The Mala Market

The Mala Market

The Mala Market is our online store offering all the premium Sichuan ingredients you need for making food that tastes like it would in China. As our customers have told us, our red and green Sichuan pepper are so fresh and potent you’ll need to adapt your recipes! We also offer a selection of dried chili peppers and chili flakes used in Sichuan, the aged doubanjiang, or chili bean paste, that is the signature taste of so many dishes, and other sauces and pickles from the area. We round that out with essential products for making any Chinese cuisine, and package all these products in various collections that help you quickly and easily create a Sichuan pantry. With the right ingredients, making real Sichuan food truly is possible for the home cook. We hope you’ll visit and give it a try!


4 Responses

  1. Tom Taylor says:

    Can you give a list of dishes that benefit from red Sichuan peppercorn, and one for green?

    • Taylor Holliday says:

      Hi Tom,
      Generally, red Sichuan peppercorn is used with pork and beef dishes, and green Sichuan pepper with fish. I like either one with chicken. The red to me is for heavier, strong flavored dishes, and particularly those with douban jiang (mapo doufu, shui zhu, hotpot). While green is great in lighter-colored and vegetable-heavy recipes (green Sichuan pepper fish, jiao ma chicken). But these aren’t hard rules. I would really just go by your own taste. Thanks for asking!

  2. Chris Bohlen says:

    I have a question about Sichuan chili flakes. I have a bag of them that I purchased from a local Asian market that is clearly the same brand that you sell in the market but I can’t figure out what variety it is. The bag looks the same and the only thing that I can find that might differentiate it is a sticker that is in the upper right hand corner on the front and back of the bag. I speak no Chinese and it is difficult to translate the characters. Our Asian grocery no longer carries this product but we use it in all of our Sichuan cooking. If you could help it would be much appreciated. We would like to buy another bag from your market. On another note, I have noticed the blue “S” on many Sichuan ingredients that seem to be of good quality but are not strictly from one company. Any idea what it indicates? As professional chefs in Iowa we love your blog. Thanks.

    • Taylor Holliday says:

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks for these great questions. That brand of chili flakes does identify which kind it is only in the upper right corner. You can email me a photo and I’ll tell you which one you have (use envelope icon on the main Mala Market page). We will not be carrying those for much longer as we’ll be replacing them with chili flakes we are importing ourselves.

      The way I understand it, the blue QS (“Quality and Safety”) logo on much packaging merely indicates that it was made by a legal, licensed food manufacturer in China. It is supposed to be on all food items sold in China. But products packaged specifically for the U.S. may not have it, since it is not an international certification. There are various other food-safety certifications that a brand may have, including international ones like HCAAP and ISO, and Chinese ones such as Green Food or Organic. There is a fairly good summary of these here.

      Thanks for writing. And for cooking Sichuan food in Iowa! Let me know if you are ever interested in wholesale spices and chilies.