Skip to main content

Mapo tofu

Mapo tofu is a spicy tofu dish representative of Sichuan cuisina. It´s an essential part of traditional Sichuan family meals and is served at both formal and casual gatherings. 


1 pk tofu (silken tofu, 14oz pack, diced)
1 c pork (ground pork)
1 T anise pepper (Sichuan peppercorns, crushed)
2 T bean paste (doubanjiang)
2 T bean paste (fremented black bean paste)
3 clv garlic (minced)
4 scallion (chopped)
1 c liquid (water or broth)
2 t corn starch (optional, mixed with some of the liquid, for thickening)
  salt (to taste)


Blanch tofu in boiling water for about a minute. Drain and set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. Add the Sichuan peppercorns and dry toast them until they become fragrant. Grind them into a powder and set aside.

Add oil to the wok and heat over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork and stir-fry until it's browned and crispy.

Add the doubanjiang and stir well to break it up and coat the pork.

Add the fermented black beans and minced garlic and stir-fry until they become aromatic.

Pour in the chicken stock or water and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Add the tofu cubes, being careful not to break them. Stir gently to coat the tofu in the sauce.

Simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the tofu to absorb the flavors of the sauce.

If you prefer a thicker sauce, mix the cornstarch with the 2 teaspoons of water and stir this slurry into the wok.

Simmer for another 2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

Season with salt to taste, if needed.

Sprinkle with the ground Sichuan peppercorns and chopped green onions.

Serve immediately.

Total time
35 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
6 servings


Mapo tofu is best served with a bowl of steamed rice to balance its strong flavors. Enjoy this flavorful and comforting dish from the heart of Sichuan province!


For a vegan or vegetarian version, omit the ground pork and use vegetable stock or water.

For additional heat, add hot chili oil or dried red chilies when stir-frying the pork.

You can add vegetables like peas or bell peppers for added color and nutrition.


Szechuan cuisine (China)

bean curd, meat
side dish, stir-fry
Chinese food recipes
Food in Asia