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authentic Mapo tofu|chinasichuanfood.com
Mapo Tofu Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Famous Mapo Tofu Recipe From Sichuan Cuisine. Recipe video below.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Sichuan
Keyword: Mala, tofu
Servings: 2
Calories: 501 kcal
Author: Elaine
  • 450 g soft tofu ,I am using Szechuan tender lushui tofu
  • 100 g minced meat-beef or pork
  • 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. cooking oil , divided
  • 1.5 tbsp. Doubanjiang ,roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. fermented black beans ,also known as dou-chi and fermented soya beans, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. pepper flakes or powder ,optional
  • 1/2 tbsp. Sichuan pepper for making fresh ground powder
  • water or broth for braising ,I use 400ml this time
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar ,optional for reducing the spiciness
  • 2 scallion whites ,finely chopped
  • 4 garlic greens or scallion greens ,finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves ,finely chopped
  • 5 ginger slices ,finely minced (around 1 teaspoon)
Water starch
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • steamed rice for serving
  1. Add a small pinch of salt and ground pepper. Mix well and set aside.

  2. Cut tofu into square cubes (around 2cms). Bring a large amount of water to a boil and then add a pinch of salt. Slide the tofu in and cook for 1 minute. Move out and drain.

  3. Get a wok and heat up around 2 tablespoons of oil, fry the minced meat until crispy. Transfer out beef out and leave the oil in. Add another 1 tablespoon of oil.

  4. Add another 1 tablespoon of vegetable cooking oil and fry doubanjiang for 1 minute over slow fire until the red turns red (bring us a lovely red color dish) and add fermented black beans,  garlic, scallion white, ginger and fermented black beans to cook for 30 seconds until aroma. Optionally  mix pepper flakes in. Pepper flakes should be added at the end because it contains little water and can be burnt easily.  

  5. Then pour in water or stock. Add light soy sauce, sugar and half of the cooked beef (providing more flavors to the soup) after the broth boils and let it continue simmering for 2-3 minutes. Place the tofu in, simmer for another 6-8 minutes. The longer time of simmering helps the tofu to absorb the flavors.  

  6. During the process of simmering, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2.5 tablespoons of water in a small bowl to make water starch. Stir the water starch and then pour half of the mixture to the simmering pot. Back push and wait for around 30 seconds and then pour the other half. You can slightly taste the tofu and add pinch of salt if not salty enough.  Add cooked beef to creates some crispy texture and then drizzle sesame oil. Mix well. 

  7. Transfer out when almost all the seasonings stick to tofu cubes. Sprinkle Szechuan peppercorn powder (to taste)and chopped garlic greens if using.

  8. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
Recipe Notes

The doubanjiang may differ in salinity. So adjust the amount if necessary.

Nutrition Facts
Mapo Tofu Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 501 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 1072mg47%
Potassium 769mg22%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 2390IU48%
Vitamin C 6.1mg7%
Calcium 137mg14%
Iron 4.7mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.