When I first tried Ri Ri Hong Ma La Xiang Guo (日日红麻辣香锅) at People’s Park Food Centre a long while back, I was blown away by that incredibly numbing and spicy flavour of that big bowl that was filled with all my favourite ingredients. Everything went so well with rice. It was like having a party in the mouth – the spiciness just gradually built up and I couldn’t resist wanting more.
I told myself I had to make this at home and boy was I glad to have done that because I could do a version that was not overly oily and also without the use of MSG.
These were all the fresh and dried spices/herbs I used (13 in total) to make the ma la sauce (or rather ‘oil’) including the ‘unwanted’ roots and stems of spring onions and coriander which would be a waste if disposed of. This might not be the complete list of spices and most likely every cook would have a different variation but trust me, this would be good enough to wow your whole family if you all are big fans of ma la.
My secret weapon is this store-bought Chilli Bean Sauce that gives body to the spice concoction. Without this, you would probably just end up with a bunch of contrasting flavours that don’t quite come together as one.
I added so many ingredients into my ma la xiang guo that the whole wok could easily feed 6-8 persons so if you’re planning to host a meal at home for family and/or friends, this could be a good alternative to make. Don’t forget to cook extra rice for everybody!
Ma La Xiang Guo Recipe
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
4 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds
1″ knob ginger, peeled & sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled & coarsely chopped
1 nutmeg, smashed with mortar & pestle
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
30g dried chilli, soaked in warm water & halved
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 star anise
1 pc cinnamon bark 3″ long
roots & stems from 50g coriander sprigs (keep leaves for later)
roots & stems from 5 stalks spring onions (slice the rest into 1″ sections for later)
5 tbsp chilli bean sauce
200g potato, sliced
200g lotus root, peeled & sliced
1 small carrot, peeled & sliced
6 chicken frankfurters, sliced into thirds
100g long beans, sliced into 1″ sections
150g sugar snap peas, firm ends trimmed
150g oyster mushrooms
150g shimeji mushrooms
150g baiye tofu, cut into strips
20g dried black fungus, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
corn kernels from 1 corn cob
1 cucumber, seeds removed & cut into bite-sized pieces
60g fried beancurd sheets
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
1. Heat oil in wok and fry all the spice ingredients for about 10 minutes till fragrant. Remove and discard the coriander and spring onion roots.
2. Add pot ingredients in the following order while stir-frying continuously:
– potatoes, carrots, lotus root
– frankfurters, long beans, sugar snap peas
– oyster mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms, baiye tofu
– black fungus, corn
– cucumber, beancurd sheets
3. Add in seasoning ingredients. Stir fry thoroughly till well combined.
4. Mix in the coriander leaves, spring onions and sesame seeds.
5. Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!