Monday, March 09, 2009

“Mala Hot Pot” (麻辣火鍋)

I received a packet of "Mala" (麻辣) paste from a friend from China. Frankly I never had "Mala" steamboat before, all I know was from watching the food show on Chinese TV. It is called "Mala" because it is made with Sichuan peppercorns which tends to give a numbing effect and lots of chili peppers which gave the hot/spicy effect. I precooked the paste in a big pot of water as the soup base for our hot pot/steamboat.

Getting the table ready for the steamboat of three adults and two kids. Yeah my non-traditional steamboat pot, whatever works right? ;-)


I just prepared some basic such as marinated chicken breasts, marinated pork slices, shrimps, fish fillets, napa cabbage and baby bok choy.

This side we have canned enoki mushrooms, canned button mushrooms, baby corns, cut regular tofu, tofu fish cake, fried fish balls, fish balls and bee hoon (noodle).


The “Mala Hot Pot” (麻辣火鍋) in action. When the "Mala" soup is boiling, just add the ingredients to cook. Let it boiled for few minutes before dishing it out to individual bowls to enjoy. Normally people eat a few rounds of this and chit-chat until late at night. My hubby and guest had Bailey and cold beer with their steamboat. I had lots of water because it was real spicy for me. Imagine whatever you took out from the pot coated with a layer of the numbing and extremely hot chili oil. You would probably scream for milk to cool it down instead of water. Haha... Oh, my kids had the chicken soup version if you are wondering.


The "Mala" (麻辣) soup base. The soup is really oily with a layer of chili oil and very hot/spicy! I prepared a big pot and we ended up having hot pot for two days in a row, with the leftover soup and leftover ingredients.


The Chili sauce that I made, but was too spicy to eat with the already spicy "Mala" soup. We only used the soup base to cook the ingredients, according to our Chinese friend, the soup is not supposed to be consumed, they only used it to cook the ingredients. First I heard of it because we Malaysian Chinese drink the soup, but not sure people drink the "Mala" soup or not because it's really hot. My hubby ate it anyway, but it was too spicy and oily for me.


The vinegar soy sauce that I liked. I added some thinly sliced gingers and it went well as dipping sauce.


Free flow of crispy fried shallots to add in the broth while cooking or in your own bowl.

In conclusion, “Mala Hot Pot” (麻辣火鍋) is really HOT/SPICY and oily. I actually dished out the layer of chili oil for our hot pot the next day. Without the layer of oil it was actually not bad at all, at least it was not that hot anymore. Next time I want to try the herbal soup base version.

19 comments:

Weng said...

My husband and I used to have that all the time. It is really oily and spicy. It can be quite "shiok" but we pay the price the next day. We use chinese bbq sauce (sacha) for dipping. Eventhough I love it, you're right, I do miss drinking the soup.

Food For Tots said...

I personally prefer the traditional Chinese soup base for hot pot as the best past is to drink the soup which tastes extra delicious. Hehehe!

sock peng said...

i dun like mala hot spot
too oilly

u prepared lot of thing for hot spot

Bits of Life 'n' Taste said...

*slurppppp* I love steamboat and also all those food on the table... this is just so yummy!

noobcook said...

I love steamboat and the array of ingredients laid out. Mala is still something that I am trying to like coz I prefer clear soups for steamboat but your post somehow sets a craving ;)

pigpigscorner said...

I love mala hotpot but I agree that is is very oily. But it's nice to have it once in awhile.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Hi Weng,
Yeah, I like sacha sauce as dipping too, but I didn't buy the sauce so didn't have that as a dipping sauce.

Agreed food for tots, the end result of the soup will be very sweet.

Yes Sock Peng, I was surprised it was that oily and of course spicy. :P

Thanks bits of life.

Haha noobcook. It's actually not bad just that it's very spicy and oily.

Yup pigpigs, would recommend to have it once in a while too.

ICook4Fun said...

I've eaten many types of steamboat but never try Mala Hot Pot. Those floating chili oil kind of scare me a bit :) For me I too like to drink the soup as they are the best part of the steamboat :)

Big Boys Oven said...

wow this is fun fire meal! Hot dining ehehehehehe!

Retno Prihadana said...

Wow,droolingggggg.....I wish I were there :))

Sweetiepie said...

wow!i guess it's very spicy.I never try mala hot pot.Alot of chinese plp here says it's not good to consume the soup.I don't understand why.Yeah,agree with you..malaysian loves the hot pot soup :P like me.

Beachlover said...

I saw Anthony Bourdion in Travel Channel eat that Mala soup in China..he said it's spicy but I was suspcious coz all kwailo said chili is spicy..!! lol! now I know better! maybe I will get some from Chinatown to try :)

tigerfish said...

When it is too Mala,I find I cannot taste the other ingredients in the pot!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Gert, it's worth a try, something different mah. ;)

BBOven, hahaha...that's why we only have steamboat during winter here. :P

Come over Retno! :)

Yes, sweetiepie, it's really spicy. My mom said she couldn't eat the Mala hot pot served in China as it was too spicy.

Oh Beachlover, this is really spicy. That layer of Mala chili oil will coat everything we take out from the hot pot and make us sweat and cry for water.

Hahahaha Tigerfish, that's real funny but true!

Nilmandra said...

LOL I looked at the photos and wondered how were the kids going to eat that?? ;) I find Mala hot pot very spicy and oily too, that's pretty normal, I guess. I usually go for a ying-yang pot, half mala and half chicken stock based.

Love the variety of food you have for hot pot!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

The mala hotpot I tried was SUPER, SUPER SPICY! I tried taking a sip of the broth and paid for it with three glasses of water. Had to put white rice in my mouth to cool myself off. I prefer the milder version, not super-spicy.

Looks great!

Little Corner of Mine said...

js, I wonder how those people can eat the super spicy one because it's really very spicy. How they even manage to enjoy the food, I wonder?

Dennis M Reed said...

Drinking water or beer to reduce the spicy burning does nothing because the spicy heat is oil based! Milk is good for reducing the "heat" and so are sweet drinks because sugar reduces the heat. BTW when I order spicy Chinese or other Asian dishes, I tell the waitperson if spicy runs from 1-10, I want spicy 15.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Wow Dennis Reed, you can really eat spicy food. You will have no problem in eating the food in Singapore and Malaysia then. ;) And thanks for the info.