Spicy and Savory: Mala Hot Pot Vegetarian Recipe

Rate this post

Do you enjoy trying out new recipes? If so, then you’re in for a treat! Today, we’ll introduce you to a delicious and flavorful dish for vegetarians – Mala Hot Pot.

Mala Hot Pot is a popular Chinese dish known for its spicy and numbing flavor. It’s typically made with various meats and vegetables, but today, we will show you how to make a vegetarian version that’s just as tasty. This dish is perfect for those looking for a flavorful and healthy meal that’s easy to prepare.

Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking for a new recipe, this Mala hot pot vegetarian recipe will become a favorite. Its bold and spicy flavors make it the perfect dish for a cold winter night or a cozy dinner with friends and family. So, let’s get started and learn how to make this delicious dish!

What is Mala Hot Pot?

If you are a fan of spicy food, you might have heard of Mala Hot Pot. It is a popular Chinese dish in the Sichuan province of China. The name “Mala” comes from two Chinese characters: “ma,” which means “numbing,” and “la,” which means “spicy.” This dish is known for its unique numbing and spicy flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.

Mala hot pot vegetarian recipe is a hot pot dish. It is made by boiling a pot of broth and adding various ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and mushrooms. The broth is usually made with Sichuan peppercorns, dried chili peppers, and other spices. The numbing sensation comes from the Sichuan peppercorns, while the spiciness comes from the chili peppers.

One of the unique things about Mala Hot Pot is that it is customizable. You can choose your ingredients and adjust the spiciness level to your liking. This makes it a great dish to share with friends and family; everyone can choose their ingredients and spice level.

Mala Hot Pot is traditionally made with meat such as beef or lamb. However, there are also vegetarian and vegan options available. You can use a variety of vegetables, such as mushrooms, tofu, and leafy greens, to create a flavorful and nutritious hot pot.

In summary, it is a spicy and numbing hot pot dish originating in the Sichuan province of China. It is customizable and can be made with various ingredients, including vegetarian and vegan options.

See more: The Ultimate Guide: What is the Best Beef for Hot Pot?

Ingredients for Mala Hot Pot Vegetarian Recipe

If a vegetarian craves a hot and spicy meal, you should try making Mala Hot Pot. This popular Chinese dish is known for its numbing and tangy flavor, perfect for cold weather. Here are the ingredients you need to make a delicious Mala Hot Pot vegetarian recipe:


A flavorful broth is your first need for a Mala Hot Pot. You can use vegetable broth or mushroom broth as a base. You can add some garlic, ginger, and scallions to make it more delicious. Adding some dried shiitake mushrooms or kombu gives it a more umami flavor.


For the vegetables, you can use any combination of your favorite vegetables. Some popular choices include:

  • Napa cabbage
  • Bok choy
  • Spinach
  • Bean sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Radish
  • Lotus root
  • Sweet potato
  • Taro

Tofu and Other Proteins

Tofu is an excellent protein source for vegetarians and is perfect for a Mala Hot Pot. You can use firm tofu, silken tofu, or tofu skin. You can also add some seitan, tempeh, or soy curls for more protein.

Mala Sauce

The critical ingredient for a Mala Hot Pot is the Mala sauce. This sauce is made from Sichuan peppercorns, dried chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and other spices. You can make Mala sauce or buy it from an Asian grocery store.

Other Ingredients

Add aromatics like garlic, ginger, and scallions to make your Mala Hot Pot more flavorful. You can also add mushrooms like shiitake, enoki, or oyster. For some crunch, you can add some peanuts or sesame seeds.

Now that you know the ingredients, you can start making your Mala Hot Pot vegetarian recipe. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables and proteins to find your favorite combination.

tips for Mala hot pot vegetarian recipe

Mala hot pot vegetarian recipe: Cooking Instructions

If you’re a vegetarian and love spicy food, this vegetarian mala hot pot recipe is perfect. With a mix of fresh vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu, this recipe is packed with flavor and nutrients. Here are the step-by-step instructions for preparing the mala hot pot vegetarian recipe and cooking the ingredients.

Step-by-step instructions for preparing the Mala Hot Pot base

  1. Heat a wok or a pot and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorns and 3-4 dried chili peppers.
  3. Stir-fry the peppercorns and chili peppers until fragrant, then remove them from the wok or pot and set them aside.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of minced ginger and 1 tablespoon of garlic in the same wok or pot. Stir-fry until fragrant.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of doubanjiang (fermented broad bean paste) and 2 tablespoons of chili bean paste. Stir-fry until the oil turns red.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir-fry until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth, the Sichuan peppercorns, and chili peppers you set aside earlier.
  8. Bring the broth to a boil and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more soy sauce, sugar, or chili bean paste to change the flavor you like.

Cooking tips and recommendations for achieving the perfect Mala flavor

  • Blanch the vegetables and tofu before adding them to the hot pot. This will help to remove any impurities and ensure that they cook evenly.
  • Use a mix of vegetables that you like. Some popular options include bok choy, cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms.
  • Cut the vegetables and tofu into bite-sized pieces so that they cook quickly and are easy to eat.
  • If you want to add some protein to the hot pot, you can use vegetarian meat substitutes or add some cooked noodles.
  • Add fresh herbs and scallions to the hot pot for flavor and color.
  • Adjust the spiciness of the hot pot to your liking. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of chili peppers or Sichuan peppercorns.
  • For extra flavor, serve the hot pot with some dipping sauces, such as soy sauce, sesame oil, or chili oil.

With these instructions and information, you can easily make a delicious vegetarian mala hot pot at home.

How to Mala hot pot vegetarian recipe

Serving Suggestions

It’s time to think about how to serve it. Here are a few suggestions to make your meal even more enjoyable.


