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Mapo Tofu | 麻婆豆腐

Updated: May 7, 2023

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.



(Serve 4)

  • 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



  • Sauce Pot

  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan

  • Spice Grinder



  1. Please visit my "How To Make Chicken Stock" page for the recipe.

  2. Please visit my "How To Make Chili Oil" page for the recipe.

  3. Toast the peppercorns in a skillet over medium heat until aromatic.

  4. Transfer to a spice grinder and blitz until powder forms.

  5. Set it aside until ready to use.

  6. *If you're lazy to do that, you can skip the steps and use Hexa's Szechuan Mala Rempah instead.*

  7. In a sauce pot over medium heat, fill it up with water.

  8. Once bubbles start to form, add in salt and stir to combine well.

  9. Add in the tofu and blanch for 2 mins.

  10. Drain and set aside until ready to use.

  11. In the same skillet over medium heat, add oil.

  12. Once the oil is heated up, add in garlic, ginger and scallions.

  13. Saute until aromatic.

  14. Add in beef and saute until slightly browned.

  15. Deglaze with the chicken stock.

  16. Add in chili powder, chili oil, doubanjian and black beans.

  17. Saute until well combined.

  18. Add in the tofu. Push gently to combine well.

  19. Add in sugar, soy and mushroom powder.

  20. Again, push around gently to combine well.

  21. *If you saute, you might break the tofu apart.*

  22. Add in the slurry. *To make the slurry, combine potato starch and water until smooth.*

  23. Push around to combine well.

  24. Bring it up to a simmer.

  25. Taste and adjust for spiciness and salt.

  26. Add in sesame oil, pepper oil, toasted peppercorn powder and scallions.

  27. *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.*

  28. Give it a final push around.

  29. Remove from heat.

  30. Transfer onto serving bowls.

  31. Serve immediately.

Mama Mia...

Perfect every single time...


Recipe Video:

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John Johnson
John Johnson
2023년 3월 19일

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