Mala Soup - Cover 麻辣烫 拷贝
Photo Credit: Wang Siqi; design elements from VCG

Hot and Spicy: How Malatang Conquered China

As a Gansu variety of “malatang” goes viral online, we delve into the history and appeal of one of China’s most ubiquitous dishes

Mao Zhenhua, a college student from Changsha in central China’s Hunan province, has picked Tianshui, over 1,300 kilometers away, as her next travel destination. The absence of direct flights means it will take at least 6.5 hours to get to the small city in Gansu province via high-speed train. Once Mao arrives, she expects to do hours more queuing to get to the city’s main attraction: a bowl of Tianshui malatang.

Create a free account to keep reading

Already have an account? Log in
Find more audio versions of our content here.

author Tan Yunfei (谭云飞)

Tan Yunfei is the editorial director of The World of Chinese. She reports on Chinese language, food, traditions, and society. Having grown up in a rural community and mainly lived in the cities since college, she tries to explore and better understand China's evolving rural and urban life with all readers.

Related Articles