Ma Po Tofu (Stir-Fried Bean Curd with Ground Turkey)

By • September 3, 2012 • 3 Comments

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Author Notes: This is my favorite dish in any Chinese restaurant, where it is normally made with ground pork. Making it with ground turkey is healthier and it tastes very similar. The best part of making Chinese dishes at home, is you can cut way back on the added fat. My daughter swears that mine is better than any restaurants. This has been a slow adaptation over the years from a recipe originally published in Food & WineRobinDiane

Serves 4

  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeno or any hot pepper that you like
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 pound fresh firm tofu cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  1. In a medium bowl combine the turkey, egg, 1 tbsp. of the cornstarch, the five-spice powder, 1 tbsp.of the scallions, 1/2 tsp. of the sugar, 1/4 tsp. of the sesame oil and the salt. In a wok, heat 1 tbsp. of the vegetable oil over high heat until shimmering, then add the turkey mixture and break it up as it browns. Stir fry until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Lower the heat to moderate and heat the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. of vegetable oil until hot. Stir in 6 more tbsp. of the scallions, the red pepper, jalapeno, garlic and ginger. Stir fry until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add the turkey and the remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar; mix well. Increase the heat to high, stir in the chicken stock, soy sauce and oyster sauce and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, dissolve the remaining 2 tsp. cornstarch in 2 tsp. of water, add the the mixture and bring back to a boil. Gently stir in the tofu, and cook until heated through. Spoon onto a serving platter and sprinkle the remaining scallions on top. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 tsp. sesame oil over the mixture. Serve with steamed rice

Comments (3) Questions (2)


6 days ago Lori Cuthbert

I put in a full pound of turkey and doubled the spices; it turned out perfectly! My son even loved the tofu (first time he'd tried it - I used extra firm). I also added green beans and green cabbage that I needed to cook up - they were a perfect addition. Thanks for this - we'll be having it again.


11 days ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I made this last night - delicious! Really happy that it makes enough for leftovers. I added asparagus because I had some ... other than that made it as is and loved it!


3 months ago ChristinaLi

this turned out much sweeter than the traditional dish. I would personally cut back on the amount of sugar.