Wednesday, February 9, 2011

麻婆豆腐/Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu is a popular Chinese dish from the Sichuan province. The feel of any particular dish is often described by cooks using seven specific Chinese adjectives: 麻 (numbing), 辣 (spicy hot), 烫 (hot temperature), 鲜 (fresh), 嫩 (tender and soft), 香 (aromatic), and 酥 (flaky).  Truly authentic Mapo Tofu is said to have all seven defining characteristics.  The way I make Mapo Tofu is very simple, and when I make this dish at home I know it’s not oily and has no MSG.


  • 10 oz medium firm Tofu (usually just 1 box)
  • 4 oz minced beef (or pork)
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 2 green onion (cut approximately 1.5 inch)
  • Half cup diced bell pepper 
  • 2 dried chili peppers (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp sliced ginger
  • 1 few garlic
  • 2 tbsp ground garlic 
  • half cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp chili broad bean paste 
  • Soy sauce as taste
  • 1 tsp cooking wine

To marinate the beef:

  • 1 tsp cooking wine
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp corn starch water
  • 1 tsp olive oil (optional)


  1. Marinate the beef 5 minutes before cooking.  Cut the tofu into small pieces, drain the water from the tofu and set aside. 
  2. In a nonstick medium saucepan or a wok, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add the marinated beef to cook, until the beef is ready - about 5 minutes.  Transfer the beef to a plate.  
  3. Wash the pan, and then heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add chopped garlic, onion, bell pepper and chili broad bean paste to cook.  About 2 – 3 minutes, add tofu, Sichuan peppercorn, and dried chili, cooking wine and soy sauce to cook.  Gently turn over both sides for the tofu, make sure both sides are evenly cooked.  About 5 minutes, add the cooked beef, gently stir for about 1 minute.  Transfer to the serving plate, garnish with chopped green onion on top and you are done!! 

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