Ma Po Tofu

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:  20 minutes

Ma Po Tofu (Mápó dòufu, or mápó tòfu)is one of our favourite takeaway meals from our local Chinese takeaway as a vegetarian option. I wanted to give it a trial so I started looking for recipes on the net. As usual, there are many versions of this dish and to my surprise; this dish is traditionally not a vegetarian dish.  Ma Po Tofu includes beef (or pork) but delicious enough without the addition of meat in this dish.

Szechuan Ma Po Tofu with Beef

Szechuan Ma Po Tofu

Here is my attempt at Ma Po Tofu adapted from rasamalaysia website. Check out the full version of the recipe here:


1 block silken tofu ~ 350g
50 g minced beef
3 tablespoons chilli bean paste
3 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon Sichuan/Szechuan peppercorns (roasted and ground to powder)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon fermented black beans (rinsed and pounded)
2 stalks spring onion (chopped into 1 or 2-inch length)
2 gloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

Serves 4


  1. Cut the tofu into small pieces and set aside. Be careful not to break the tofu as they are very soft.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok on medium heat. Add the minced garlic, minced beef and chilli bean paste. Stir fry for a minute or two.
  3. Add chili powder, soy sauce and pounded fermented black beans. Stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tofu and water. Stir gently to mix the tofu well with the sauce. Cover the wok, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  5. Sprinkle the ground Sichuan peppercorn and chopped spring onion. Give it a final stir and dish out. Eat while it is hot.

MaPo Tofu is delicious served with fried vermicelli, egg fried rice or boiled basmati rice.

– If you want to make this dish a vegetarian dish, simply omit the meat.

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