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Mapo Tofu

chilli china chinese cuisine comfort food main meat pork Recipes share meal spicy tofu winter

Mapo tofu must be one of the best tofu dish out there! We all love its spiciness, and especially the smoky flavours from Sichuan peppers. It is an easy dish to prepare, perfect with steamed rice and some greens!

Recipe & Photo: Lili Tu

10 mins 20 mins 4

Main ingredients:

  • 500g minced pork
  • 600g silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5cm ginger, minced
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons spicy chilli bean paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 spring onion spring onions, finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves to garnish


  1. Dry fry the peppercorns in a wok over a low heat for 1–2 minutes until light brown and aromatic. Crush lightly in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Cut the tofu into cubes.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat and add oil, garlic, ginger. Fry until fragrant, add minced pork, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, cook until brown. Add the sugar, soy sauce, fresh chopped chilli, half of the Sichuan pepper and spicy bean paste. Stir well and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
  4. Slide in the tofu, gently work the tofu to the sauce. Continue simmer until the sauce reduce. Add the Shaoxing wine, spring onion and sesame oil.
  5. Garnish with corianders and a sprinkle Sichuan pepper. Serve hot with steam rice.

Note: Spicy bean sauce (mapo sauce) is made from fermented broad beans and chillies. It is an important ingredient in Sichuan cuisine. This sauce is the primary flavouring for mapo tofu but also is used in stir-fry and Chinese style beef noodle soup.

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