I still remember that in my childhood, we spend most of our evenings around a bar with a large pot and various types of ingredients lined up by wood prods. To be frank, I am not very sure the English name of Malatang so that I just translated from the Chinese name 麻辣烫. Malatang surely is one member of the hot pot family, which is mainly popular in Sichuan area of cause including Chongqing. In order to show people’s love towards this type of delicious food, there is a popular song named as Malatang, and also a TV program named as Live Malatang, which mainly tell the stories about people in that area.
If you ever visit any cities in Sichuan province, you will see lots of Malatang restaurants on the street. Many of them begin to start their business in the afternoon and until very late in night. Although it is belongs to the hot pot family, it still have some differences between traditional hot pot.
The common ingredients of Malatang are tofu, mushrooms, vegetables, meat balls and hams. Compared with traditional hot pot, the ingredients need shorter cooking time. Also the cooking processing is a little bit different. Meat ingredients such as chicken or lamb are not commonly used in malatang. The broths of Malatang generally are heavier than hot pot and no dipping sauce needed for cooked ingredients Malatang.
There are also varies types of Malatang developed during recent years. For example we have Malatang based on pot, Malatang based on bowl and Malatang based on earthen pot. If you fortunately find one Malatang restaurants nearby, please go ahead and have a try. Or you can be brave and curious to make one family type Malatang at home.