100 Favorite Houston Dishes 2015: No. 81, Red Oil Dumplings At Mala Sichuan

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

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.

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.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.