Recently, a new product from China took the Internet by storm. If you’ve read the headline for this article, you would probably have guessed I’m talking about the instant 懒人麻辣火锅.
That’s right. It’s 麻辣火锅, instant noodles style.
Except it’s apparently easier.
Now before you go around scouring for this fascinating meal for lazy people (read: you, my dear reader), we’ve got 10 facts for you so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
It’s a New Product on the Market
Don’t worry if you think you missed out on some sort of hidden gem. You didn’t just waste possibly years without knowing of the existence of such a wonder.
The concept of an instant 麻辣火锅 really hasn’t been around for very long, even though instant noodles, instant rice, and a variety of other instant meals have been around for much longer. In fact, the 麻辣火锅 only hit markets late December last year, in China.
You Can Get It from Taobao
Unfortunately, the fact that this was invented in China also means that you’re not gonna be able to get it in local supermarkets. No Cold Storage or NTUC is going to have this.
You’ll have to look online, and buy it from Taobao.
Speaking of Taobao, sites like Shopee actually offer this, but they go out of stock really fast. Better start practising your online shopping speed!
It’s Even Easier to Prepare than You Think
Now let’s get to the important part: how it actually works.
The actual heating element here isn’t new at all. In fact, if you’ve seen some of the more interesting versions of instant meals from China, you would’ve noticed some of them do not require hot water either.
These, like the instant 麻辣火锅, use a specialized heat pack stored beneath the inner bowl for your food. After it comes into contact with water, regardless of the water’s temperature, the chemicals inside the pack undergoes fancy chemical shenanigans, and heat up the water rapidly to boiling within seconds.
I’m already hearing NSmen wondering aloud on why this isn’t included in their combat rations.
There are Lots of Flavours to Choose From
There are, in fact, quite a couple of flavours to choose from, ranging from mainly vegetables, to actual beef, from a couple of different brands.
Unfortunately, all of them are 麻辣. Which means spicy. But hey, at least it’s great steamboat at a great price, and without all the hassle of a normal steamboat!
It’s VERY Spicy
If you haven’t guessed from the name, it’s really spicy. And I mean, REALLY spicy. Which shouldn’t be a problem for most Singaporeans, but just so you know, the 麻辣 ain’t joking around, yo.
According to the companies, and many consumers, the steamboat actually tastes quite close to the authentic 麻辣火锅 from China. Of course, all of the companies claim they went through many tests to produce a taste as authentic as possible.
Don’t Expect Fresh Steamboat
Thing is, this is still an instant meal, that comes in a plastic box/bowl. So don’t expect a hotpot/steamboat in the style of 海底捞 or something. It’s basically just instant soup, with the 麻辣火锅 taste and ingredients.
You’re not going to be cooking some fresh slices of beef or pork by dipping in boiling hot soup.
It’s Absolutely Filled with Ingredients
Don’t worry though, the steamboat comes with quite a lot of ingredients. Apart from the standard flavour pack (which is a vacuum-packed paste, not a powder), there are vacuum-packed cooked vegetables, vacuum-packed tea eggs, and if you chose the fresh beef version, there is even a vacuum-packed… packet of cooked beef.
Actual beef! Not the dehydrated tiny flecks you might expect from some packets of instant noodles.
Oh, there is also a pack of Sichuan glass noodles.
In fact, there are so many ingredients your bowl would be filled to the brim. They ain’t skimping on the quantity here!
The Heating Pack is Completely Safe
By now, the only thing holding you back from buying a ton of these instant 麻辣火锅 might be the fact that I mentioned some chemical shenanigans earlier on.
Not to worry though, the heat pack is separated from the food, and its contents are actually quite safe too. All of the companies selling this have went through inspections, and as long as you don’t accidentally eat the pack or something, there really is nothing to worry about.
It Has Military Origins
Self-heating packs like the ones used here are not actually new at all. These heat packs have apparently been used in militaries all over the world for army rations in the field.
Which really raises the question: why the heck does SAF not use something like this?? Seriously, combat rations would probably taste way better after some heating up.
You Can Sell It Online Too
The instant 麻辣火锅 was actually introduced for online shops on platforms like Taobao, and the companies completely support any individual thinking of opening their own store. Some of them even accept bulk purchases of as low as a few hundred dollars for reselling!
So if you wanna make a quick buck, you could totally consider just contacting these companies and opening your own online store to sell these.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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Featured Image: lanrenhuoguo.cn & Taobao