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Authentic Sichuan Mapo Tofu Recipe-feature-one plate closeup

Authentic Sichuan Mapo Tofu Recipe

This Authentic Mapo Tofu recipe is amazing. Strong flavors, silky textures all on top of a wonderful rice. You can't ask for more out of an Asian dish.

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2-3 people 1x


  • 220 g firm or extra firm tofu, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 110 g lean ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups light vegetable stock

For the bean paste oil:

  • 1 Tbsp green onion chopped whites only (reserve the greens for garnish)
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 Tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder
  • 1 Tbsp black bean paste + 1/2 tsp red chili paste
  • 1/2 Tbsp fermented black beans soaked drained and chopped

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp tapioca powder
  • 2 Tbsp cold water

For the rice

  • 1 cup fancy rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 small cipolline onion, minced



  1. In a medium saucepan, drizzle in vegetable oil and sesame oil. Bring to a medium heat and sauté for 1 minute. season with salt and white pepper.
  2. Add rice and stir until well coated with the oil and onion. Pour in water, cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and stir and place cover back on, turn heat down a bit. Cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is the texture you want. I usually turn off the heat and leave it covered to steam for the last 2 minutes. Remember to stir it occasionally to keep it from burning on the bottom.


  1. In a medium saucepan place cubed tofu in. Pour the vegetable stock over and bring to a boil then turn heat down to a simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let tofu sit in broth.

Ground beef:

  1. Drizzle oil into wok, bring to a high heat. Toss ground beef in and break up with a wooden spoon. Sizzle for 5 minutes or until beef browns a bit. Remove beef into a dish and keep oil and renderings in the wok. 

Chili bean oil:

  1. Pour oil into wok where the beef was cooked. Bring to a medium heat and toss in chopped scallion whites, and minced ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds. 
  2. Add in red chili flakes, and Sichuan peppercorn powder. Stir fry for another 30 seconds. Time to spoon in the black bean paste and red chili paste, plus the chopped fermented black beans, and stir fry again for another 30 seconds.
  3. Drain the tofu and place in wok with chili bean paste. Throw in  cooked ground beef. Mix all ingredients for the sauce in a ramekin, except the tapioca starch and water. Stir and cover. Simmer on medium heat for 3 minutes.
  4. In another ramekin or small bowl spoon in tapioca starch and water. Whisk until it becomes a slurry. Take lid off wok and slowly pour the slurry into the center of the wok. Stir and add more if sauce isn't thickening. Once the sauce thickens turn off heat. Take those reserved scallion greens chop at a diagonal and sprinkle over Mapo tofu.
  5. Ready to serve.



If you like yours super spicy use 1 tsp red chili powder.

In the original recipe he uses Sichuan chili bean paste instead of the black bean and red chili paste I used.

I used the red chili flakes instead of the Chinese red chili powder.

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: Mapo tofu, Chinese cuisine, Medium firm tofu, Sichuan peppercorns, black bean paste, red chili paste, Scallions, ginger,

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