SeeFoon Gets Fired Up
Málà comes from two Chinese characters meaning, respectively, ‘numbing’ 麻 and ‘spicy (hot)’ 辣, describing the sensation in the mouth that the dish creates.
Málà is almost as addicting as a drug. It is said that the best málà sauce is one that is handmade with around 20 different types of herbs and spices (chillies galore!). The tongue-numbing effect experienced after having málà is caused by the use of Sichuan peppercorns.
The málà dishes I have had outside of Sichuan province in China have generally been disappointing, toned down to almost bland and to add insult to injury, they’re sweet to boot.
I have finally discovered a chef in Ipoh who not only trained in ChongQing in Sichuan province, but was requested by his master, before his apprenticeship began, to taste all the varieties of Sichuan cuisine available.
For one month!
Armed with the myriad sensations in his taste memory, Eddie Lai, brother-in-law of Sun Heng proprietor Gary Soh embarked on his Sichuan culinary apprenticeship, and today we Ipohites are benefitting from his training.
For more reviews, go to SeeFoon’s blog at www.IpohFoodDiva.my