Ask just about anyone who has been to Mala Sichuan Bistro what the must-order items are and they'll likely mention these big, chewy pockets of goodness.
The dumplings are handmade and quite sizable. They can even be a bit unwieldy, but that just means there’s more dumpling for swiping up the complex sauce. It’s not just a simple mixture of soy and red chili oil. It’s laced with fresh ginger and garlic hand-ground to a pulp before it’s mixed in.
The sauce is a gorgeous shade of red, but it’s less fiery than you might fear. Inside each is a little gem of spicy pork, but really, in this dish, it’s the sauce that’s the star. A generous smattering of sesame seeds adds nutty texture and chopped green onions lend a dash of contrasting color.
The red oil chili dumplings are available at both the original Mala Sichuan location at 9348 Bellaire and the newer Montrose one at 1201 Westheimer.
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There are eight to an order and they run only $3.95. It’s an affordable way to wake up your tongue and give it something to talk about.