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Mapo Tofu with Pork Mince in a bowl surrounded by spring onions and dried chili
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5 from 1 vote

Mapo Tofu with Pork Mince (麻婆豆腐)

Mapo Tofu with Pork Mince is Sichuan soul food. Silky bean curd is infused with a homemade chili mix for the most comforting dish!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Sichuan
Servings: 6
Calories: 132kcal
Author: Jeannette

Equipment

  • Colander

Ingredients

  • 450 g / 1 lb soft tofu
  • 150 g / 0.33 lb pork neck
  • 25 g / 0.06 lb pickled ginger
  • 1 tbsp green sichuan peppercorns
  • 10 g / 0.02 lb dried hot chili (roughly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp chili bean paste (doubanjiang; we get the Lee Kum Kee version)
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 20 g / 0.04 lb pickled chili
  • 1/2 sprig spring onion
  • 1 tbsp potato starch (for the starch slurry)
  • 150 mL / 0.6 US cup water (for the starch slurry)
  • 1/2 US cup cooking oil
  • 1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp salt (one for boiling bean curd, one for seasoning; season to taste)
  • 200 mL / 0.8 US cup water

Instructions

  • Start by cubing the tofu into cubes roughly 2cm (0.8") thick.
    Note: If you're using a softer tofu, be very gentle to avoid any unnecessary breaking.
  • Bring a wok of water to a boil with the 1 tsp salt and slide the bean curd cubes in. Cook for 2-3 minutes to remove the excess liquid.
  • Drain the tofu in a colander as you work on the other ingredients.
  • Hammer at the meat with a cleaver until it resembles mince.
  • Finely chop the pickled ginger, pickled chili and spring onions.
  • Heat up a wok on medium heat and add 2 tbsp oil. Turn the heat to low, then pour the peppercorns and dried chili in for 10 seconds.
    Scoop the aromatics out and put them on a chopping board.
  • Use a cleaver to crush the aromatics.
  • Finely chop the green peppercorn and dried chili mix, then set aside for later.
  • Pour oil into the wok and turn the heat to high. Add the mince in to cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chili bean paste, pickled ginger and pickled chili and stir fry for 1 minute, then add 1 tsp of the peppercorn and chili mix and stir until combined.
    Note: The amount of peppercorn and chili mix you add will affect how spicy this Mapo Tofu will get. Make sure to taste as you go and add to preference.
  • Pour the water into the wok and add the sugar, 1 tsp salt and dark soy sauce. Mix until well combined, then slide the tofu in.
  • Scoop the bean curd carefully so it is mostly covered by the sauce, then let it simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Mix the corn starch slurry until combined, then add 1/3 of it and stir through. Repeat until it is all finished.
  • Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve hot as is!

Notes

  • Swap the water out for a chicken and pork stock. This is always the trick for a deeper flavor in any savory dish.
  • Be gentle when working with bean curd. When mixing the ingredients, scoop under the tofu instead going through it so they stay in tact.
  • Taste as you go. I cannot stress this enough! Everyone's spiciness tolerance is different, so make sure to taste as you cook and get the level that is perfect for you.
  • All of these ingredients can be found in Chinese supermarkets. The pickled items come in jars while the dried aromatics are generally sold in sealed plastic bags. Bean curd can be found in the fridge.
  • We used a tofu that was halfway between soft silken bean curd and a firm one so it was still delicate to eat but had enough structure to hold its shape when cooked.
  • Use whichever firmness you prefer, but the softer the tofu is, the easier it is to break and the more water it will release as it cooks. Season accordingly!

Nutrition

Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 855mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 451IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg