Mapo Tofu | 麻婆豆腐
Updated: May 7
This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes. There are actually quite a number of variations for this dish. It traveled across China to Hong Kong, America and even Japan has their own version. I am not saying that my version is the traditional authentic one. This is how I prefer my Mapo Tofu to be prepared, cooked and served.
There are a few key ingredients that cannot be replaced: Szechuan peppercorns, DouBanJian and fermented black beans. You can get those ingredients easily at any Asian grocery store or Amazon. You can keep this vegetarian by replacing the ground beef with mushrooms, or if you dislike beef, you can use ground pork or chicken.
The trick is to keep tofu in tact. We can do so by blanching in salted hot water and pushing around gently when combining with the sauces. In case you are interested in the history of this dish, you can check out Wiki. In closing, I hope you'll my version of Mapo Tofu a try.
Szechuan Peppercorns, 1 TBSP or Hexa's Szechuan Mala Rempah Adjust To Preference
Sea Salt, Pinch
Tofu Coarsely Sliced, 600g
Mustard Oil / Olive Oil / Sesame Oil, 2 TBSP
Garlic Finely Minced, 5 Cloves
Ginger Finely Minced, 1"
Scallions White Parts Coarsely Sliced, A Handful
Ground Beef, 150g
Chicken Stock Homemade, 240g
Chili Powder 1 TBSP Adjust To Preference
Chili Oil Homemade, 1 TBSP Adjust To Preference
DouBanJian | Fermented Chili Bean Paste, 2.5 TBSP
Fermented Black Beans Coarsely Chopped, 2 TBSP
Granulated Sugar, Pinch
Soy Sauce, 1 TBSP
Mushroom Powder, Pinch
Slurry, 1 TSP Potato Starch + 1 TSP Water
Toasted Sesame Oil, 1 TBSP
Szechuan Pepper Oil, 1 TBSP Adjust To Preference
Scallions Green Parts Corsely Sliced, A Handful
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Please visit my "How To Make Chicken Stock" page for the recipe.
Please visit my "How To Make Chili Oil" page for the recipe.
Toast the peppercorns in a skillet over medium heat until aromatic.
Transfer to a spice grinder and blitz until powder forms.
Set it aside until ready to use.
*If you're lazy to do that, you can skip the steps and use Hexa's Szechuan Mala Rempah instead.*
In a sauce pot over medium heat, fill it up with water.
Once bubbles start to form, add in salt and stir to combine well.
Add in the tofu and blanch for 2 mins.
Drain and set aside until ready to use.
In the same skillet over medium heat, add oil.
Once the oil is heated up, add in garlic, ginger and scallions.
Saute until aromatic.
Add in beef and saute until slightly browned.
Deglaze with the chicken stock.
Add in chili powder, chili oil, doubanjian and black beans.
Saute until well combined.
Add in the tofu. Push gently to combine well.
Add in sugar, soy and mushroom powder.
Again, push around gently to combine well.
*If you saute, you might break the tofu apart.*
Add in the slurry. *To make the slurry, combine potato starch and water until smooth.*
Push around to combine well.
Bring it up to a simmer.
Taste and adjust for spiciness and salt.
Add in sesame oil, pepper oil, toasted peppercorn powder and scallions.
*You can make the pepper oil by toasting 1 TBSP Szechuan peppercorns in a skillet until aromatic. Add in 1/4 cup of oil and cook for about 1 to 2 mins. Drain.*
Give it a final push around.
Remove from heat.
Transfer onto serving bowls.
Perfect every single time...