Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐

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Mapo Tofu is probably one of the most popular Sichuan/Chinese dishes around the world

Mapo Tofu is probably one of the most loved tofu dishes ever, and is certainly a signature dish of Sichuan cuisine, Mapo(麻婆) means an older woman with a freckled face in Chinese, it was allegedly invented by a woman who was running a small restaurant in Chengdu, Sichuan in 1862, she was called Mapo because of the freckles on her face. It is traditionally cooked with beef mince and freshly made tender tofu, here we would substitute it with a vegan mince which also provides a very good taste

Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐

Mapo Tofu is probably one of the most popular Sichuan/Chinese dishes around the world
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2 people


  • 500 g Fresh Tofu tender
  • 50 g Vegan Mince
  • 1 tbsp Pixian Broad Bean Paste   
  • 1 tbsp Chili Paste 
  • 5 Dried Chilis
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Fermented Black Beans(豆豉)
  • 1 tbsp Corn/Potato Starch
  • 1 small pinch Ground Sichuan Peppercorn
  • 1 Stalk Green Garlic
  • 50 ml Warm Water 


  • First cut the tofu (preferably tender tofu) into small cubes (1.5cm*1,5cm), chop garlic finely and green garlic into small pieces.
  • Add 5 dried chili to a non-stick wok, toast the chili with low heat for about a minute until the chili gets crispy and a bit darker on the surface. Take the chili out and chop it finely.
  • Add oil to the pan(medium-high heat), when the wok an is hot enough, add vegan mince, try to break the mince into very small pieces and stir-fry for about 1 minute, until the vegan mince is slightly crispy and brown on the outside, put the vegan mince aside for later
  • Add a bit of oil and 1 tbsp Pixian Broad Bean Paste to the wok. Sauté it over medium-low heat for 1 minute.
  • Add one tablespoon of chili paste, and sauté it for another 30s.
  • Add fermented black beans, chili flakes and garlic, sauté for 30s to 1 minute 
  • Add hot water or vegetable broth to the wok, then add tofu cubes. The water/broth should barely cover the surface of the tofu.
  • When it starts simmering – put it on medium-low heat. Mix 1 teaspoon of potato or corn starch with about 50ml warm water, 2-3 minutes after boiling, add half of the starchy water to the wok, stir carefully and let it simmer again.
  • When the sauce reduces to half, add half of the remaining starchy water – stir and let it simmer until the soup has thickened, then add the rest of the starchy water, let it simmer for one more minute, stir gently and watch out so the tofu doesn't stick to the wok.
  • Carefully put the tofu in a bowl, add a pinch of ground Sichuan peppercorn on the tofu and then add green garlic 


  1. It is better to use tender tofu for this recipe, if you can’t find it you can also use firm tofu, but never use silk tofu or extra firm tofu.
  2. Tilt the wok or stir gently to avoid breaking the tofu and prevent it from sticking.
Keyword Mapo Tofu, Sichuan, Tofu
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