Spicy Dried Pot (Ma La Xiang Guo) Recipe

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Spicy Dried Pot (Ma La Xiang Guo) Recipe

Serve: 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

For the spicy oil base:
1 piece cinnamon
1 black cardamom (cao guo)
1 star anise
1 slice Chinese licorice root (gan cao)
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
1/4 piece dried orange peel
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 cup dried red chili peppers, separated
1/4 cup paprika powder
4 tablespoons rice wine
1 cup extra light olive oil
5 garlic cloves
1/4 thumb ginger
1 tablespoon black bean sauce (douchijiang)
2 tablespoons Sichuan Pixian doubanjiang
1/6 teaspoon salt

For the ingredients:
8 ounces lotus root, peeled, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
6 pieces fish tofu
6 pieces beef balls
6 pieces fish balls
6 pieces puff tofu
8 ounces spam, sliced into 1/4 inches pieces
3 ounces breech mushrooms (bunashimeji)
4 pieces Shanghai bok choy, halved lengthwise
8 ounces shrimp, deveined
1 handful cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

2 tablespoons extra light olive oil


  1. To make the oil base, in a grinder or food processor, add cinnamon, black cardamom, star anise, Chinese licorice root, cloves, bay leaves, tangerine peel, fennel seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, and half of the dried red chili peppers. Grind it. Transfer it to a bowl. Add in the paprika (traditionally, paprika isn’t used, but it is going to add a beautiful red shade to the dish.) Also, add in the rice wine. (The wine is going to help protect the spices not getting burn so easily later.) Mix. Set aside.
  2. In the same grinder, add garlic, ginger, coarsely grind. Then add in the black bean sauce, and Sichuan Pixian doubanjiang. Grind until it becomes a paste. Take it out and set aside.
  3. In a wok, over high heat, heat your wok until smoking. Add the extra light olive oil, and turn to low heat. Add the spice mix and paste. Constantly stir for about 3 minutes. Add the dried red chili peppers and salt, cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. And set aside.
  4. To boil the ingredients, in a separated pot, over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add fish tofu, beef balls, fish balls, puff tofu, and boil for 3 minutes. Take them, drain, and set aside.
  5. In the same pot, add lotus root, and boil for 2 minutes. Take them out, drain, and set aside.
  6. Add in the spam, breech mushrooms, shanghai bok choy and blanch for 10 seconds. Take them out, drain, and set aside.
  7. In a well-seasoned wok, over high heat, heat it up until smoking, then add the extra light olive oil, and immediately add in the shrimp, stir-fry until pink, 2 minutes. Take it out and set aside.
  8. Back to the wok with the oil base, over high heat, heat it up until smoking, add in the boiled ingredients and shrimp. Quickly stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Lastly add in the Shanghai bok choy, a handful of cilantro, sesame seeds. Serve!

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