family eating style

Hot Pot Ingredients

Hotpot ingredients are added to the hot pot based on individual likings. You can add ingredients such as fish ball, sliced meat, any types of noodles, veggies etc. Below are some ingredients that are found in Taiwanese style hotpot.

Crown Daisy (Shungiku Leaves)

Rice Vermicelli (this is often eaten at the end of the meal)

Fried Taro

Shiitake Mushroom

Dumplings (Pot stickers)

Dipping Sauce Recipe (Recipe from Just One Cookbook)

  • 2 Tbsp Shacha Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • green scallions (chopped)
  • cilantro (chopped)
  • raw egg (optional)

Soup Base (Recipe from Angel Wong’s Kitchen)

  • chicken stock (1-part chicken stock to 3 parts water)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (peeled)
  • 2 pieces of ginger (sliced)
  • 2 pieces of dried chili peppers
  • onions
  • nappa cabbage (outer layers)
  • cilantro


Chen, Lina. “Exploring Taiwanese Cuisine.” Taiwanese Culture, 5 July 2015, www.taiwaneseculture.org/exploring_taiwanese_cuisine.

“Hot Pot (Taiwanese Style) | How to Guide 101.” Angel Wong’s Kitchen | Asian & Taiwanese Recipes Made Simple & Fun, www.angelwongskitchen.com/hot-pot-taiwanese-style–how-to-guide-101.html.

“Taiwanese Hot Pot and Homemade Meatballs • Just One Cookbook.” Just One Cookbook, 8 Nov. 2018, www.justonecookbook.com/taiwanese-hot-pot-and-homemade-meatballs/.