Those who enjoy spicy food often find the ma la sensation (spicy and numbing) to be quite addictive. It costs quite a lot in restaurants in Singapore so why don't you try cooking them at home? The spice mix might seem intimidating but they can be easily obtained in shops that sell spices. They're also often found in mixed bags. 

Cooking time: 35 minutes


For the fish:

500g of fish slices

Hua diao jiu (to marinate the fish)

Light soya sauce (to marinate the fish)

For the spice mix:

3 star anise

2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorn

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 cardamom 

1 cinnamon stick

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon Fish sauce

5 slices of ginger

2 cloves of smashed garlic 

1/4 cup dried red chili peppers 

1/2 cup of Chicken soup stock

1/2 table spoon of fermented black beans 

1 table spoon of spicy fermented bean sauce

Oil (about 3 tablespoons for a not so oily mix)

For the rest of the dish:

Handful of Korean sweet potato noodles

Vegetable of your choice for the extra crunch (we used asparagus and cucumber)


1. Marinate the fish slices with hua diao jiu and soya sauce and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a wok over low heat, add all the spices, and let them infuse for 20 minutes.

3. Turn the heat up to medium and add in the marinated fish slices. Mix well and cover to let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.

4. Add in the vegetables, stir and cover for another 5 minutes. 

5. Taste and adjust according to preference for saltiness/ spiciness. We added some fresh chilli padi for extra spice.

6. Serve with rice.

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