I’ve an embarrassing confession: I’ve never ordered mala xiang guo in my whole damn life.
Yep, I’m an outlier – but before you stage a protest against me, I have in my defence snatched bites of mala xiang guo from friends…and enjoyed copious amounts of lotus root doused in the mouth-numbing sauce.
So this piece is in tribute to one of Singaporeans’ most well-loved, high-SES foods – and how to maximise your order, based off these hacks by Seedly’s resident mala xiang guo addict.
1. Avoid fatty meats
As you may know, fat shrinks rapidly under high heat – and that’s something vendors are well aware of. It’s a win on their end, given you’re charged by weight.
So stick to meats with lower fat content, or maybe switch it up with luncheon meat.
2. Ask for extras
Some stalls offer free peanuts and coriander (in excess!) if you ask nicely.
3. Maximise your loyalty card
Y’know what to order the next time you’re in a Kopitiam outlet.
4. Keep it simple
‘But I need texture in my food!’, you cry.
While I’ll admit beancurd is not one and the same in its various forms, you’ll be crying harder when you’re forced to pay $15 for your mala order at the cash register.
5. Don’t pay for rice
A bowl of rice easily costs $1 – and you don’t want that to be the reason you break your lunch budget.
So the next time you’re tempted to do an impromptu mala xiang guo run, you might first want to keep these tips in mind before spicing things up…literally.