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Chinese Death Soup: Eat and Die

Spicy Mala Soup
Stinkee Beek, Flickr

Contrary to popular belief, even though eating spicy food may give you a wicked case of gut rot and the runs, there is absolutely no possible way for a little kung-pao anything to “burn a hole in your stomach.” That is, unless you eat a bowl of Chinese Death Soup.

Even something called “death soup” (more commonly referred to as spicy mala soup) should not be able to eat away at a person’s stomach lining. So you can imagine the surprise of doctors last week when they were faced with treating a patient — with no previous stomach issues — for a hole in his stomach that was reportedly caused by consuming this fiery concoction.

According to reports, after finishing a bowl of spicy mala soup at a restaurant in Wuhan, China, a 26-year-old man began complaining of intense pain, followed shortly thereafter by a fire-breathing bout of vomiting. Doctors say they found a hole in the man’s stomach that was likely caused from ingesting the numbingly hot broth, seasoned with a devils dose of Sichuan pepper. (Note: It is not advised to consume anything made with this pepper. Seriously, don’t be a hero.)

We’re not exactly sure what the chefs in China are putting in that soup, but we try to stick to a simple philosophy when it comes to what we have for dinner: we like food we can eat, not food that eats us.

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