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Review: HuoGuo Mao CAI

One of my coworkers bought this self-heating Hot Pot by accident thinking it was noodles. He wasn’t impressed by it and he thought I’d enjoy it much better since I’m more used to the Chinese tastes. I actually used to buy these type of dishes when I was living in China but these would usually be rice and pork/beef based foods so Yumei brand HuoGuo Mao Cai was new to me and I was excited to try it.

There’s a heating pad inside of the box where all you have to do is add cold water and put the ingredients in a bowl on top of that and it will start to steam/boil and heat your food right up. It’s great if you don’t have the time or the space to cook a full dish, it’s also great for when you’re on the go and you need a hot dish (like in a hotel or anything) since they usually also have chopsticks or a spork inside the packaging.

Silver bag: konjac, potato, lotus root, bamboo shoot, enoki, judasears, a whole bunch of additives.
Plastic: potato and cassava noodles
Spice package: butter, chili, Sichuan pepper, ginger, beanpaste
Sauce package: fermented black soybeans, garlic, soy oil, salt, sugar, sesame, various spices

1. Open the package and take all the items out, Put the heating pad, chopsticks and hand tissue aside.
2. Pour the contents in the smaller white bowl and stir them up a little bit (with the chopsticks) before adding water to it (about 80% of the bowl).
3. Unpack the heating pad and put it in the bigger white bowl, add water until the pad is submerged or until the line inside of the bowl.
4. Put the bowl of ingredients back on top and put the lid on, leave it for 8 minutes.

You could hear the water boil and the steam shooting out of the top and I thought that was really cool, I really enjoyed the smell that spread. Since I was sharing it I made some extra stir fry rice and some pork because there is no meat inside of the package.

My opinion

It’s easy to make, just add everything into a bowl and stir it up, it’s perfect if you don’t feel like cutting or even if you don’t want to buy all the products for this dish. I got a little bit messy since I squeezed things out of packages but if you do it with enough care it should be fine! Don’t forget to wash your hands!

It is, first of all, EXTREMELY spicy! Though it has all the Chinese flavors I’m used to eating. As I’m leading my bf into Asian food (that isn’t sushi) I decided to share this with him. I’m glad I did because he gave me a good insight as well into how to phrase these things. We both really liked the crunchiness of the vegetables and how chewy the noodles were. However, if it could be just a little bit less spicy we would have eaten all of it together but it wasn’t and we had to drink a lot to just get that burn out. Due to the amount of spicy it was hard to tell the vegetables apart, though the different textures were nice.

We did however agree on going to see if the shop where this was bought has more of it, preferably in different flavors so we can compare them and see if all of it is just as good as this one. (but less spicy)

The bowl itself is good enough for one person size wise. It’s filling and really good flavor but as you can see in the picture loaded with Sichuan peppers. I’m curious about the other flavors if they have any and if they do I’ll write about them!

Have you ever tried any of these types of boxes? Let us know and recommend your favorite one!

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