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Mala sauce/chili oil


rotuts
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with some friends, Ive found an astonishingly fine Chinese restaurant in Cambridge, MA :

 

its House of Chang

 

http://houseofchangcambridge.com

 

HouseofChang.pdf

 

we had the tangerine chicken, and the Hunan Crispy spicy fish   plus a few other veg.

 

all were about the best Chinese Ive had in a long long time.  very delicate, esp the veg.

 

they have a MaLa chicken which we did not get.  intrigued I goof's mall and got this :

 

mala chili

 

has any one found this in a jar :

 

lgm-10.jpg

 

I have other chili oil from this brand and enjoy it.

 

0003543_0t02.jpg

 

IMG_1346.JPG

 

e224099h_l.jpg

 

as I understand it, the jared stuff has  Sichuanese peppercorns in it

 

do the jars above indicate this ?

 

I do have Chinatown BOS to look into  ( its getting hot here ! )

 

and a large Chinese market I go to from time to time in Allston MA Sunday Am s there is plenty of parking.

 

any help greatly appreciated.

 

nest trip  ( soon ! ) to the restaurant in Cambridge Ill try the MaLa chicken

 

maybe ask to see their jar

 

(   o.O )

 

thanks

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Your first and third pictures are of China's most famous chilli sauce - Lao Gan Ma (老干妈).

I can't really add anything to this.

 

Your second picture is one of a thousand sauces. Your fourth appears to be a Japanese version of the Chinese sauce, Sichuan Doubanjiang. It isn't really interchangeable with the ones above.

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@liuzhou  

 

I know I have at jar of the first 'type' but I have a lot of these jars here and there.

 

can you make out any sort of jar, fairly mainstream  a la USA that is the Mala ?

 

or do you just add ground S.P's to a more or less standard chili oils :

 

i.e. ground hot chili's in oil ?

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1 hour ago, rotuts said:

 

Commonly available in my area; and in other places, I believe.  Not something that is WOW, UNKNOWN.

 

I have a jar or two sitting on my counter. Not something I use with regularity or enthusiasm, because what I cook does not always encompass the BANG! KAPOW! characteristics of food** with tastes that are BIG!!! HUUUUGE!!! and which do not encompass the subtleties of the taste of the food itself, as distinct from the seasonings applied to it. Still, having said the preceding, they are good chili sauces and very nice when one want to use something like them in a dish.  There are also peanut-inclusive and peanut-free versions, i believe.

 

** ETA: Or, for that matter, HOTTTTT!!! SPICY!!!!!

Edited by huiray (log)
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""  Commonly available in my area; ""

 

as aide from the  WOW, or the BANG!

 

what do you find in your area that is indeed  

 

MaLa sauce   ie  w the   Sichuanese peppercorns ?

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I can't say I know all the sauces available with Szehuanese peppercorns - as I don't look out for them. I'm not personally interested in sauces that include them.  I don't consider Szechuanese peppercorns to be a vital ingredient in my cooking – whereas others might, I'm sure.  I find that I am more partial to cooking where the inherent taste of the ingredient itself comes through.** Hence my affinity for Cantonese and Italian cuisine.

 

** ETA And in this context I really don't want my taste buds to be "numbed" by the active principle in Szechuanese peppercorns - a loss in sensitivity/discrimination for the inherent taste of the food would not be welcome. Perhaps some find it stimulating. I find it detracting from tasting the true taste of the food.

Edited by huiray (log)
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8 hours ago, rotuts said:

@liuzhou  

 

I know I have at jar of the first 'type' but I have a lot of these jars here and there.

 

can you make out any sort of jar, fairly mainstream  a la USA that is the Mala ?

 

or do you just add ground S.P's to a more or less standard chili oils :

 

i.e. ground hot chili's in oil ?


I never use jarred '麻辣má là' sauces.

 

In fact, I don't recall seeing anything in the local supermarkets labelled as mala sauce (麻辣酱).

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understood.

 

thanks again.

 

Orange Flavored Chicken  ( USA's better versions ) is always a bit different restaurant to restaurant.  some use dried tangerine peel ( a good sign )

 

and some have a very complex sauce , not just marmalade-ish.

