Homechinese foodMapo Tofu Recipe

Mapo Tofu Recipe


Mapo Tofu Recipe

Mapo Tofu is a classic Sichuan dish featuring tender cubes of tofu cooked in a spicy, aromatic sauce. This flavorful dish is characterized by the bold flavors of Sichuan chili bean paste, fermented black beans, and ground Sichuan peppercorns, which impart a unique combination of heat and numbing sensation. Often enjoyed with steamed rice or noodles, Mapo Tofu is a beloved favorite for those seeking a taste of authentic Sichuan cuisine.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4


  • 1 block about 14 ounces firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced (separate the white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup ground pork or beef optional
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan chili bean paste doubanjiang
  • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans rinsed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns toasted and ground
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar optional
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish optional


Prepare the Tofu:

  • Cut the tofu into small cubes and set aside.
  • Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil. Carefully add the tofu cubes and blanch them for about 2-3 minutes. This helps firm up the tofu and removes any raw bean taste. Remove the tofu cubes from the water and set aside.

Make the Sauce:

  • In a small bowl, combine the chicken or vegetable broth, soy sauce, sugar (if using), and cornstarch slurry. Mix well and set aside.


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and the white parts of the green onions. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • If using ground pork or beef, add it to the wok and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spatula.
  • Add the Sichuan chili bean paste and fermented black beans to the wok. Stir-fry for another minute to release their flavors.
  • Carefully add the blanched tofu cubes to the wok. Gently stir to coat the tofu with the sauce mixture.
  • Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you prefer a spicier dish, you can add more chili bean paste or ground Sichuan peppercorns.
  • Once the sauce reaches the desired consistency, drizzle with sesame oil and add the green parts of the sliced green onions. Give it a final stir.


  • Transfer the Mapo Tofu to a serving dish and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, if desired.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice or noodles.


  • Adjust the amount of chili bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns according to your spice preference.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the ground pork or beef and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Feel free to customize the dish by adding your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or snow peas.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.
Keyword Mapo Tofu recipe, Sichuan tofu dish, spicy tofu dish



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