Hello, Friends of The Mala Market!
We're leaving you with a couple of excellent (and easy!) recipes before we take off on a Sichuan sourcing trip at the beginning of August. If you're one of those people who doesn't like stories with your recipes, then just skip on down to the bottom when you click on the links. But these are not stories just for the sake of storytelling. In one post I take the momentous occasion of Fongchong's graduation from high school as a chance to reflect on where she's been and where she's going through one of her favorite dishes: suan la fen, or sour and spicy sweet-potato-noodle soup. In the other post, I pass on what I learned about the little-known (for most of us) Teoswa cuisine from Diana Zheng. Her fascinating cookbook Jia! The Food of Swatow and the Teochew Diaspora connects a lot of the dots between Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines and leaves us with an inspired recipe for Chinese greens.
We have our sights set on some exciting products—starting with Sichuan's famed Baoning vinegar and Zhongba soy sauce—and plan to visit their factories to see how they're made. We're also closing in on an organic, stone-ground sesame paste that will be a game-changer for making Chinese noodles and cold dishes. Even though produced in modern factories, all of these products are still made in traditional ways, often in earthen crocks like the ones pictured above that hold Sichuan Pixian Douban Co.'s fermenting black soybeans (douchi). We were not able to purchase douchi last year because the company did not have export permission for them from the Chinese government. But now they do! Things change quickly in China and Chinese trade, and we'll continue to bring in the best of the best of Sichuan products as it becomes possible (in spite of the exorbitant tariffs).
What new products would you most like to see in The Mala Market? Hit reply and let us know!
🌶Taylor & Fongchong 🌶
P.S. Unfortunately, we will have to "close" again during our travels and will fill any orders placed between July 30 and August 12 as soon as possible upon our return. We hope to have other fulfillment solutions in place soon and never have to close up shop again.