One-Pot Wonders

Mapo Tofu

March 11, 2023
0 Ratings
Photo by Brian Coppola
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 2-4
Author Notes

Mapo Tofu is one of those dishes that has as many interpretations as there are cooks. I definitely use mapo tofu as one of my litmus test meals when evaluating Chinese restaurants (ground pork green beans is the other one). I got the basics on this one from the family of a former student of mine. —Brian Coppola

What You'll Need
  • 4-6 ounces ground pork sausage
  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons red Sichuan peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons Doubanjiang (Red Bean Garlic paste; Lee Yum See sells a Mapo Tofu paste that is delicious)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fermented black beans (dou chi)
  • 3 green onion, chopped
  • 16 ounces silken tofu, cut into cubes (soft if you want the real deal, we'll blanch it, but firm is OK)
  • 1/2 cup red chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1-2 cups low salt chicken stock
  1. You only need one wok (and a bunch of bowls) for making this recipe.
  2. Blanch the tofu cubes in boiling water 1-2 min. Strain and reserve.
  3. Mix meat, wine, soy, ginger. Combine cornstarch with 1 T water in a small measuring cup.
  4. Heat 2T chili oil and add the peppercorns, brown over medium heat. Reserve to paper towel.
  5. Heat meat mixture, doubanjiang, chopped fermented black beans, and garlic over medium high. Mix well, cook meat thoroughly, then add half of onion.
  6. Add tofu to meat, then chili oil, 5-spice powder, and broth. Slow simmer to reduce to half (8-10 min).
  7. Lightly smash the fried peppercorns (press on a board with the bottom of a measuring cup), add to mixture.
  8. Add cornstarch slurry to thicken sauce.
  9. Add more onion. Heat on low until ready to serve.

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