For those who love to eat and cook Sichuan food, but may want to take a shortcut sometimes (don't we all?), these readymade sauces offer authentic Sichuan taste. Initially produced in Chengdu for restaurants throughout China, they are now packaged for home cooks in the U.S. Additional ingredients are required for mala hot pot—an assortment of your preference of proteins, vegetables, noodles—but the sauce is ready to go! You'll also need an electric hot pot or a tabletop burner to keep the serving pot hot at the table. Use the recipe on the back of the package to make one hot pot that will feed three to four people.
Producer: Sheng Chu Bao, Chengdu, Sichuan Province
Size: 200 grams (7 ounces); makes one hot pot
Ingredients: soybean oil, Pixian chili bean paste (including wheat flour), chili pepper, ginger, tempeh, salt, garlic, Sichuan pepper, capsicum frutescens extract, yeast extract, sugar, spices, rice wine, glutamate disodium, disodium 5'-ribonucleotides, paprika red, paprika oleoresin