Sichuan Mapo Tofu

Mapo tofu recipe

The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
469 Calories
23g Fat
26g Carbs
45g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 469
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 2021mg 88%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 45g
Calcium 809mg 62%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A famous Sichuan (Szechuan) recipe—the name mapo tofu is roughly translated as "pockmarked grandmother beancurd," named for the old woman who supposedly invented the dish.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch (can substitute cornstarch)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound regular tofu (medium firmness)
  • 1 leek (or 3 green onions)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese salted black beans (​fermented black beans, also called Chinese black beans; or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon chili bean paste (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons stock (chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 dash Szechuan pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil (for stir-frying, as needed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mapo tofu recipe ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Mix the tapioca starch and the soy sauce together.

    Mix tapioca
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. Marinate pork for about 20 minutes.

    Marinate pork
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Cut the tofu (bean curd) into 1/2-inch square cubes, and blanch (drop into boiling water) for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Cut tofu
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Remove from boiling water and drain.

    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Chop leek or green onions into short lengths.

    Chop leek
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Heat wok and add oil. When the oil is ready, add the marinated pork. Stir-fry pork until the color darkens. Add salt and stir.

    Heat wok and add oil
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  8. Add the salted black beans. Mash the beans with a cooking ladle until they blend in well with the meat.

    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  9. Add the chili bean paste, then the stock, bean curd, and leek or green onions. Turn down the heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

    Add chili bean paste
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  10. While cooking, mix cornstarch, water, and soy sauce together. Add to wok and stir gently.

    Mix cornstarch and water and soy sauce
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  11. Serve with freshly ground Szechuan pepper and enjoy!

    Serve with Szechuan pepper
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

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