Double Flavor Hot Pot Base: Spicy Mala + Porcini Mushroom
If you usually eat your hotpot from a yin-yang, double-compartment pot—like our custom-made stainless-steel hotpots—so you can have not one, but two hotpot broths to choose from when dipping, then you will love the convenience of this hotpot base.
The De Zhuang Double Flavor line of hotpot bases give you two bases in one bag. This bag features a spicy mala broth for one side of the pot and a savory porcini mushroom broth for the other side.
We love this combo. The mala, or numbing and spicy, side is true to the flavors of Chongqing, where mala hotpot was born and where this brand is from. The mushroom side is full of natural tasting umami and is a delightful choice for mushroom lovers and/or spice-avoiders. Together, they can feed a whole tableful of people with diverse tastes from one pot.
Note that while the mala broth is not the spiciest in the De Zhuang arsenal, it is indeed very chili-hot and Sichuan pepper-numbing, like they like it in Chongqing.
Remember that hotpot broth is not for drinking. Dip the food into the pot, using chopsticks or skewers, let it cook, and remove it to your bowl, where a flavorful dip is waiting. In Sichuan, the dip would be made of roasted sesame oil and garlic, perhaps some cilantro and msg. But no one will mind if you prefer soy sauce, vinegar, sesame paste, oyster sauce, etc. That is up to you!
Instructions for Use
The instructions on the bag are in English, but we have some additional tips. Simply add one pouch of base to one side of your divided hotpot and the other pouch to the other side. The instructions suggest adding 4 cups water to each pouch of base, but we would advise starting with at least 5 cups, to nicely fill your hotpot. The base will cook down and concentrate as you eat, and you will need to intermittently top up the broth with more boiling water from a kettle.
Check out our full guide to how to make and eat hotpot Sichuan-style.
Try our other Double Flavor hotpot base: Green Mala + Tomato.
For a slightly milder (but still spicy) mala broth from Chongqing, in a larger portion, try the Liu Po brand.
Producer: Chongqing De Zhuang Agricultural Products Development Co.
Size: 300 grams (10.6 ounces) total
Ingredients: Mala soup base: Vegetable oil, chili, Sichuan pepper, chili bean paste (chili, broad bean, water, salt, wheat), fermented soybean, ginger, garlic, MSG, salt, sugar, spices, food flavors and fragrances, disodium 5 ribonucleotide
Contains: Wheat, soybean
Ingredients: Water, porcini mushroom, vegetable oil, salt, MSG, ginger, food flavors and fragrances, potassium sorbate