The beginning of winter starts with the solar term, Li Dong. Beginning, as it suggests, means the winter begins from then on. “Dong” (winter in Chinese language) indicates the “end”, meaning that crops need to be collected after the harvest. Hence, Lidong is seen as the arrival of winter. After that period, most parts of the country are expecting the severity of the season. In traditional Chinese medicine theory, winter is the season of water, the color is black, the internal organ is kidney which means the most important thing in winter to do is storing the kidney essence. If the kidney essence couldn’t be stored properly in winter, people will easily get sick in the coming spring. Because of that, black food such as black rice, black bean, black sesame, black dates, would be a very good choice to have in this season.
At MáLà Project, we will be serving Black glutinous soup rice balls with black sesame fillings. It would be a great dish to warm your tummy before the meal and end it as a dessert. Sesame seeds offer antioxidant benefits that protect the liver, kidney, and more from toxins.
We are serving “ Luminous Jelly (红糖冰粉 Hong-tang-bing-fen)” for the solar term “Frost’s Descent (霜降)” from 10/23- 11/6.
Frost's Descent is the last solar term of autumn, during which time the weather becomes much colder than before and frost begins to appear. It is the 18th solar term of the year. Frost consists of white ice crystals of frozen water vapor near the ground. During Frost's Descent, frost begins to appear. As Frost's Descent comes, the world is filled with the atmosphere of late autumn.
To remind us of the pretty frost, we are serving a delicious treat called “Luminous Jelly”. It is made with agar that is drenched in a brown sugar syrup while topped with osmanthus flower; a simple yet tasty dish. This dish is a perfect match with our cuisine. It will cleanse your palette from all that spiciness when you consume it.
We are serving “Herbal tonic duck soup (滋补老鸭汤)” for the solar term “ Cold dew (寒露)” from 10/8-10/22. For the 17th solar term of the year would be Cold dew.
The dew is growing bigger and colder. There tends to be less rain during this time. Autumn crops will be all ripe by then. Temperatures drop significantly in October. When the cold air encounters autumn rain, it turns into misty rain or fog. When the humidity is high, there will be foggy regions formed in many areas.
To prepare our body from the decrease of temperature, we are serving Herbal tonic duck soup for $6. The soup is packed with different types of herbs that will be medicinal to our health. Some of the ingredients that the soup contains are goji berries, duck, red dates, ginseng, and Cordycep flower.
Goji berries and red dates are packed with vitamins and minerals that provides antioxidants for the organs. Ginseng are believed to boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation, treat diabetes, and manage sexual dysfunction in men. As for Cordycep flowers, it helps to moisten the throat, and is beneficial for emphysema and bronchitis. It also improve cardiovascular disease, anti-aging, and helps reduce fatigue.
We are serving “ Autumn Tea (养生菊花茶)” for the solar term “ Autumn Equinox (秋分)” until 10/7.
Autumn Equinox lies at the midpoint of autumn, dividing autumn into two equal parts. During this season, it is the best time to enjoy chrysanthemums in full blossom. And due to the weather being hot in the day and cool in the night, we are serving our Autumn Tea. It consists of chrysanthemums, goji berries and malva nut . Chrysanthemum has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine. People use it to treat respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and hyperthyroidism. Malva nut is known in the chinese medicine to ease a sore throat which is perfect to consume when you have a cold. Goji berries are a medicinal plant that is packed with vitamins and antioxidants that people used to treat eye, liver and kidney ailments. Overall, the Autumn tea is a perfect drink for the change of seasons.
We are serving “ Pear on the rocks (冰糖炖雪梨)” for the solar term “ End of Heat (处暑)” from 8/23-9/7.
The 14th of the 24 solar period would be End of heat. In Chinese, chu (处) means "stop," and shu means "summer." The start of this period suggests that summer is coming to an end and that the intense heat of the previous period is fading away. As the season, temperature, and weather change, it is important to make adjustments to your diet. With autumn will come strong winds, which will leave the skin dry and itchy, lips cracked and chapped, and throats dry and scratchy. Chinese people believe that it is important to eat foods with moisturizing capabilities in order to rehydrate the body during this time of year.
To help energize our body, we will be serving Pear on the rocks. The soup will nourishes the lungs and eliminates dryness. Pears are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fiber. It plays a big role in weight loss, cardiovascular disease and cholesterol. It also known to help regulate the body’s fluid levels.
We are serving “ Sliced Yams with Blueberries (蓝莓山药)” for the solar term “Major heat (大暑)” from 7/22-8/6.
Major heat is the 12th solar term of this year. It is the hottest period through the year. The sun, high temperatures and heavy rainfall are good for growing crops. It’s important to harvest and plant in time to avoid setbacks caused by natural disasters.
