Mala Xiang Guo (Spicy Numbing Stir-Fry)
Recently, I have been addicted to “mala xiang guo” (麻辣香锅) aka spicy numbing stir-fry, a dish of Sichuan origins. This is a great recipe for having lots of ingredients in one bowl and just like hot pot, it’s excellent for clearing the leftovers in the fridge. My family loves the home-cooked version which has the just the right amount of numbness (“麻”) from the Sichuan peppercorns and heat (“辣”) from the dried chillis.
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This recipe is the short-cut way of using instant mala sauce (pictured above). Until I learnt to make the sauce from scratch, I’m happy to use the instant sauce for now – fast, convenient and tasty!
You can eat it with steamed rice or steamed bun (mantou). For me, I always eat it on its own since there is usually some form of carbs (such as noodles, potato) in the bowl (depending on what you use that day).
If it’s your first time cooking this, there is only one advice – go very easy with the amount of ingredients used. Just use a little bit of everything. Otherwise, they may not all fit into the wok, making stir-frying difficult, or diluting the sauce. If there are a lot of ingredients which is usually the case, par-boil them before adding them to the wok. If you only have a few ingredients, you can dump everything into the wok (adding the harder food stuff first) to stir-fry directly.