Mala Hot Sauce

Asian Hot Sauce

Dips & Sauces | November 13, 2017 | By

Cheers to Tiffany, our guest food blogger with Choo Choo Ca-Chew! Tiffany is sharing her family recipe for a spicy Sichuan sauce, Mala Hot Sauce, that is versatile with so many Asian dishes. You’re going to love this sauce, and it keeps for months!

Tiffany’s blog post from Choo Choo Ca-Chew

This recipe was passed down by my grandpa and probably from his grandpa. Grandpa was born in the Sichuan province, China and moved to Taiwan in 1950 when the air force of R.O.C. retreated from China.

This is a staple hot sauce in Sichuan and at home. “Mala” is actually two words in Chinese: 麻辣 (ma2 la4) 麻Ma2 is a tingly feeling like your foot just went numb and someone is poking it. 辣La4 is spicy.

That explained this sauce a lot! It is quite different from most hot sauces you find in the supermarkets. This sauce gives a tingly feeling in your mouth due to the Szechuan Peppers and is super easy to make. This sauce can also be a base for various dishes originated in Szechuan or just to spice up your food. You can easily adjust the heat level with the chili you use.

Szechuan pepper is a bit harder to get, you might need to look for an Asian store or a serious spice shop (or Amazon). I bought mine at Market Spice in Pike’s Place, Seattle. It was a bit pricey but I cannot argue with the quality! It was some of the best Szechuan pepper I’ve ever purchased (the only other one that could compare were the ones I bought in Sichuan).

 Asian spices
Szechuan peppercorns, crushed red pepper flakes, and toasted sesame seeds are the three main ingredients in this aromatic, spicy Mala Hot Sauce.
Grind the spices in a spice grinder, food processor, or mortar and pestle.
Asian Hot Sauce
You can store the Mala Hot Sauce in a jar in your pantry for up to three months!


Enjoy this special hot sauce with dishes like:

Cucumber Salad with Sesame Dressing

Mapo Tofu


Simple Noodles


Braised Beef

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Mala Hot Sauce
Cuisine: Chinese
  1. In a spice grinder, small food processor, or mortar and pestle, grind together the red pepper flakes and Szechuan peppercorns until powdery. Sift out the shells from the peppercorns and discard. Place the ground spices into a sealable jar and add in the toasted sesame seeds and pinch of salt.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small pan until oil starts to ripple. Pour the oil into the jar with the spices and stir well. Spice can be used right away or stored in your pantry for up to 3 months.

If you liked this recipe, try our Three Easy Asian Sauces

easy asian sauces

Shop products featured in this recipe:

 sesame seedsSichuan peppercorns