Homemade Mala & Tomato Soup Base

Chinese New Year

Easy Level:

Hello homecooks!
Hope you are excited about the upcoming Chinese New Year as much as we are! Today we will be sharing with you a Staple, Must-Have recipe this CNY, Mala & Tomato Soup Bases. Hotpot is the easiest and fuss-free thing to prepare and the most vital part of this dish will definitely be the Soup Bases.
These 2 soup bases are fairly easy to prepare and the best part is you can make a big batch of the pastes and store it! This way, you can enjoy freshly made soup bases through CNY!
All the spices can be found easily in the supermarket, if not the chinese herb store. We used normal chillis instead of the szechuan ones and it WORKS! However, the Chilli Flakes are crucial in creating the fragrance of the Mala Soup base. The most ideal ones are definitely the SzeChuan Chilli Flakes followed by Korean Chilli Flakes.
From The Meatmen, wishing everybody an Advanced Happy Chinese New Year! 🙂

Mala & Tomato Soup Base
Servings: 4 pax
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Skill level: Easy

Tomato Soup Base


  • 1L chicken stock
  • 700g fresh tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 Canned (140g) Tomato Paste
  • 5 Cloves of minced garlic
  • 4 Slices of Ginger
  • 3 whole shallots (minced)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 pieces of bay leaves
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 3 stalks of scallions the white part
  • 2 tbsp sugar or to taste
  • 1 tbsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


  1. Heat pan/wok up. Add 2 tbsp cooking oil and stir fry garlic, ginger, shallots, cinnamon, star anise to release aromatics.
  2. Add a whole can of tomato paste and 700g of chopped tomatoes and continue stirring. Bring it to a simmer, add 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp salt or to taste. 
  3. Add 2 pieces of Bay Leaves and stir and press down on tomatoes until it disintegrates into puree texture.
  4. Add 1L of chicken stock, 3 pieces of Scallion (white part) and bring it to a boil.
  5. Before storing or serving, strain the ingredients in the pot and use only the remaining soup.
  6. Garnish with quarters of fresh tomatoes when serving.

Mala Soup Base

Grounded Spice:

  • ? cup Chilli Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Red Sichuan Peppercorn
  • 2 tbsp Green Sichuan Peppercorn
  • 1 Stick of Cinnamon
  • 3 pieces of Star Anise
  • 4 pieces of Licorice Root
  • 4 pieces of Bay Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Cumin powder
  • 5 pieces of Cardamom
  • 1 tsp of Cloves

Chilli Paste:

  • 15 cloves of garlic
  • 2 knobs of ginger
  • 6 pieces of small red chillies (cut)
  • 12 pieces of fresh red chillies (cut)

4 tbsp Spicy Chilli Bean Sauce Doubanjiang (LKK)
2 tbsp Spicy Black Bean Paste (LKK)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Salt
3 Cups of Canola oil 
1 Cup of Lard


    1. In a spice grinder/food processor add in all the ingredients under grounded spice. Blend until everything is powdered and mixed well.
    2. In another food processor, add ingredients under chilli paste and blend until smooth.
    3. In a wok/pan on low heat, add chilli paste mixture, ground spice mixture, Spicy Chilli Bean Sauce Doubanjiang, Spicy Black Bean Paste, sugar and salt. Stir fry until slightly dry.
    4. In another pot add canola oil and pork lard, heat the oil and lard mixture to approximately 150°C.
    5. Slowly add hot oil over spice mixture, this will release the aromatics in the spice paste.
    6. After this continue to let the mixture cook on low heat for about 20 minutes continuously stirring it often.
    7. Leave to cool to room temperature. You can divide it into individual portions to freeze for later use or use it immediately as well. 
    8. Ratio for mala hot pot would be 2 cups of mala soup base to 10 cups of chicken broth.
    9. If using store bought chicken stock, we would recommend using 2 cups mala soup base, 5 cups chicken stock and 5 cups water.



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