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Mapo Tofu is a classic Sichuan dish. It has a numbing sensation when you eat it. It’s spicy, hot, and savory. It’s definitely my kind of good eats!

According to legend, an elderly widow in the Qing Dynasty invented Mapo Tofu. She has lots of pockmarks on her face, so people started calling the dish Mapo Tofu, which literary means “pockmarked grandma’s bean curd.”

Mapo Tofu Recipe

Serves: 2 people
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

For the tofu:
1 block silken tofu
Pinch of salt

Other ingredients:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
6 ounce ground pork
2 tablespoons Sichuan Pixian fermented bean paste (doubanjiang)
1 teaspoons ginger, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 stalk scallions, minced, separated the white and the green parts
1 cup of chicken stock
2 tablespoons cornstarch slurry (2 teaspoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water)

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of white pepper
Pinch of sugar


To prepare the tofu, in a pot, bring water to a boil. Add the salt. Place a strainer in the pot. Then add the tofu. (This will help tofu to set and won’t be broken easily.) Boil the tofu over high heat for 2 minutes. Put aside.

To make the seasoning, in a small bowl, add all the ingredients for the seasoning. Mix well.

To cook the ground pork, in a pan, add the oil and Sichuan peppercorns. Cook over low heat until the aroma comes out for about 2 minutes. Discharge the peppercorns. Transfer in the ground pork. Cook on high heat until lightly browned for about 5 minutes. Put aside.

To put everything together, in the same pan with the remaining oil, add the Sichuan Pixian fermented bean paste and stir fry over high heat for 2 minutes. Then add the ginger, garlic, and the white part of scallions. Stir fry on high heat until the aroma comes out for about 1 minute. Pour the seasoning and chicken stock. Transfer in the tofu and slowly move your pan in a circular motion. Return the minced pork and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch slurry and use a spatula to push the tofu slowly. (Don’t push too hard as they might easily break apart.) Lastly, add the green part of the scallions.

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