JUNE POM: Super sale on Sichuan Caiziyou + New Chicken Recipes!

June 08, 2024

JUNE POM: Super sale on Sichuan Caiziyou + New Chicken Recipes!

Cook Like You're in Sichuan

Greetings, Friends of The Mala Market 

We are back from a month in China, where we toured as many factories, food museums, wet markets and supermarkets as we could, from Sichuan to Jiangxi to Guizhou, searching for exceptional products (see our photos on Instagram). Part of the fun was seeing our current products in the wild. Case in point: this wall of premium Zhongliang caiziyou at a Chengdu supermarket, where even the super-sized bottle comes with a bonus bottle for your bag. A Sichuan cook wouldn't be without her roasted rapeseed oil, and neither should you!

To aid in that cause, caiziyou is the June Product of the Month! Our $16 bottle is only $10 this month—an almost 40% savings. Feel free to stock up, though please note that the Best By date is late November 2024. So don't over-do it. 

In other news, we're adding new writers to our recipe blog, all of whom either grew up in China or have spent considerable time there recently. They're bringing us both wonderful writing and new recipes from China's ever-evolving food scene.

My head is still spinning from the incredible food we ate on this trip, and I too hope to share some new discoveries in recipe form—while also getting those new products on the shelves over the coming year. 

Thank you for your patience during our travels. We are now back in the swing of things with our usual level of customer service. 

🌶 Taylor & Fongchong 🌶

P.S. Read to the bottom or you'll miss out on the recipe for a Taiwanese bar snack so deranged it's genius! 

Roasted Rapeseed Oil (Caiziyou)
Roasted Rapeseed Oil (Caiziyou)


Caiziyou is the Product of the Month! Regularly $16, it is almost 40% off this month, and this month only. Note that the Best By date is late November 2024. Final sale. 

While most cooking oils are fully refined, bleached and deodorized to produce a neutral oil for North American tastes, caiziyou is definitely not made to be neutral, as the seeds are roasted to accentuate the flavor and it retains its natural color, fragrance and taste.

As Fuchsia Dunlop puts it in The Food of Sichuan, "It has a glorious, toasty aroma that adds an extra dimension to chili oil and all kinds of dishes."  

This premium brand from Chongqing is made from low-erucic-acid, non-GMO seeds and is expeller pressed instead of chemically processed. It boasts the same homemade taste as the oil long made in the Sichuan countryside. 


Meet Xueci

Xueci Cheng is a recipe developer and culinary creative based in Berlin, Germany. Born and raised in Sichuan, she has lived in different parts of the province, including Guangyuan, Mianyang and Chengdu. After moving to Germany in 2015, she began a quest to recreate the tastes of her home. Her journey led her to become a food editor at a German cooking platform, and to found Chill Crisp, a food media project where she shares videos and newsletters that delve into Sichuan and other regional Chinese food, blending historical context, personal stories and cooking techniques.
Stir-fried chicken with yacai

Stir-Fried Chicken With Yacai

Xueci's first recipe for The Mala Market comes from her nainai in Sichuan. Grandmas know how to skillfully transform pantry pickles into quick, affordable but flavor-packed meals, and this jīmǐ yácài (鸡米芽菜, rice-sized chicken with yacai) is a perfect example of that. 

Most of you know yacai as the fermented mustard leaves that are used in dandanmian or ranmian, without which those noodle dishes just wouldn't be right. However, yacai is also the pickled-veggie accent in stir-fries like dry-fried green beans and this quick chicken dish. 

Take the time to start with a whole chicken breast (or thigh) and cut the chicken small—not really rice-sized as its name denotes, but as close as you can get to pea-sized—so it cooks quickly and absorbs the other flavors more readily. 

Read more about yacai and find additional recipes using it on our blog: How to Cook With Yacai & Zhacai Pickles

Zhongliang caiziyou decanted

Blog Spotlight: How to Cook With Caiziyou

Not yet familiar with how caiziyou can transform your Sichuan cooking? Then this page is for you: Here we talk about what caiziyou is and how important it is to the taste of Sichuan food. We also provide dozens of recipes using caiziyou—basically any fried or stir-fried dish from the region will benefit. Plus, it's indispensable in Sichuan-style chili oil/crisp

Popcorn Chicken With Salted Egg Yolk Sauce

Zoe Yang brings us another of her venturous recipes —this one inspired by Double Chicken Please, the Manhattan bar started by Taiwanese-American mixologists that was named the best bar in North America

Much as the bar uses what it calls "hacking design" to create its outrageously inventive cocktails, Zoe used a bit of hacking to recreate its Taiwanese popcorn chicken with salted egg yolk sauce. The latter was easy, because she already had salted duck eggs on hand after writing a recipe for us about how to ferment them. All she had to do was make the yolks into a sauce and get the fry on the chicken just right. 

Here she explains her motivation:

"At Double Chicken Please, the popcorn chicken is a straight-shooting rendition dusted in white pepper and tossed with crispy basil leaves. But if you want, you can also add salted egg yolk sauce on the side! Now, this is a patently deranged idea. No double-fried chicken on earth needs to be made more decadent by being dipped in additional liquified embryonic fowl. But that’s exactly why this dish is genius.

Upon tasting the dish, I immediately loved the texture of that sauce. It was perfectly smooth, and it obediently hugged each craggy piece of chicken I swirled through it. It was salty, slightly tangy and dusted with a very fine, mild chili powder—all flavors that balanced well with the umami of the chicken. But as I was eating, I kept thinking that I wanted a stronger salted yolk flavor, including that kiss of sulfuric funk (IYKYK)."