Asian / Beef / Chinese / Dinner / Szechuan

Chinese Mapo Tofu

Mapo tofu is a popular Chinese dish from Sichuan province.  Consisting of aromatics and tofu set in a spicy sauce, typically a thin but oily, and bright red sauce based on doubanjiang bean sauce with minced meat.  This spicy, pungent, and appetizing dish goes perfectly with steamed rice.



  • 4 ounces ground beef meat
  • 4 large squares of unsweetened tofu, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 long red chillli finely chopped
  • Shitake mushrooms finely chopped (not typical for the dish but I like them)
  • Spring onions to garnish


  • Chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Doubanjiang (reduce to 2 tablespoons for a less spicy taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Spicy black bean sauce


In a hot wok, fry the beef till coloured, add garlic, ginger and mushroom’s. Continue to stir till cooked through but don’t let the garlic burn.

Deglaze the wok with Shaoshing wine, then add the Doubanjiang and spicy black bean sauce and mix through. Add the chicken stock, loads of chili oil and mix thoroughly and simmer for 15 minutes to amalgamate all the flavours. Add sugar and balance to suit your taste.

In a separate pot, soak the tofu in hot salted water for 5 minutes to remove the raw soy bean flavour, then drain and add to the simmering sauce just to heat through. Be gentle or your tofu will turn to mush.

Use an arrowroot slurry to thicken as desired but remember this is a “saucey” dish.

Finally, add a handful of finely chopped spring onions stor through the sauce and serve on hot steamed rice.

Enjoy – a hearty soulful dish


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