3 Replies to “Ultimate Mapo Tofu Recipe – Spicy, Numbing, Savory, Fragrant, Hot”

  1. Mapo tofu originated in 1862 when a restaurant in the Chinese city of Chengdu made a tofu dish very popular. It is spicy, numbing, savory, fragrant, and very hot. The restaurant’s chef, a woman had a lot of freckles on her face, so people named this dish “Mapo tofu”. “Mapo” refers to a woman who has a lot of freckles/spots/moles.


    [A full video with detailed instructions can be found here.](https://youtu.be/ye2NBHGZQcQ)



    – 300g tofu

    – 80g ground pork/beef (20-30% fat)



    – 2 tbsps chili bean sauce

    – 6g Sichuan peppercorn powder (adjust as necessary)

    – 10g chili powder (adjust as necessary)

    – 4 cloves of garlic (minced)

    – 4g salt

    – 4g sugar

    – 1 tsp (5ml) dark soy sauce

    – Cornstarch water (5g cornstarch + 6 tbsps water)

    – 2 green onions

    – 200ml hot water (can substitute with chicken or pork broth)



    1. Cut the tofu into small cubes and submerge them in boiling water for 5 min.
    2. Turn on the medium heat, add oil and ground meat, stir fry for 1 min. Add chili bean sauce, chili powder, salt, sugar, dark soy sauce, half of the peppercorn powder, and minced garlic. Stir fry for 1 min.
    3. Add the hot water (or chicken/pork broth) and tofu. Let the tofu stew for 5 min. Gently move the tofu from time to time.
    4. Turn down the heat to low, add cornstarch water three times separately. Add 2 tbsps of cornstarch water, gently move the tofu. Repeat this three times.

    a) 1st cornstarch water: this will make the tofu tender and smooth.

    b) 2nd cornstarch water: this will thicken the sauce.

    c) 3rd cornstarch water: this will combine everything together, make the sauce more concentrated and stick to the tofu.

    5. Transfer all the ingredients into a plate. Sprinkle the rest of peppercorn powder andgreen onions on the tofu. Enjoy!


    Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  2. Man. I love mapo tofu. I woke up wanting it for dinner, so that’s what I cooked. So flavorful and spicy and deep.

    I like [this](https://straightupeats.com/mapo-tofu/) recipe, but I add extra aromatics and use firm tofu (today I used tofu shreds, which were really nice for what they are. They needed extra chicken stock).

    There’s too much meat in that recipe, but I can only buy ground pork in 1lb packages (and I can only complain about too much meat a little bit before I remember I like meat and only reduce my meat consumption for environmental and health reasons)

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