Mala hot pot is a hearty and filling dish, but it can be complemented by a few side dishes to add variety and texture to your meal. Here are some ideas:

  • Rice: A serving of steamed rice can help balance out the spiciness of the hot pot.
  • Noodles: Fresh or dried noodles can be cooked separately and added to the hot pot for a more filling meal.
  • Baozi: These steamed buns filled with vegetables or meat can be a great addition to your meal.
  • Pickles: A side of pickled vegetables, such as cucumbers or radishes, can provide a refreshing contrast to the spicy and numbing flavors of the hot pot.


Mala hot pot vegetarian recipes can be pretty spicy, so having some cooling beverages on hand is essential. Here are some options:

  • Tea: Green or jasmine tea can help cleanse your palate between bites and soothe your stomach.
  • Beer: A light and refreshing beer can help cut through the spiciness of the hot pot.
  • Soda: A cold glass of soda can provide a sweet and fizzy contrast to the hot pot.


After a spicy and filling meal, you should end on a sweet note. Here are some dessert ideas:

  • Fruit: Fresh fruit, such as watermelon or pineapple, can provide a refreshing and healthy end to your meal.
  • Sesame balls: These fried balls filled with sweet bean paste can be a tasty and indulgent dessert.
  • Ice cream: A scoop of vanilla or green tea ice cream can contrast the hot pot with a creamy and cooling contrast.

Remember, these are just suggestions. Feel free to experiment and find your favorite accompaniments, beverages, and desserts to enjoy with your vegetarian mala hot pot.

See more: What Vegetables Go in Chinese Hot Pot? – 6 Popular Types 

Health Benefits of Mala Hot Pot Vegetarian Recipe

A vegetarian mala hot pot can be an excellent choice if you are looking for a healthy and flavorful meal. Here are some of the health benefits of enjoying this spicy and aromatic dish:

Rich in Nutrients

A vegetarian mala hot pot is packed with various vegetables rich in nutrients. Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber essential for good health. Some of the vegetables you can include in your hot pot are:

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Bok choy
  • Tofu

Low in Calories

One of the great things about a vegetarian mala hot pot is that it is low in calories. This dish can be an excellent choice if you are watching your weight. Vegetables are naturally low in calories, and the spicy broth adds flavor without adding many calories. Just be mindful of how much oil you use to cook the vegetables.

Boosts Immunity

The spices used in a mala hot pot, such as Sichuan peppercorns and chili peppers, have been shown to have immune-boosting properties. These spices can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and fight off infections. Additionally, the vegetables in the hot pot are rich in antioxidants, which can also help support a healthy immune system.

Supports Digestive Health

The fiber in the vegetables used in a mala hot pot can help support digestive health. Fiber helps keep your digestive system running smoothly and can prevent constipation. Additionally, the spices used in the hot pot can help stimulate digestion and reduce bloating.

A vegetarian mala hot pot can be a healthy and delicious meal option. By including a variety of vegetables and spices, you can enjoy a nutrient-rich dish that is low in calories and flavorful.

preparing Mala hot pot vegetarian recipe

See more: Mala Hot Pot Grilled Fish: A Spicy and Delicious Dish to Try

Frequently Asked Questions

What vegetarian ingredients can be used in a mala hot pot?

Many vegetarian ingredients can be used in mala hot pot, such as tofu, mushrooms, lotus root, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, and more. You can also add noodles or rice to make it a complete meal.

Are there any ready-made Mala Hot Pot sauces available?

Yes, many ready-made Mala Hot Pot sauces are available in the market. You can find them in Asian grocery stores or online. However, controlling the spice level and ingredients when making your sauce is always better.

What is the recipe for making mala hot pot vegetarian?

To make mala hot pot vegetarian, you can use vegetable broth or water as the base. Add vegetables, tofu, mushrooms, and noodles or rice to the pot. You can use Sichuan peppercorns, dried chili peppers, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and other ingredients for the mala sauce. Cook everything together in the pot and enjoy!

Where can I find a vegetarian mala xiang guo restaurant?

Vegetarian mala xiang guo restaurants are less common than regular ones, but you can find them in some cities with a sizeable Chinese population. You can also try searching for vegetarian hot pot restaurants, which may have a mala xiang guo option.

Is mala hot pot a healthy meal option?

Mala hot pot can be a healthy meal option if you use fresh and nutritious ingredients and control the amount of oil and salt in the sauce. However, the spice level may only suit some, so listening to your body and adjusting is essential.

Can hot pot be made vegetarian?

Yes, hot pots can be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth or water as the base and adding vegetarian ingredients such as tofu, mushrooms, and vegetables. You can also make your dipping sauces using vegetarian-friendly ingredients.


Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to make a delicious vegetarian mala hot pot. This dish is perfect for a cozy night with friends or family. It’s also a great way to warm up during the colder months.

Remember, you can customize your mala hot pot to your liking. You can add any vegetables, tofu, or meat substitutes that you prefer. You can also adjust the level of spiciness to your taste.

In addition to being delicious, this dish is also healthy. The vegetables and tofu are packed with essential nutrients, and the spicy broth can help boost your metabolism.

If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy vegetarian cuisine, mala hot pot is worth a try. It’s easy to make, flavorful, and satisfying.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and give this recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Watch more video

Photo of author

Lillie Hartman

I am Lillie Hartman, a passionate advocate of Chinese cuisine and an avid explorer of its culinary wonders. With a deep-rooted love for all things related to China's rich gastronomic heritage, my heart lies in food blogging. The hot pot is unique in her heart among her many culinary delights. Through dedicated research and experiences, I seek to enlighten and engage my readers by sharing a treasure trove of knowledge and valuable insights in this niche. Embark on a flavorful journey with me as I unveil China's diverse culinary landscape's secrets, flavors, and traditions.

goodluckgourmet.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.