The heat and moisture both undermine the health. To balance the body’s qi, we will be serving Sliced Yams with blueberries. It balances the body’s yin and nourish it. All in which takes part to enhance the body’s physical fitness. Blueberries provide a good source of vitamin c, potassium and fiber. The fruit is known to have blood sugar lowering, anti-inflammatory, neuro-protective effects while containing antioxidants.
We are serving “Chilled Mung Bean Soup (绿豆汤)” for the solar term “Minor Heat (小暑)” from 7/7-7/21.
The 11th solar term of the year is Minor heat. It began on July 7th this year and ends on July 21st. Minor heat signifies the hottest period is arriving but the extreme heat has yet to come. During this time of the year, there are frequent storms, thunder and hail.
To reduce the heat in your body, Mala is serving mung bean soup (aka green bean soup). Mung bean soup is a classic Chinese tong sui. A cooling dessert, this sweet soup is light yet nutritious and can be consumed warm or chilled. Green bean is a good source of fiber, protein, vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C,E, K), and minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium. It is also a traditional home remedy to clear toxins, reduce body heat and promote healthier skin.
Come enjoy this refreshing special before July 21!
Summer Solstice is the tenth solar term of the year. June 21 was the day when the sunlight reached the Northmost point on the earth and the daylight lasts the longest in the year.
To celebrate the arrival of summer and to stay energetic in the muggy weather, we are serving Hot and Sour Potato salad. It is a refreshing yet spicy dish to open up your appetite before our dry pot. The salad contains thinly shredded potato mixed with bird eye pepper.
Come enjoy this refreshing special before July 5!
We are serving “Water of Job’s Tear (柠檬薏米水)” for the solar term “Grain in Ear (芒种)” from 6/5 - 6/20.
The ninth solar term of the year would be Grain in ear. The first character, 芒, means the ear or the tip of grain. The pronunciation, mang is very similar to the Chinese word for “busy”, so the name of this time period implies a double meaning of “when the grain is in the ear” and “the time when farmers are busy”. The weather starts to become humid and hot, and the farmers face a battle against both weather and time while harvesting their produce. The second character, 种 means to grow, plant, or cultivate. The most common crops that are harvested at this time are rice, cotton, and sometimes wheat amongst many others.
Vegetables and coarse grains are great for the season to help lower blood pressure and blood fat. Hence why we are selling one of our best old special “Water of Job’s Tear”. Job’s tears are known to be a high in fiber, slightly sweet and earthy Asian grain. It is great to consume food that contains cool nature to balance the body during this time. It helps eliminate heat in the body and promote digestion. This drink is infused with lemon and honey to give a refreshing taste after each sip.
We are serving “Rice Dumplings in Bamboo Leaves (粽子)” for the solar term “Grain buds (小满)” from 5/21-6/18.
Grain Buds is the 8th solar term of the year. It means that the seeds from the grain are becoming full but are not yet ripe. The solar term culture is used to guide people’s lives through special foods, cultural, ceremonies, farming and even healthy living tips through each term.
As for this solar term, people celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. They would hold boat races and prepare zongzi. Zongzi consists of sticky rice stuffed with fillings that are wrapped in bamboo leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. People in China make zongzi differently based on the different areas in China. Making zongzi is a labor-intensive job that brings families together to accomplish this job.
Our Zongzi comes in two flavors:
Chestnut Purple Rice dumplings (血糯栗子粽)
Jujube & Mungbean Rice dumplings (蜜枣绿豆粽)
Happy Memorial Day long weekend!
For those who prefer to spend the extra downtime in town, we’ve created a perfect occasion for you to catch up with beloved friends over some summer drinks.
MáLà Project will serve Rosé all day for $4/glass from May 25th to May 28th at both Bryan Park & East Village locations.
Bring your friends and kick off the summer with some pink shades and MáLà snacks!
Lixia (Beginning of Summer) is the 7th solar term in the twenty-four solar terms in the lunar calendar. It is also the first solar term in summer, signifying the beginning of the hot summer. It signals the transition of seasons. When it comes, the temperature rises obviously, and summer heat arrives, there is a remarkable increase in thunder storms, and crops enter their peak season for growth. The Buddha’s birthday is honored during this season with Bathing the Buddha Day.
To celebrate the harvest of crops and a vegetarian dish for Buddha’s birthday, we have the Greenhouse Dumplings. The dumpling’s skin is made out of Shanghai bok choy and spinach juice, giving off a vibrant green color for a change. As for the filling, it’s stuffed with bok choy, chinese cabbage, glass noodles and shiitake mushroom. This makes it a delicious dish that is healthy to consume.
We will be serving this hearty dish at MáLa Project from 5/5-5/20. It's available both steamed and pan-fried.
