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Addictively savory with a tongue-tinglingly spicy sauce, Mapo Tofu is Sichuan classic.

Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐) is a fiery Sichuan pork and tofu stir-fry with the hallmark málà(麻辣) balance of tongue tingling and spicy. The best part is that it can be put together in under 15 minutes, which makes Mapo Tofu the perfect weeknight stir-fry.
Course Entree
Cuisine Best, Chinese
Keyword stir-fry
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Pork, Tofu
Diet Dairy-Free, Low Sugar, Low-Carb
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 340kcal


  • 400 grams soft tofu (drained and cut into 3/4” cubes)
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 9 grams douchi (~1 tablespoon fermented black beans, roughly chopped)
  • 2 gram Sichuan pepper (~1 teaspoon ground, *see note below)
  • 2 tablespoons doubanjiang (to taste)
  • 50 grams scallions (white part only minced)
  • 24 grams garlic (2 extra large cloves, minced)
  • 20 grams ginger (1-inch piece, minced)
  • 150 grams ground pork


  • Bring 2 cups of water along with 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add the tofu and cook for 1 minute. Gently tip the tofu into a colander and drain well.
    400 grams soft tofu
    Blanche the tofu in salted water to remove any excess water.
  • Whisk the low-sodium chicken broth, potato starch, and sesame oil together, and set them aside while you prepare all the other ingredients.
    1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 2 teaspoons potato starch, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    Whisking chicken stock, potato starch and sesame oil together in a bowl for Mapo Tofu sauce.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan until very hot (but not smoking) and add the Sichuan pepper and douchi and stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 9 grams douchi, 2 gram Sichuan pepper
    Stir-fry douchi and Sichuan pepper together.
  • Add the doubanjiang and stir-fry until the oil turns red (a few seconds)
    2 tablespoons doubanjiang
    Add the toubanjiang. This provides the mala base for the Mapo Tofu.
  • Add the white parts of the scallions, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until the aromatics start to caramelize.
    50 grams scallions, 24 grams garlic, 20 grams ginger
    Add the aromatics and stir-fry until they are caramelized.
  • Add the pork and stir-fry breaking it up into small pieces as you go.
    150 grams ground pork
    Add the ground meat and stir-fry until the meat is cooked through.
  • Stir the sauce mixture and then pour it in. Let this boil until it thickens.
    Add the sauce for the Mapo Tofu and boil until thickened.
  • Add the tofu and toss in the pan to coat evenly with the sauce.
    Add the Tofu and simmer together with the sauce.
  • Serve the Mapo Tofu garnished with the scallion greens and hot rice.


*Sichuan peppercorns are best when freshly ground. If you grind them yourself, roast them in a dry frying pan until fragrant and then pick out any black seeds and discard, saving only the hulls. The seeds will create a sandy texture if you grind them together. Grind the hulls in a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 222mg | Potassium: 593mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 7.9mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2.1mg