Mapo Tofu: A Spicy and Savory Chinese Classic

Mapo Tofu: A Spicy and Savory Chinese Classic


Mapo Tofu is a traditional Chinese dish from Sichuan province known for its bold flavors and mouth-numbing spiciness. This dish features soft tofu cubes in a savory, spicy sauce made with fermented broad bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns, often including ground pork or beef. Mapo Tofu is typically served over steamed rice, making it a comforting yet exhilarating dish.


  • 1 block (400g) of soft tofu
  • 200g ground pork or beef
  • 2 tbsp Sichuan broad bean paste (Doubanjiang)
  • 1 tbsp fermented black beans (Douchi), finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine or sherry
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water (slurry)
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Steamed rice, for serving


  1. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook until browned, breaking it up into small pieces.
  3. Add the minced garlic and ginger to the pan and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the chopped fermented black beans and the Sichuan broad bean paste. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, and chicken stock to the pan. Stir to combine.
  6. Carefully add the tofu cubes to the sauce, stirring gently to avoid breaking them up. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
  7. Slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the pan while stirring gently until the sauce thickens.
  8. Sprinkle the ground Sichuan peppercorns over the top and stir in the chopped green onions.
  9. Serve the Mapo Tofu hot over steamed rice.