Yuan Yang Hot Pot (Mala Soup Base)
  • 10 Min. Prep
  • 60 Min. Cook
  • 4-6 Servings
  • 697 Calories

We absolutely love hot pot! This is the perfect dish when gathering with friends and families in a cold winter night! Try this Yuan Yang hot pot, and it will immediately become one of your familiy favorite dishes!

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom (cao guo)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 slice Chinese licorice root (gan cao)
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 cups dried red chili peppers, separated
  • 1/4 cup paprika powder
  • 8 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 cup extra light olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon black bean sauce (douchijiang)
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan Pixian doubanjiang 
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 cube Knorr chicken bouillon

In a grinder or food processor, add the cinnamon, black cardamom, star anise, Chinese licorice root, cloves, bay leaves, fennel seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, and half of the dried red chili peppers. Grind it. Transfer it to a bowl. Add in the paprika (Chinese don’t usually use paprika, but it is going to add a beautiful red shade to it.) Also, add in the rice wine. (The wine is going to help protect the spices from not getting burn so easily later.) Mix. Set aside.


In the same grinder, add the garlic and coarsely grind. Then add in the black bean sauce, and Sichuan Pixian doubanjiang. Grind until it becomes a paste. Take it out and set it aside.


In a wok, over high heat, heat your wok until smoking. Add the extra light olive oil (you can also use other high smoking point oil), and turn to low heat. Add the spice mix and paste. Constantly stir for about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the dried red chili peppers, cook for another 2 minutes.


Pour in 2 quarts of chicken stock. (I didn’t show how to make the chicken stock here, but you can cook it the same way as our beef soup base.) Also, add in Knorr chicken bouillon. Bring it to a boil.