Mapo Tofu

warming and cozy
Warming and cozy
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2 tbsp Vegetable oil
½ lb Ground beef or ground pork
1 tsp Fresh ginger grated
1 tbsp Garlic chopped
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp Crushed red pepper or to taste
¼ tsp White pepper ground , optional
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine Shaoxing, optional
2 tbsp Doubanjiang chili bean paste
¼ cup Chicken broth or water
1 tsp Cornstarch
1 lb Tofu package medium-firm, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ tsp Chili oil or sesame oil
¼ cup Green onion finely chopped

Nutritional information


Mapo Tofu


Get a ton of flavor with this easy Mapo Tofu recipe! In this traditional Sichuan dish, tender tofu and ground beef or pork are cooked in a spicy chili oil sauce. A great meal to make when you need a speedy and delicious dinner. It’s also packed with protein and low in calories. Finish it off with chopped green onions and a sprinkle of crushed Sichuan peppercorns, then serve with a bowl of steamed or fried rice for a warming and cozy meal. 

People who are vegan can also cook this dish but just without any ground meat and use vegetable stock or water instead of chicken broth and increase the amount of tofu used. Alternatively, you could use shiitake mushrooms in place of the ground meat at the start of the recipe, then continue with the rest. I love how spicy it is, but feel free to lessen the amount of chili oil and chili bean paste if desired.

To make the Mapo Tofu, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingridiens for Mapo Tofu

Steps to make Mapo Tofu


Cook meat


In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, about 1 minute. Add ½ pound ground beef or ground pork and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Break up the meat into smaller pieces to ensure even browning.


Add seasonings


Add 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste), ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper if using and stir well. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.


Add wine, chili bean paste, chicken broth and cornstarch


Add 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, 2 tablespoons chili bean paste, ¼ cup chicken broth or water, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch and stir well until smooth. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens a bit, about 3-4 minutes.


Add tofu


Add in 1 pound cubed tofu and toss gently to coat. Alternatively, you can heat the cubed tofu in a pot of boiling water over medium heat for 1-2 minutes to firm it up a little, before adding it to the sauce.


Add oil of choice and green onions


Stir in ½ teaspoon sesame oil or chili oil and ¼ cup chopped green onions and simmer for 1 minute.



Serve immediately with a bowl of steamed rice. Enjoy!

This spicy and deeply satisfying Mapo Tofu is brimming with rich umami from Sichuan pepper and chili bean paste. It is also easy to make at home and tastes so delicious. Plus, it’s vegan adaptable! If you give this recipe a go, remember to tag us @cookmerecipes on Instagram – we love seeing your creations!

Bethany is very passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and clean diet. She’s trying to cut meat out of her diet as much as possible and focuses on cooking vegetarian food and fish. Bethany gets a kick from finding ways to add new twists to classic dishes. What’s more, thanks to her Asian roots, she’s great at combining different cuisines to come up with something extraordinary. Bethany’s recipes will inspire you to add new colors and flavors to your everyday meals.

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Total Reviews: 1

It's definitely one of the best 'gateway tofu' dishes. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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