Dec 112011

Mapo tofu is an amazingly spicy dish. So if spicy is your style, you’ll probably dig this. I’m a sucker for all things spicy so it immediately became a fun favorite to order at restaurants.

When I saw that Marc from No Recipes (who I got to meet briefly at The Foodbuzz Blogger Festival) posted his own recipe on PBS, I knew I had to try my hand at making it! His post is also wonderful because it gives the background story of how this dish came to be known as mapo tofu.

I love the softness of the tofu mixed in with the chili flavors, and the saltiness that the fermented black beans adds makes this a powerful dish. My mom uses fermented black beans a lot when she stir-fries chicken or clams so I just LOVE them. I don’t know why. I think it’s because they add such flavor but are so tiny in size.

This dish is delicious, and once you get all of the key ingredients, you can easily make it again and again! Just make a pot of rice, and you’re good to go for dinner! Chinese take out can wait, this dish is a must.

First, saute the sesame oil, green onion, ginger, and garlic on high heat.

Then add the ground pork and fermented black beans. Make sure you mash up all of the pork so it becomes tiny pieces. You don’t want them too chunky!

Add the tofu, then the sauce. Almost thereeee!

Let it boil down so the sauce thickens. Add chopped up green onion for garnish! :)

Happy Sunday, Friendsss!!

Mapo Tofu (Adapted from Marc at No Recipes)

  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2-3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 4 green onions white part only, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon fermented black beans, roughly chopped (black bean paste will also work)
  • 6 ounces ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons doubanjiang (chili bean paste)
  • 14 ounce block of silken tofu, drained and cut into 3/4” cubes
  • green part of green onions minced for garnish

In a small bowl, mix the chicken broth, cornstarch, sugar, and soy sauce together. Set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan on high heat and add sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and green onions (the white part) until they start to become fragrant. Then add the black beans and continue to cook.

Add the ground pork and while it’s cooking, make sure to break it up into tiny pieces with your spatula or wooden spoon. Then add the doubanjiang and mix everything together. At this time, add the tofu. You’re going to want to toss the mixture instead of stir it in order to keep the tofu cubes intact.

Mix the chicken broth mixture again (it probably has separated a little bit) and add it to the pork/tofu. Toss again to incorporate and then boil until the sauce thickens. Top off the dish with a sprinkle of green onions.

Serve immediately with rice.


Note: The original recipe included 1/2 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns, black seeds removed then ground. This is a great addition to the dish, however I didn’t have it on hand so didn’t add it. If you decided to cook with peppercorns, add it when you add the black beans. 

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  6 Responses to “Mapo Tofu”

  1. Your right this is an easy recipe and quite delicious as well.

  2. This looks amazing! I love mapo tofu but I’ve never tried to make it at home-looks super delicious, I’ll have to give it a try!

  3. aww, this looks fabulous!! great photos. I’m inspired and shall cook mapo tofu this week!! i usually cheat by buying the jar of the mix.

  4. The boyfriend looves mapo tofu so I make it all the time! So delicious and easy!

  5. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! It’s actually become a staple recipe at my house because it’s so simple and yummy.

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