Mapo Tofu served in a rice bowl topped with crushed szechuan peppercorns and minced green onions
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Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐) is a classic Szechuan dishes featuring silky texture and complex fiery flavors. Serve this authentic Chinese dish by itself or on top of steamed rice for delicious meal everyone will love!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: mapo tofu, szechuan
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 411kcal
Author: TipBuzz

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb ground pork see note
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic minced, or 2 tsp
  • 2 tsp ginger minced
  • 6-8 dried red chilis or 1 tsp chili oil (see note)
  • 2 tbsp doubanjiang bean paste
  • 2 tsp fermented black beans
  • 2 tsp soy sauce low-sodium recommended
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water or vegetable broth
  • 28 oz tofu soft or medium, in 1-inch cubes

Before serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil followed by the ground pork. Stir for several minutes until lightly browned.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, dried red chilis, doubanjiang and black beans. 
  • Saute for about 30 seconds until fragrant before adding in the soy sauce and water/broth.
  • Gently slide the tofu into the pan. Avoid stirring right away to minimize breakage of the pieces.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 10 minutes.

Serving

  • Mix the cornstarch with the water in a cup and pour over the tofu. Stir gently for a minute or two until thickened slightly, and remove from heat.
  • Crush the Szechuan peppercorns with a mallet/rolling pin, mortar & pestle or coffee grinder. Dry fry over medium heat for 1 minute until toasted slightly.
  • Add the toasted peppercorns, sesame oil and green onions to the tofu.
  • Serve over steamed rice or by itself. Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can use ground beef, chicken or turkey if you prefer instead of ground pork. For a vegetarian option, use minced mushrooms.
  • Don't overstir the tofu to avoid it breaking apart. 
  • Asian sesame oil is made with toasted sesame seeds and imparts a delicate nutty flavor to the dish.
  • Omit the chilis/chili oil if you want a less spicy dish.
  • Szechuan peppercorns are worth searching for, but if you can't find them you can try using crushed coriander seeds instead

Nutrition

Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 97.6mg | Calcium: 270mg | Iron: 3.9mg