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Sichuan Mapo Tofu

Ma Po Tofu

Slightly adapted from Lemongrass and Ginger

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword asian, chinese,
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking


  • 1 pk. Silken or Firm Tofu-Preferably Organic cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 inch piece fresh Ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 Lb. Ground Lean beef or Pork Turkey or a mixture of two could be used
  • 2 tsp. Chili Bean Paste- Doubanjiang
  • 1 Tbs. Soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbs. Oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Beef Broth or Water
  • 1/4 tsp. Sichuan Peppercorn grounded or to your heat preferences
  • 1 tsp. Cornstarch + water
  • 2-3 Scallions chopped
  • Red Peppers for garnish
  • Serve it with Rice or Egg Noodles


  1. Heat the pot of water, take off the burner and gently drop the cubed Tofu in; Keep it in the hot water until ready to use.
  2. Heat the Wok (or frying pan) with sesame oil, and put garlic and ginger; stir-fry just for few seconds and until fragrant and do NOT let it burn (so medium heat is fine)
  3. Add ground beef or pork, and while you stir fry it break the lumps; Cook until it starts to brown.
  4. Add the chili bean paste, soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, toasted and then grounded Sichuan pepper mix it all together and add 1/2 cup beef broth–boil for next 5 minutes on high temperature.
  5. Turn down heat and with spider draining spoon remove tofu from water and drop in the wok ( or you can also gently drain the water out).
  6. Gently move the wok left and right motion without stir-frying, if you try to stir fry tofu will fall apart.
  7. Combine cornstarch with a bit of water, mix until smooth and slowly pour over the tofu and ground beef mixture. Again gently mix it in with back and forward motion trying not to break the tofu.
  8. Sprinkle chopped scallions, and you can add more when the dish is served.
  9. Serve it hot with rice or egg noodles.

Recipe Notes

Sichuan peppercorns are not related in any way to black peppercorns, therefore they should not be confused one for another. Sichuan Peppercorns belong to rue or citrus family. They have a unique aroma and gives you numbness in the mouth. Most of the times seedpods should be toasted and grounded/crushed and often added in the recipe the last minute. You can find them in Chinese markets, Asian markets and/or online. Mapo Tofu is nothing without a second star (ingredient) of this dish Chili Bean Paste or Doubanjiang.