We are serving “Green Bean (绿豆冰棍) /Taro Popsicles (芋泥冰棍) ” for the solar term “Grain Rain (谷雨)” from 4/20-5/4.
Grain rain is the last term in the spring. Grain Rain originates from the old saying, "Rain brings up the growth of hundreds of grains," which shows that this period of rainfall is extremely important for the growth of crops. The Grain Rain signals the end of cold weather and a rapid rise in temperature.
Green beans are a versatile vegetable that can be grown in many different climates, which has made them such a popular and globally recognized food. These delicious beans are low in calories and fat and contain no cholesterol. The fiber content is very high, and it also provides some of your daily protein requirements. They also act as an easy source for acquiring vitamins like vitamin A, C, K, B6, and folic acid. Green bean are a good source of flavonoids and carotenoids that can help boost the body’s immune system. It would be perfect for the slow spring to summer transition. Taro is a root plant that many asian cuisines would consume based on its rich source of nutrients. It is known to be very beneficial to the body. It contains a high fiber content that can improve your digestive health. Overall, these two great vegetables are made into a popsicle form for easy consumption.
We are serving “Delicious Fava Bean (风味蚕豆)” for the solar term “Spring Equinox (春分)” from 3/21-4/4.
Spring Equinox is the fourth solar term of this year. It signals the equal length of the day and night time. On the day of the Spring Equinox, sun is directly above the equator. After the equinox, the sun moves northwards, resulting in gradually longer day time in the Northern Hemisphere and longer night in the Southern Hemisphere. A common custom for many regions of China would be eating spring vegetables during this term. Spring vegetables refers to seasonal vegetables that differ from place to place. In Chinese culture, it is known that people who eat seasonal foods will help preserve health and bring good luck.
To promote the seasonal foods, we made a flavorful dish with Fava bean. Fava beans are an energy boosting, and heart-healthy legumes. It is a lean protein with lots of fiber. Fava beans contain vitamin K, vitamin B6, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium and more. It is a friendly protein that supports a strong immune system and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Overall, it is a plus-plus situation for us to consume Fava bean.
We are serving “Red wine poached pear” for the solar term “Waking of Insects (惊蛰)” from 3/5-3/20.
The third solar term of the year is the Awakening of insects. It got its name from the fact that animals sleeping in winter are awakened by spring thunder and that the earth begins to come back to life. Awakening of Insects signals a rise in temperature and increased rainfall. It is the key time for agricultural activities in spring.
Eating pears for this solar term is a widely-practiced custom in China. As the weather gets warmer and the air becomes dry, people tend to feel their mouths are parched and tongues dry, which can cause colds or coughs. A pear is sweet, juicy and cold, moistening the lungs to arrest a cough. Therefore, pears are highly recommended during this solar term.
Hello “Spring Begins” — for the first solar term of Lunar New Year of 2018, we are serving “Flavorful Pork Hock” to enhance your wealth belly.
Spring Begins lifts the curtain of spring. After that everything turns green and is full of life; daytime is becoming longer and the weather is becoming warmer. It’s the happiest two weeks in the Chinese calendar.
For this dish, the meat is thinly sliced in a garlicky sweet spicy sauce. The cut of meat is pork hock, in which the collagen helps retain moisture and prevent aging to remain youthful. Hurry for the rejuvenation with collagen!
Available from 2/4-2/18.
It's "Major Cold (大寒)” We are bringing back one of our best selling「Sticky rice with dates (红枣切糕)」, available from 1/20-2/2.
Major Cold is the last solar term in winter and also the last solar term in the annual lunar calendar. In this period, snow, rain and icy cold weather plays a big influence on people's lives. 大寒 literally means the weather is cold to the extreme. With the arrival of the Major Cold, the traditional Spring Festival is around the corner and people begin the New Year preparations such as shopping, cleaning, decorating, and so on. In Chinese the word "rice cake" has the same pronunciation with the word "higher in a new year", which symbolizes good luck and continual promotion. People in China have a habit of eating "dispelling cold cake", a kind of rice cake. In the processing of making rice cake, they would use the ingredient; sticky rice. It contains more sugar than rice which can make people feel warm all over their bodies. Dates are full with vitamins, but also enriched with Iron (Fe) which is good for stomach, spleen and skin.
MÁLÀ PROJECT GIFT GUIDE
MáLà Hot Sauce 8oz $6
good with anything, seriously
MáLà Pickles 16oz $9
MáLà Peanuts 16oz $9
kitchen counter snack
MáLà Project Chopsticks $12
clear & acrylic, elegant and practical
value customizable. perfect for your MáLà-lover friend
Scented Candle $12
housemade, cinnamon + clove
spam/glass noodle, in pink
AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE IN STORE. PLEASE CALL AHEAD (212) 353-8880.