Vegan Mala Xiang Guo 麻辣香锅 | Spicy Pot

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 40 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins

Mala Xiang Guo, or MLXG for short, is all the rage at the moment. Vegan mala xiang guo is an intense, spicy, savoury explosion. Various vegan ingredients are cooked separately, then tossed in a hot wok with a flavourful chilli sauce. You can use anything in your mlxg as long as it suits your taste.

The name mala xiang guo translates directly to “numb spicy fragrant pot”. As the dish uses a lot of Sichuan spices, most people attribute it to Sichuan cuisine. However, it is not an authentic Sichuan dish at all. There is no such dish in traditional Chongqing or Sichuan cuisine! Kind of like how Singapore noodle is not actually even from Singapore, I suppose.

It is not entirely clear how MLXG came about. A popular hypothesis is that it was fashioned as a quicker alternative to 重庆火锅 Chongqing’s mala hotpot. While this is not an authentic Chonqing dish, the spices used in both dishes are the same. The cooking technique is also reminiscent of Sichuan cuisine, with the use of the trinity of ginger-garlic-scallion and fermented chilli bean paste. It can be thought of as the mala hotpot ingredients prepared 干锅 (Sichuan dry pot) style.


  • When preparing the ingredients for your vegan mala xiang guo, it pays to have one frying station and one boiling station. Some ingredients are best boiled, and some fried.
  • Once your ingredients are finished cooking, time your noodles to finish boiling just as the spice mix is done frying.
  • This dish is fantastic when you choose ingredients with a variety of textures.
  • MLXG is supposed to be spicy! But you can reduce the chilli amounts to suit your tolerance.

When eaten as a main, this recipe feeds 2. When eaten as a side with plain rice, this recipe feeds 4.

For an authentic Chongqing dish, check out my favourite Chongqing Xiaomian Noodle (重庆小面)!

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0/23 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
    Boil Me
  • Fry Me
  • For Sauce
  • Flavouring
  • Garnish


0/14 Instructions
  • Rehydrate your dried goods like tofu sticks and dried chillies.
  • Parboil all the ingredients under "Boil Me". Lotus roots will take about 15 minutes to cook until still crispy. For green leafy vegetables just blanch for 20 seconds.
  • Pan-fry all the ingredients under "Fry Me", making sure both sides are nice and golden.
  • Meanwhile, mix the "Flavouring" ingredients together.
  • When all your ingredients are prepared, it is ready to cook the sauce and the noodles.
  • Start cooking your instant noodles now!
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat and fry the Sichuan peppercorns, dried chilli, and ginger until they darken.
  • Turn the heat down to low. Add the fermented chilli bean paste and fry until the oil turns red.
  • Add the garlic and spring onions.
  • Add the coriander stems only and fry until you can smell their fragrance.
  • Add the ingredients and the flavouring sauce. Turn the heat up to medium-high and toss to mix well.
  • Your instant noodles should be done! Make sure you stop cooking while they are still springy. Drain and rinse in cool water to stop it cooking.
  • Toss the noodles in the mala pan.
  • Make sure everything is coated in the sauce, then top with Sichuan pepper oil, coriander leaves, sesame seeds, and roast peanuts.

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