Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu

Mapo doufu or mapo tofu is a popular Sichuanese dish. It mainly consists of tofu and minced pork in a sauce flavoured by Sichuanese peppercorns. This dish may look so subtle in taste because of the silken tofu but don’t be deceived by its looks as this dish is one of the hottest dish that you may ever encounter, it is so hot it became so popular because of its numbing spiciness (yes it makes your taste buds numb).

The word “Ma” came from the word “mazi” which means a person with facial pockmarks while “Po” means “old woman”, so combining both means pockmarked faced old woman. It got its weird name because of an old legend about an old pockmarked woman who used to sell this spicy hot dish.  The was relocated to the outskirts of Chengdu du to her condition but due to luck and fate her place became a popular trading route which led her to start selling this Tofu dish.  Initially it was the poor Farmers who became her customers as accommodation in the main city is a bit expensive leading them to stay in the outskirts.  Then dish then proved to be worth, it then became popular.  Since then restaurants start popping up in different provinces in China and in countries like Korea, Japan and Taiwan. But as it evolved in different regions so its taste, that’s why each version have adapted to the local ingredients and preferences.


300g minced pork
2 blocks silken tofu
2 stalks spring onions chopped
2-3 tbsp black bean paste (this is salty so no need for salt)
1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
Freshly ground Szechuan pepper, use according to the spiciness you want
Dried Red Chillies, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Peanut Oil


1. Heat up a wok using a very high heat
2. Add oil and sauté garlic and chillies
3. Add the pork and continue to stir fry on really high heat for 3 minutes.
4. Add cooking wine, chicken stock, black bean paste, continue mixing.
5. When the sauce thickens or reduced add tofu and pepper, cover and simmer in medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
6. Top with spring onions

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13 thoughts on “Mapo Tofu

  1. What an interesting story behind the name of this meal! Looks really delicious, but maybe just a bit too hot and spicy for my tastes. :) If I try this I’ll have to put just a little bit of the peppers so my mouth doesn’t go numb. LOL! :) I sure would love to taste this though! :)

  2. I can’t really stand tofu but if the spiciness and flavor can overpower the blandness of tofu, i guess this dish can make me change my mind hehe

  3. What an interesting dish! I usually only see tofu as a meat replacement for vegetarian meals, not so often in a dish made for carnivores! Neat!

  4. I tried making one of this before but I didn’t like it. Looks like your version is better and yummy. I’ll try one time

  5. Pingback: Twice Cooked Pork « Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for "It's Delicious")

  6. I have cooked it for my husband and he really like it. Thank you for sharing this site with us.. it is really fun visiting you… Thank you so much…

  7. Pingback: Mapo Tofu | Filipino & Asian Home Style Cooking

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