Malatang is popular in South Korea. TUCHONG
A new dish from China is burning South Korean taste buds. Malatang, or the Chinese spicy hot pot, is all the rage in South Korea.
According to CGTN, Chinese restaurants in South Korea are serving malatang and mala xiang guo instead of the lamb skewers that became popular several years ago.
“From what we can ascertain, in Seoul there are about 200 restaurants that have ‘mala’ in their business name. And in 2019, roughly 60 new businesses were registered. That means the number of restaurants has doubled compared to 2017,” Jeong Ji-hyun, a senior researcher at the Korea Food Service Industry Research Institute, told CGTN.
Their love of malatang is mainly for its unique lip-numbing spiciness, not found in Korean cuisine.
When diners eat malatang, they can select ingredients from a range of fresh vegetables, fish cakes, tofu, noodles and meat, typically beef or lamb. That means they can get whatever they like in one dish. The ingredients are boiled and then combined in a broth with the distinctive Chinese seasoning.
The result is a dish perfectly suited to South Koreans’ passion for strong flavor and burning spice.
“It’s spicy and stimulating, so it’s very addictive. I think it goes well with beer too, especially with a friend after work,” South Korean office worker Kim Mi-jeong told CGTN.