Mapo tofu served with rice in a bowl

Mapo tofu

  • Rating: 5 out of 5.11 ratings
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

Even if you’re not keen on tofu, give this mapo tofu a go. It’s hot and really strongly flavoured thanks to chilli bean paste, fermented black beans and more

Nutrition: Per serving


  • 450g tofu
  • 3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 100g pork mince
  • 2 tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste
  • 1½ tbsp fermented black beans , rinsed (optional, available from
  • 2cm piece ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves , chopped
  • 200ml light chicken stock or water
  • 1 tsp cornflour , mixed with 1 tbsp water
  • 6 spring onions , sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan chilli oil (optional)
  • ½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns , crushed
  • cooked white rice , to serve


  • STEP 1

    Get all the ingredients ready before you start cooking and set them out in bowls. Drain the tofu and cut it into 1.5cm cubes. Put it in a bowl and cover with very hot water. Leave this while you get on with everything else.

  • STEP 2

    Heat a wok and pour in the groundnut oil. Get this really hot and fry the pork until it’s crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon but leave the oil behind. 

  • STEP 3

    Add the bean paste and cook, stirring for a few mins until fragrant, then add the black beans, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, for a min or so, then add the stock and let it bubble away.

  • STEP 4

    Stir the cornflour and water into the mixture in the wok, drain the tofu and stir it into the sauce. Tip in the spring onions and the mince.

  • STEP 5

    Add the chilli oil, if using, and sprinkle over the Sichuan peppercorns. The sauce shouldn’t need seasoning with salt, as many of the ingredients are salty already. Serve with boiled white rice.

Goes well with

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    Rating: 5 out of 5.11 ratings
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