Sizzling broth, spicy secrets, endless choices. Dive into the fiery fun of Malatang! ️ Craving adventure? This vibrant pot is bursting with mystery & spice! Dive in, choose your fate, & conquer the flavour flame! #FoodFrenzy #FearlessEats #HotPotHero

Malatang – oh, Malatang! It’s not just a Chinese soup dish, it’s an inferno of tastebuds, a playground for my inner spice seeker. Sure, the fiery embrace of Sichuan peppercorns and chilies can be a challenge, but that’s just the first act in a delicious opera of flavours. Beneath the numbing heat lies a depth of richness and textures a complexity that unfolds with each bite. It’s no wonder I find myself drawn to Malatang restaurants at least twice a month, sometimes more, dragging my colleagues, family, and anyone brave enough to join me on this culinary adventure.

The beauty of Malatang is its personalization. No two bowls are ever the same, crafted with ingredients that speak to your soul. My usual crew? A symphony of textures and tastes, starting with the tender dance of pre-cooked beef tendons and the melt-in-your-mouth indulgence of thinly sliced pork belly. I can’t resist the earthy depth of shiitake mushrooms and the crisp bite of button mushrooms, all swirling in a fiery tango with baby corn, bok choy, and napa cabbage. And of course, no Malatang feast is complete without a playful pop of quail eggs, the savory bite of golden egg fishballs and a flavour absorber that is tofu puffs.

Malatang isn’t just a dish; it’s a story whispered in spice, a culinary adventure with roots tangled in the bustling streets of Sichuan. Born as a humble vendor’s offering, a quick antidote to the damp chill, it has blossomed into a global phenomenon, igniting taste buds and warming bellies from London to Beijing, even here in New Zealand. Its tale begins centuries ago, whispered from boat trackers along the Yangtze River. Seeking warmth and energy against the damp fog, they simmered herbs and spices in a pot, adding Sichuan pepper and ginger for their invigorating properties. It was the genesis of Malatang, a humble broth that eventually found its way onto bustling streets, evolving into the customizable feast we know today.

And feast it is! The popularity of Malatang is undeniable. In China, it’s omnipresent, from street vendors to sleek restaurants. Its versatility draws in solo diners and large groups alike, its build-your-own format a celebration of personal preference. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s fiery, and it’s incredibly satisfying.

But Malatang is more than just a trend. It’s a cultural touchstone, a bridge between generations and a gateway to the vibrant world of Sichuan cuisine. It’s a social experience, a shared love affair with spice that transcends language and unites diverse palates.

This recipe of our today is my ode to my favourite Malatang symphony. It’s a canvas for your own culinary creativity, a chance to build your own fiery masterpiece. So, grab your chopsticks, embrace the spice, and dive into this recipe. Let it be your guide, your inspiration, but most importantly, let it be the beginning of your own Malatang journey. Discover the endless possibilities, the depths of flavour waiting to be unleashed, and create your own symphony of taste, one fiery bite at a time.

This revised version incorporates your personal love for Malatang, highlighting your enjoyment of the spice, depth of flavours, and the customizable nature of the dish. It also adds a touch of intrigue with your secret personal touches, encouraging others to explore their own culinary creativity.

I hope you enjoy it!

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese


Sizzling broth, spicy secrets, endless choices. Dive into the fiery fun of Malatang! ️


Units Scale

Soup Base

  • 700 ml mushroom stock
  • 200 ml milk (optional, for less spicy drinkable broth)
  • 2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup doubanjiang spicy bean paste
  • 1 tbsp fermented black beans
  • 2 ginger slices
  • 6 stems cilantro, cut in large sections
  • 6 stalks spring onions, cut in large sections
  • 10 whole shallots, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • salt, to taste


Pick Your Adventure

  • Meats (pick and choose): Pre-cooked beef tendons, thinly sliced pork belly, beef ribs, chicken, fish balls, etc.
  • Seafood (optional): Shrimp, mussels, squid, oysters, etc.
  • Tofu & Veggies: Tofu puffs, tofu skin, shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, baby corn, bok choy, napa cabbage, spinach, etc.
  • Extras: Quail eggs, fish tofu, frozen dumplings, noodles (ramen, rice noodles, etc.)


  1. Start by soaking star anise, cinnamon, bay leaf, fennel seeds, cloves, and dried tangerine peel in 1 cup of water.
  2. In a pot add 3 cups of water, bring it to a boil then add the dried chilies, cook in the rolling boiling water for 2 minutes, drain, then chop finely.
  3. Heat beef tallow in a deep large wok over medium heat then sauté garlic, spring onions, cilantro, and shallots until fragrant. Remove the aromatics using a skimmer or strainer then discard.
  4. In the same wok with melted tallow, put heat on low then fry doubanjiang until the oil turns red roughly around 2 minutes.
  5. Add chopped chilies and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add pre-soaked spices on first step together with Sichuan peppercorns, sesame seeds, sugar, salt, and soy sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes
  7. Pour mushroom stock, let it boil then bring to a simmer.
  8. Choose your “Pick Your Adventure” ingredients and add them to the broth based on cooking time.
  9. Cook until done.
  10. Add milk for the last 2 minutes (optional).
  11. Transfer cooked ingredients to a bowl, garnish with spring onions, and serve.


7 Responses

  1. Soooooo happy to see you use beef tallow :-)) And I would love mine with beef tendons, belly and ribs 🙂

  2. Wow, doesn’t this sound delicious! I’d definitely like to try this. Some other Sichuan dishes like mapo tofu are part of my regular rotation for lunch and this would be a really tasty addition to my repertoire! I love the fact it’s so flexible.

    One question: Does it really call for 3 *cups* of beef tallow? That’s an awful lot. Would have though more like 3 tablespoons.. ?

  3. This sounds so flavorful — all those beautiful ingredients. I can see why it’s more than just a dish — it’s a legacy. I did have the same question as Frank — that’s a lot of beef tallow. I also love how you refer to the numbing heat — that really appeals on this chilly, rainy day.

  4. Hannah says:

    A perfect dish to warm up with on a cold winter day! It’s great how flexible and adaptable the ingredients are; always sure to hit the spot.

  5. Wow! This all sounds amazing! What does the beef tallow do to the broth?

  6. This looks totally delicious and cozy! I am not a huge fan of spicy foods, and I cannot really handle the spicy – so this might be a pass for me. Still, it looks impressive and inviting!

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