 

I imagine its the same with MaLa.  its just new to me, and the restaurant Ive mentioned is the only place Ive seen it.

 

this might be a good sign, or not so good.

 

Ill try it and ask if they make the MaLa or get it in a jar.

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1 hour ago, rotuts said:

Ill try it and ask if they make the MaLa or get it in a jar.

 

They are highly unlikely to understand the question. It's like asking "do you make your salt and pepper yourself or get it in a jar?"

 

You keep talking about this thing called "MaLa". It isn't a thing. "麻辣má là " is an adjective; not a noun. It's a description of a taste. If you saw a dish of spicy chicken, you wouldn't ask "Do you make the "Spicy" or get it in a jar", I hope.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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2 hours ago, yoboseyo said:

story of laoganma

 

Lao Gan Ma (老干妈) is totally different from anything described as 麻辣 má là.

 

For a start, it doesn't contain Sichuan peppercorns. It also has a powerful, strong taste of its own, which is nothing like 麻辣 má là.

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5 hours ago, rotuts said:

for some reason I can't post this as text

 

here it is aa a pic :

 

Mala.jpg

 

That doesn't sound like any Chinese dish or cooking method I've encountered. Chinese sauces are built in the wok during the cooking process for the whole dish. They aren't something added later like some "cook-in" sauce. The so-called bottled stir-fry sauces are all but unknown in China.

What we can get, although I'd be surprised if many people avail themselves, are these bags of ingredients to create the sauce in the wok while cooking. This one is for  麻辣鱼 (má là yú) or Numb and Spicy Fish. The bag contains everything needed for a spicy fish hotpot except the fish and water.

 

malayu.jpg

Ingredients are: peanut oil, chili, sugar, salt, garlic, ginger, MSG, fermented black beans, broad beans, Sichuan peppercorns, unspecified herbs and spices and that old family favourite, potassium sorbate.

 

The product is presumably aimed at non cooks. Most people would have half, if not more of these ingredients in the pantry anyway. You could certainly buy them all separately for a lot less than this bag.

 

P.S. "Spicy mala sauce" is tautologous. The "la", as I've pointed out already, means "spicy".

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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there are lots of bagged sauces in the Chinese market I go to from time to time.

 

Indian, thai, you name it. I have not seen any that are 'Chinese'

 

most have a life-time dose of salt.

 

I have gotten a few over time, then noticed the salt.  they sit on the shelf.

 

I no longer go through that isle.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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FWIW the ingredients list for the Lao Gan Ma 'Chili in Oil', 'Hot Chili Sauce', and 'Oil Chiui Condiment with Mushroom' products list 花椒 (= Sichuan peppercorns) as an ingredient. (See here, call up the Javascript pop-up and click on to the image of the ingredients part of the label) The bottle of 'Chili in Oil' I have with English on the label instead (presumably meant for export to the US) lists 'Prickly Ash' - and since it is stated to be made in China I assume it is referring to Chinese prickly ash and not "Northern (American) prickly ash" which is a related species. But of course the potency of the numbing principle is no doubt greatly decreased if even still present after the processing and storage of the sauce.

Edited by huiray (log)
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1 hour ago, huiray said:

FWIW the ingredients list for the Lao Gan Ma 'Chili in Oil', 'Hot Chili Sauce', and 'Oil Chiui Condiment with Mushroom' products list 花椒 (= Sichuan peppercorns) as an ingredient. (See here, call up the Javascript pop-up and click on to the image of the ingredients part of the label) The bottle of 'Chili in Oil' I have with English on the label instead (presumably meant for export to the US) lists 'Prickly Ash' - and since it is stated to be made in China I assume it is referring to Chinese prickly ash and not "Northern (American) prickly ash" which is a related species. But of course the potency of the numbing principle is no doubt greatly decreased if even still present after the processing and storage of the sauce.

 

 

I was, of course, as you well know, referring to the original sauce as available in China and as pictured in Rotut's first post. It contains no Sichuan peppercorns and no one in China would ever refer to it as "麻辣“.

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