Recipe: Mapo tofu

Recipe courtesy of Asian Food Network

Mapo tofu is a famous Sichuan dish that is spicy and tongue-numbing.

It consists of mainly tofu, spicy sauce, minced meat, and - most importantly - Sichuan peppercorn.

By recreating this mapo tofu dish, you can adjust the spiciness, the ingredients, and give it your own spin.

You don't have to be a cooking expert to whip up this dish because it can be prepared under 30 minutes with just three steps.


  • Serves 2 people
  • 115 g minced pork
  • 1 packet of silken tofu (cut into large 1-inch cubes)
  • 3 tbsp Sichuan spicy bean paste
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns (roasted and finely ground)
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp fermented black beans (rinsed and pounded)
  • 2 stalks spring onions (chopped into 2 cm lengths) - substitute with leeks
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 pc 2½ cm ginger (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt
  • Sugar
Mapo Tofu recipe from Asian Food Network.
Photo credit: Asian Food Network


1) Prepare stock

  • In a small bowl, add chicken stock, 2 tbsp cornstarch, 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp sugar to a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.

2) Fry spicy sauce

  • In a pan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp vegetable oil, ½ tbsp sesame oil, garlic, ginger and spring onions and fry until fragrant.
  • Add 1 tsp fermented black beans, 3 tbsp Sichuan spicy bean paste and 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns and continue frying for 1 minute.
How to make mapo tofu.
Photo credit: Asian Food Network

3) Cook pork and tofu

  • Add minced pork to the pan. Use a spatula to break up any large clumps of meat when cooking. For the tofu, look for packets labeled 'Silken Tofu for frying'. This ensures that your tofu won’t fall apart as much when frying.
  • Once the pork is fully cooked, add stock over the contents of the wok and bring to a boil to thicken the sauce, stirring thoroughly.
  • Add silken tofu and toss contents of the wok.
  • Be gentle with the spatula so as to not break the tofu further. Season with salt and sugar, then remove from heat.

Garnish and Serve!

  • Garnish with spring onions and serve hot with rice.

Asian Food Network

The best recipe for delicious, spicy Chinese Mapo Tofu.
Photo credit: Asian Food Network