Project Lava

Photo courtesy: Thingtesting

Lava was exclusively available to our expert panel and to the general public via Thingtesting's Thingdrop on July 29, 2022 — this drop sold out in 3 minutes!

Lava is inspired in-part by Pay Chen's childhood memories of hot pot, where dipping sauces like a can of shāchá jiàng (or Shacha sauce) were always a feature at the dinner table.

As with all the products we make at Zing, we're not reinventing the wheel. This is not a traditional recipe for Shacha (which doesn't need an "update") but inspired by it's flavours, some of Pay's favourite food memories, plus ingredients and techniques popular across other regions of South/South East Asia to create something familiar, but new.

Use Lava in stir fries, as a marinade, on your eggs, as a dip, or to start a noodle sauce. We encourage you to experiment with it or use one of our recipes below.

Have more questions? Keep scrolling for our FAQ.

Pay Chen is one of Canada's best known food and travel writers, and a familiar face and voice on TV and radio stations across the country. Pay is Taiwanese-Canadian.

Lava is vegan friendly! Expect rich, savoury, spice-filled flavours that pack a punch!


Lava is vegan-friendly, gluten-free and nut-free. It contains sesame and soy! Full ingredients below. We do not produce in a gluten & nut-free facility, and while we take every precaution, there is always a small risk of cross-contamination.

Ingredients: Canola oil, Miso, Vinegar, Dried Kashmiri chili peppers, Desiccated coconut, Sugars (Cane sugar), Sesame paste, Spices, Black beans, Salt, Garlic powder, Ginger powder

Contains: Sesame, Soy

Lol, well, for the record, we chose the project name because of what it looks like, not because it will burn your mouth off. While spice tolerance is subjective, we'd say this is a medium (about the same heat level as Sriracha).

Current Zing customers — it's about as hot as Buzz so a 2/3 on our spicy meter.

P.S. we were curious so we checked anyway. Literal fresh lava (the volcanic kind) can get between 1,300° F and 2,200° F (700°and 1,200°C). Oof.

Lava is meant to be a pantry shortcut so you should be able to use it in a variety of ways for big flavour with little effort. Here are some suggestions to get you going, but we encourage you to experiment with Lava! You can peep a couple basic recipes on our blog (scroll down on this page).

TRY IT WITH: add a spoon on top of a cooked steak (trust), on rice, stirred through roasted veggies, on grilled meats, as a marinade, in salad dressings, as a dip for dumplings.

Lava is shelf stable! You can store it in your pantry on a cool, dry shelf for up to a year.

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Project Lava was an exclusive Test Kitchen drop in collaboration with Thingtesting, and otherwise only available to our expert panel. It sold out in literally 3 minutes — we're sorry folks!

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