Forum Rocket Chinese Chinese Vocab 麻辣 (málà) question

麻辣 (málà) question

Robert-C7

Robert-C7

I know that 辣 (là) means hot and 酸 (suān) means sour so 酸辣汤 (suān là tāng) means Hot Sour Soup - something I usually order at Chinese restaurants. I also see the word 麻辣 (málà) used to describe spicy foods. What is the difference between 辣 (là) and 麻辣 (málà)? For instance, on a menu 麻辣牛筋 (málà niú jīn) = spicy beef tendon. I have also seen the following - 五香牛肉 (wǔxiāng niúròu) = spiced beef. Does 五香 (wǔxiāng) have any special meaning that is distinct from 辣 (là) or 麻辣 (málà)?
Alan-L1

Alan-L1

I think the là is a shortened version of 辣椒[làjiāo) NCIKU website definition; 辣椒[làjiāo] chili; capsicum; pepper; hot pepper; cayenne pepper which is tongue numbing sweat on brow hot if a lot is used while 麻辣[málà] 1.adjective The spicy flavor that tastes like Chinese pepper and pimiento. Wikepedia Definition: Mala sauce Etymology The term málà is a combination of two Chinese characters: "numbing" (麻) and "spicy (hot)" (辣), referring to the feeling in the mouth after eating the sauce. while 五香[wǔxiāng] is a Chinese term for Allspice which is often especially suitable for baking or stir-fry meat, stewed, braised, baked, steamed, boiled dishes for seasoning (Partially Wikipedia Google translated from Chinese) NCIKU website definition; 五香[wǔxiāng] (Chinese term for Allspice) 1.noun the five spices (prickly ash, star aniseed, cinnamon, clove and fennel) 2.noun incorporating the five basic flavors of Chinese cooking (sweet, sour, bitter, savory & salty 3.noun a mixture of various spices
Robert-C7

Robert-C7

Thank you. That helps a lot. Also, I have bookmarked the NCIKU website.

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