Mapo Tofu


Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links.

Embark on a culinary adventure to the heart of Sichuan province with our Authentic Mapo Tofu recipe. Bursting with bold and aromatic flavors, Mapo Tofu is a beloved Chinese dish that has captured the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts worldwide. In this blog post, we invite you to explore the art of crafting this iconic dish that marries the rich creaminess of tofu with the fiery heat of Sichuan peppercorns and chili bean paste. Whether you’re a seasoned fan of Sichuan cuisine or a curious newcomer, our step-by-step guide will empower you to create a Mapo Tofu that’s brimming with authenticity and depth of flavor.

Mapo Tofu, also spelled “Mapo Dofu” or “Mapo Doufu,” is a beloved Chinese dish with a rich history that dates back to the Sichuan province. The dish is renowned for its bold and spicy flavors, making it a favorite in Sichuan cuisine, which is known for its use of fiery chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns.

The name “Mapo” is often attributed to the appearance of the dish’s creator, a woman with a pockmarked face (ma po) who operated a roadside restaurant. Her version of tofu cooked with aromatic spices and chili became incredibly popular. Over time, the dish evolved, and various regional adaptations emerged, but the essence of Mapo Tofu remained the same.

Today, Mapo Tofu is enjoyed not only in China but also around the world. It’s known for its complex flavors, combining the numbing sensation of Sichuan peppercorns with the heat of chili peppers and the savory umami of fermented bean paste.

Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu, often hailed as a culinary masterpiece, showcases the harmonious balance of textures and flavors that defines Sichuan cuisine. With a luscious and velvety sauce that's laced with layers of spiciness and numbing sensation, Mapo Tofu is a dish that tantalizes the taste buds and ignites the senses. The combination of soft silken tofu and savory minced pork creates a contrast that's both comforting and exciting, making each bite a delightful journey.

Our Authentic Mapo Tofu recipe pays homage to the traditions of Sichuan cooking, guiding you through the process of achieving a restaurant-quality dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. From selecting the right ingredients to mastering the distinctive cooking techniques, this guide is your gateway to creating a Mapo Tofu that stands true to its roots. Prepare to embark on a culinary expedition that promises to infuse your home with the enchanting aromas and flavors of Sichuan.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 15 mins Total Time 35 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 4 Calories: 216.65 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the Tofu: Cut the tofu into small, bite-sized cubes and set them aside.

  2. Sauté Aromatics: Heat vegetable oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.

  3. Brown the Meat: Add the ground pork or beef to the wok and cook until it's no longer pink, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks.

  4. Add Spices: Stir in the chili bean paste (doubanjiang) and the ground Sichuan peppercorns. These are the signature spicy and numbing elements of Mapo Tofu.

  5. Pour Broth: Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, sugar, and soy sauce. Stir well and bring the mixture to a simmer.

  6. Add Tofu: Gently add the cubed tofu to the simmering sauce. Avoid stirring too vigorously to prevent breaking the tofu.

  7. Thicken the Sauce: In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with water to create a slurry. Gradually pour the slurry into the wok, stirring gently until the sauce thickens.

  8. Season and Garnish: Taste the Mapo Tofu and adjust the salt if needed. Garnish with chopped green onions.

  9. Serve Hot: Serve the Mapo Tofu immediately, accompanied by steamed rice.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 216.65kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16.3g26%
Saturated Fat 3.55g18%
Cholesterol 24.03mg9%
Sodium 713.53mg30%
Potassium 175.77mg6%
Total Carbohydrate 5.94g2%
Dietary Fiber 0.63g3%
Sugars 2.7g
Protein 13.3g27%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • Adjust the level of spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of chili bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns.
  • For a vegetarian version, skip the meat or use plant-based alternatives.
  • Customize with your favorite vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or green beans.
  • Consider using ground turkey as a leaner meat option.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve Mapo Tofu over steamed rice or noodles for a complete meal.
  • Pair with steamed vegetables or a refreshing cucumber salad to balance the heat.
Allergen Information:

Here's some allergen information for Mapo Tofu:

  • Gluten: Some recipes may include soy sauce, which contains gluten. If you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

  • Soy: Tofu is made from soybeans, so individuals with soy allergies should avoid this dish or seek out soy-free tofu alternatives.

  • Peanuts: Some Mapo Tofu recipes use peanuts or peanut oil as a garnish. Ensure the dish is peanut-free if you have peanut allergies.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Mapo Tofu's intense and spicy flavors can be complemented by a variety of beverages:

  • Green Tea: A soothing cup of green tea can help balance the heat of Mapo Tofu with its clean and refreshing taste.

  • Light Beer: A light, crisp beer can be a refreshing choice to contrast the spiciness of the dish.

  • Riesling: The sweetness and acidity of a Riesling wine can help cut through the heat and complement the savory flavors of Mapo Tofu.

  • Ginger Beer: A non-alcoholic option, ginger beer's spicy kick and effervescence can pair well with the dish's spiciness.

Storage and Leftovers:

If you have leftover Mapo Tofu:

  • Refrigeration: Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

  • Reheating: Gently reheat in a saucepan or microwave, adding a splash of water or broth to maintain the sauce's consistency.

  • Tofu Texture: Be aware that the texture of tofu may change when reheated, becoming softer. However, the flavors will still be delicious.

Keywords: Mapo Tofu, Sichuan Cuisine, Chinese Recipe, Spicy Tofu Dish

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @yumtastic.foodie on Instagram so we can see all your recipes.

Pin this recipe and share it with your followers.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *