Mapo tofu

Mapo tofu is a real classic from Sichuan cuisine (a Chinese province). Delicious tofu and minced meat in a spicy sauce.

30 minutes 4 people Main course 196 calories p.p.
Mapo tofu


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  • 500 grams tofu
  • 2 spring onions
  • 120 grams of minced beef
  • 3 tablespoons Sichuan chilli bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans
  • 1 teaspoon dried Sichuan pepper
  • 2 small chillies
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cm fresh ginger
  • 175 ml beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
  • sunflower oil
  • pepper and salt
Mapo tofu ingredients
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Kitchen equipment

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  • wok
  • chopping board
  • chef's knife
  • large bowl
  • bowl
  • slotted spoon / spider
  • spatula
  • tablespoon
  • small tray


30 minutes 4 people Main course 196 calories p.p.

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Preparation – 10 minutes

Drain the tofu and fill a large bowl with hot water. Add a generous amount of salt. Cut the tofu into cubes of around 2 cm, then place them in the salted water.

Finely dice the garlic clove and 2 small chillies. Cut the 2 spring onions into small slices. Remove the skin from the ginger using a tablespoon, then finely chop or grate it.

Prepare 175 ml beef stock.

Mapo tofu
Mapo tofu

Finishing the mapo tofu – 20 minutes

Add a dash of sunflower oil to the wok and turn the heat up to high. Brown the minced meat, then remove it from the wok and place it in a small bowl.

Turn the heat to medium-high and add about 5 to 6 tablespoons of sunflower oil to the wok.

Let it heat up, then add 3 tablespoons of chilli bean paste and use a spatula to mix it well into the hot oil. Fry the chilli bean paste in the hot oil until you have a nice, red oil.

Now add 1 tablespoon of fermented black beans and the chopped chillies and stir fry them for a few minutes. Lower the heat and add the garlic and ginger.

Mix everything together well. Remove the diced tofu from the bowl using a slotted spoon. Add the tofu to the wok along with 175 ml of beef stock.

Mix the minced meat through the mapo tofu. Carefully stir the tofu through the sauce, along with the dried Sichuan pepper, and bring to the boil. Let the mapo tofu cook for a few more minutes, so that the tofu absorbs the flavours.

Mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour and a dash of water in a small bowl and add to the wok. This will make the sauce thicker so it will properly coat the tofu.

Add ¾ of the spring onion and turn off the heat after a few minutes. Serve the mapo tofu with boiled white rice and the rest of the spring onion. Enjoy your meal!

Mapo tofu: frequently asked questions

What kind of tofu is best for mapo tofu?

Use a type of tofu that won't fall apart during baking. Don't use silken tofu.

Is mapo tofu vegetarian?

This version is not vegetarian, but you can easily replace the minced meat for a vegetarian alternative. Replace the beef stock with vegetable stock.

How long can I keep the mapo tofu?

Provided it is well sealed in an airtight container, you can enjoy the mapo tofu for at least 2 days after preparation.

Freezing is not recommended because the moisture in the tofu can cause it to break down on thawing, with a chance that the tofu will disintegrate completely.

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