Sichuan Mapo Tofu Recipe

Easy mapo tofu recipe

I used to wonder why people would order Mapo tofu all the time at my restaurant. I didn’t eat it growing up so I didn’t get what the big deal was. But after I had it, I understood the allure of it. The soft silky tofu combined with the fragrant spices mixed into the meat.

Easy Mapo Tofu Recipe

Mabo tofu “麻婆豆腐” is a Sichuan comfort food that is light yet packs a powerful punch in flavor. “麻” means numb in Chinese, a popular type of spice in Sichuan cuisine. This spice is quite popular and can be considerably addicting. I myself, notice that when I eat this dish, I can’t help but keep getting second helpings of rice.  If you have kids, this is also an easy dish to make for kids that has soft components to make it easy for kids to ingest. Just omit the spicy peppers and the dish still tastes really delicious. Most importantly it can be made in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients

Thickening Sauce

  • ¼ cup of water
  • 3 tsps of cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Take a mixing bowl and marinate turkey with white pepper, sesame oil, corn starch, and 1 tsp salt for 5 minutes. Reserve remaining ½ teaspoon of salt for later use.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil on a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger.

3. Add turkey/pork/beef to pan and sautee until the meat is evenly cooked. 

4. Add in chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Add in soybean paste and sliced red pepper (optional).

5. Open the box of tofu and drain out excess water. Dice tofu into small 1/2 inch cubes.

6. In a small bowl, combine cold water and cornstarch and mix.

7. Add remaining ½ tsp of salt to season tofu

8. Once chicken broth starts boiling, pour the corn starch mix into the pan and allow sauce to thicken. Once sauce thickens, carefully fold in tofu into pan, careful not to break up the tofu.

9. After a few minutes, remove pan from heat 

10. Garnish with green onions on top and serve with a plate of rice. 

Vegetarian Option

Mapo Tofu Rice Youtube Video

Print

Mapo Tofu

easy mabo tofu recipe

Mapo tofu “麻婆豆腐” is a Sichuan comfort food that is light yet packs a powerful punch in flavor. “麻” means numb in Chinese, a popular type of spice in Sichuan cuisine. This spice is quite popular and can be considerably addicting.

  • Author: christine gong
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Method: saute
  • Cuisine: chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 box of soft tofu

  • ½  lb ground turkey, pork, or beef 

  • 1 tsp white pepper

  • ½ tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp ginger, sliced and bruised

  • 1 cup of chicken broth

  • 1 tbsp of soybean paste

  • ½ tbsp of thai chili pepper, deseeded and sliced (optional) 

Thickening Sauce

  • ¼ cup of water

  • 3 tsps of cornstarch

Instructions

Notes

Notes: I like using the Japanese soybean paste for this dish for the mild flavor that comes through with the sauce.

Keywords: mapo tofu recipe, mabo tofu

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3 thoughts on “Sichuan Mapo Tofu Recipe

  1. What an easy recipe! I had no idea this dish was so easy to make and wouldn’t have known without you. Lovely taste and so comforting. The perfect winter meal. Thanks!

  2. I can’t believe I was buying the pre-made sauce this whole time when making it from scratch is so simple. Definitely had to add that thai chili though to make the dish more interesting. It was also very convenient because I had every ingredient already except for the soybean paste but since it lasts forever, I’m excited to use it for hot soup this winter too =)

  3. Such a simple, delicious, and comforting dish! Never made this from scratch before, but I followed the recipe and it was so fast and easy! I didn’t add the Thai chili peppers in while cooking so that my daughter can eat this as well, but I added the chili separately in my bowl and it was perfect! We used ground turkey and had the mapo tofu on top of a bed of cauliflower rice as a healthier option and it was so tasty! The whole fam loved it! Thank you for sharing your recipe 🙂

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