The Conch Girl Project

Recipe for ZY&WX’s Kitchen:
Mala Xiangguo

Street published on April 4, 2023


  • An open kitchen on 26th floor. The view is splendid.

  • Smoke stains that covered most cabinets above and beside the stove. 

  • Repeated items of hot spices: multiple packs of Sichuan peppercorn and star anise scattered around different shelves. Firing stir-frying must be the daily way of cooking here. The kitchen owner(s) must be busy.

  • A fridge with rather empty inside, but very enriched outside. The polaroids photos were all taken in this apartment, along them there are even pictures of the owners standing in front of the fridge. The fridge was wearing its own portrait. 

  • The familiar Chinese tea set hidden in the drawer. 


  • The emptier fridge made you looked extra thoroughly, to search for every ingredients that may be of use. Though there was not much produce, there were a lot of hot pot soup base. Personally you never really like hot pot. It’s a very tolerate form of cooking that turns any input into the same flavor, so it’s frequently chosen for big family gatherings or other occasions where strangers have to eat together, so that anyone can put into anything they like. 

  • But luckily the flexible tolerance of hot pot can be very helpful when you are in a kitchen like this. Simply mix anything you can find and stir fry it with the hot pot soup base paste, and it would become a presentable Mala Xiang Guo, the dry version of hot pot. 

Responses from ZY &WX

The two architects drew me a floor plan of their kitchen that put every photos — every fragmented space back into the original space. Interestingly, by the time I showed them the photos, they had broken up as a couple. But by the time I made the street publication, they had gotten back together.