Mapo Tofu Recipe

Mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐) is one of those dishes that is almost always universally loved. It’s flavorful but simple, it’s got some meat but isn’t a meat dish and it’s spicy but not uncontrollably so. Recently, I learned mom has a go-to, quick-fire recipe she uses when she has a package of tofu in the fridge and some ground pork in the freezer*, which is about 97% of the time.

Unfortunately, the day I decided to make this dish, mom was out of town. So I asked her to email me the recipe and she did. But in true mom fashion, her version was missing the ingredients list, ingredient amounts and a couple steps. But never fear, I was able to fill in the blanks and create a dish that the hubs is now obsessed with.

Mapo Tofu Pinterest

*Pro tip: Always keep ground pork in the freezer – it can be used for a million trillion Chinese dishes.


  • 1 pkg tofu (medium or soft)
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp spicy red bean sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chili oil
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese peppercorn powder


  1. Cut tofu into dice-sized cubes. Then let them sit for 15 min to drain some water out.
  2. Sautee minced garlic with oil in a hot pan, add ground pork and fry until it’s dry/crumbly and a little brown.
  3. Add red spicy bean sauce, chili oil and tofu. Stir well.
  4. Mix corn starch with water, pour into tofu mixture to thicken.
  5. Serve over rice with a sprinkle of Chinese peppercorn powder.

2 thoughts on “Mapo Tofu Recipe

  1. Heather says:

    Wow! Just by looking at the ingredients I think this recipe can be considered Keto! Yay! I love Asian food so I will have to try this at home😁 🙏


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