Spicy food lovers rejoice! This Mala Hotpot is the way to heat up your Chinese New Year family dinner or any family reunion meals!
Servings: 3-4 hot pots
Mala Soup Base
1. Add bay leaves, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, gancao and Sichuan peppercorn into a blender.
2. Blend until fine.
3. Transfer the ground spices in a bowl.
4. Add in fennel seed, cumin seed and chilli flakes.
5. Mix until well-combined.
6. Blend red chillies, garlic and red chilli padi together.
7. Blend until a paste is formed.
8. Pour the chilli paste and ground spices into a wok.
9. Add in Sichuan chilli bean paste and fermented soybean paste.
10. Stir on low heat until well-combined.
11. Add sugar and salt. Continue stirring until well-combined.
12. In a separate pot, heat up the canola oil and lard.
13. Stir until well-combined and bring to it up to about 180°C.
14. Slowly pour the hot oil mixture into wok of chilli mixture bit by bit. Stir until well-combined.
Note: Be extra careful here, pour in the oil slowly to avoid splashes.
15. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Continue stirring frequently to avoid the spices from sticking at the bottom of the wok.
16. Scoop out about 2 cups worth of the mixture into a bowl & set aside to cool to room temperature.
Note: Pour the remaining mixture into a container and freeze it. Halfway through the freezing stage, you can divide into smaller pieces to be used later. This batch can make up to 3-4 hot pots, you can even use it to make sauces for noodles or to stir-fry.
17. To prepare the soup, add 2 cups of the homemade mala soup base and chicken stock into a pot.
18. Cover and bring to a boil.
19. Add in dried chillies, Sichuan peppercorn, scallions, salt to taste and spring onion. Now it’s ready for your hot pot session!