This Starter Mala Collection includes the must-have ingredients for creating ma and la, the defining tastes of Sichuan food, plus four well-tested and beautifully printed recipe cards for classic Sichuan dishes.
'Ma' refers to the tingly, citrusy taste of Sichuan pepper, and our non-heat-treated, hand-processed Big Red Pao (da hong pao) Sichuan peppercorn, shipped from Chengdu after the fall 2018 harvest, is incomparably fresh, fragrant and potent.
'La' refers to the heat of chili pepper, and this kit includes two must-have forms: dried whole facing-heaven chilies for use in stir-fries and braises; and Sichuan fragrant-hot chili flakes, which are used to make chili oil, an essential ingredient in cold dishes and sauces.
If Sichuan pepper and chili peppers are the heart of Sichuan cuisine, then Pixian doubanjiang, or chili bean paste made in Pixian County, is the soul. This kit includes a large package from the oldest and most esteemed maker. Available only at The Mala Market, the Yi Feng He Hao brand is a small-batch, completely handmade douban aged for three years in earthenware crocks and stirred every one of those 1,000-plus days by hand.
Combine this Starter Mala Collection with basic Chinese pantry items like Chinese soy sauce and black vinegar and you can make dozens of authentic dishes. Or add our Sichuan Umami Collection to make just about any classic Sichuan recipe.
This collection includes four Mala Market recipe cards to get you started, and there are many more recipes using the ingredients on our blog.
See individual products on this site for more description of each one, including provenance and ingredients.
If this is a gift, know that we do not include a packing list or any pricing info. The collection is packaged with festive red crinkle paper and a beautifully printed product storage and usage card.