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Mapo Tofu

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Mapo Tofu is a traditional Chinese dish from the Sichaun province. Anyone who says they don’t like tofu hasn’t tried this dish! It’s salty, spicy and so satisfying. I’ve used pork mince instead of the traditional beef and taken inspiration from all over the world for this recipe. Yes my friends, I’ve eaten a lot of Mapo Tofu in my time and this is how I like to make it!




10 minutes

25 minutes


1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns

380g (13.4 oz) soft tofu

4 tbsp vegetable oil

100g (3.5 oz) pork mince

2 tbsp douban jiang*

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp finely chopped ginger

1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)

1 cup chicken stock

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp vinegar

2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 2 tsp water

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp finely sliced spring onion (scallions)

steamed rice to serve

Step 1

Heat the Sichuan peppercorns in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke. Then use a mortar and pestle to grind to a fine powder. Set aside for later.

Step 2

To prepare the tofu, carefully cut open the packet, drain away the liquid and tip the tofu out onto a cutting board. Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes.

Step 3

Heat a saucepan of water over high heat. When the water is at a gentle simmer (don’t rapidly boil the water or the tofu might break up), add a generous couple of pinches of salt. Then carefully add the tofu pieces. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes then turn the heat off and allow the tofu to steep in the hot, salty water.

Step 4

In a wok or large frying pan over high heat, add the oil. Then add the pork mince and cook, breaking up the meat for 2-3 minutes. Then add the douban jiang and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Then stir through the garlic, ginger and chilli powder. Stir-fry for half a minute. Then add the chicken stock, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a simmer then turn the heat down to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about a quarter and is starting to thicken. Stir through the cornflour mixture. Now add the Sichuan peppercorn powder. Taste and season with extra salt or soy sauce if needed.

Step 5

Now use a slotted spoon to drain the tofu and add it to the pork mixture. Drizzle over the sesame oil and gently toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with spring onions. Serve with steamed rice.

Note Icon


– Douban jiang is a spicy fermented chilli bean paste. Find it at your Asian grocery store.

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What our customers say

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)
Very good0%
August 1, 2022

Delicious 🤤

I’m so happy with this recipe! It’s very traditional!

June 17, 2022


I’ve been eating mapo my whole life. This is a simple, yet satisfying version, packed with umami and flavour. Kudos!

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