Nov 25, 2008

Hearty Ma La (Spicy) Soup with Korean Chili Paste

Eating never seemed so hard to me in my life.
I have to carefully open my mouth half wide,
Slowly grinding the food with my left side of teeth, and then painfully swallowing half-chewed food down.
What happened?
My bottom right wisdom tooth is popping out of my flesh,
Well, I have no problem if my tiny tooth wants to come out and say hi to me,
But its surrounding gum is swollen,
I guess the little guy was too excited to see the world and hurt my gum...

In order to make myself feel better,
I made some soup so that I don't have to exhaust myself chewing on things-


12 pork belly slice
15 medium sized shrimps (deveined and peeled)
1 onion (chopped into long strips)
3 stalks of scallion (chopped into approximately 2 inches in length)
10 dry chili
1 small chunk of fresh ginger (about the size of your thumb)
2 cups of bean sprouts
2 small bundles of enoki mushroom
1 box of medium firm tofu (diced into bite size pieces)
4 tablespoons of Korean chili paste 韓式辣醬
2 tablespoons of Chinese bean paste 豆瓣醬
2 tablespoon of Japanese spicy miso paste
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
Extra virgin olive oil (regular olive oil is fine too)
6 cups of water
4 cups of unsalted chicken stock


Drizzle some olive oil in a soup pot and toss in one whole chopped onion,
Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of salt, stir and cook for about 1 minute.
After that, add the dry chili, ginger, and chopped scallions and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the Korean chili paste, Chinese bean paste, and Japanese spicy miso paste into the pot,
Cook till the aroma comes out, about 2 minutes.
Remember to stir constantly, otherwise the sauce will get burned on the bottom of the pot.

Pour in 4 cups of chicken stock and 6 cups of water,
Bring to a boil and turn to medium heat.
Scoop out the excess red chili oil and the foamy bubbles before adding more ingredients.

After that step is done, add the tofu, bean sprouts, and enoki mushroom into the pot.
Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remember to constantly check on the soup, scoop out all the excess oil and foam.
Be careful here, don't keep the soup boiling after adding the ingredients,
Just let it simmer.

Add the pork belly slices into the soup,
When the pork is cooked through, toss in the shrimps,
The soup is ready when the shrimps turned red.

Noodles or rice can be a good option that goes along with this soup.
I personally prefer making it into a soup noodles dish,
Udon, ramen, or glass noodle are all good candidates,
Please enjoy!

So how do I feel now?
Let's put it this way,
Everything just got better after few doses of antibiotics.
But tomorrow is the real deal though,
My dentist is going to pull that naughty little guy out,
Wish me luck..

*As a result, I gonna have my early Thanksgiving dinner tonight.
I'll post the pictures after recovering from wisdom tooth trauma!

Cindy's Rating: 7


  1. wow i love ma la style soup base...especially for hotpot and noodles hmmmm.....spicy, come to papa!

  2. To Mochachocolata Rita~
    Today is my last chance to munch on the soup,
    After 4 p.m...I'll be wisdom toothless...
    Kinda not like dentist..

  3. Hey, sorry about your intruding wisdom tooth!

    It will all be over soon and they will give you wonderful painkillers! :)

    That soup you made looks delicious--but it had a lot of things to chew in it, I thought.

    Ohhhh. You do like your food, don't you?

    Take care,


  4. To Ivan~
    Now that my wisdom tooth is gone..same as my energy..
    My right chin is swollen now..I like like..momotaro...
    And the pain killer is making me feel like throwing up...
    (let me go lay on the bed again..)

  5. You write like poetry and your AMAZING dish is equally beautiful! I just love close up shots! This is food porn at it's best...and spicy too!

  6. To white on rice couple~
    Oh my! Thank you so much for your encouraging words!
    It makes my swollen chin (from wisdom tooth) feel way better now!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. What a delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing!