Mapo Tofu

This version of mapo tofu resembles the Japanese version (麻婆豆腐) which is sweeter and not as spicy compared to the authentic mapo tofu from Sichuan, China. This is a quick, flavourful and delicious dish to prepare even on a busy day.

5 stars

Preparation 10 mins
Cooking 15 mins


Mapo Doufu, 麻婆豆腐, マーボー豆腐

Malaysian, Singaporean, Cantonese, Chinese

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Nutrition per Serving

278 kcal
25 g
12 g
22 g

Mapo tofu is a typical Chinese dish from Sichuan, China. Depending on the countries, the taste and recipe of mapo tofu is adapted to suit the palate of the locals. In Malaysia, we enjoy mapo tofu as well. I personally love this dish because of the delicious gravy and most importantly, tofu is used as the main ingredient.

The original mapo tofu from Sichuan is not only spicy but also gives off a numbing effect contributed by the spiciness of the famous Sichuan pepper. However, it is not common to include Sichuan pepper in Malaysian meals. Thus, it is no surprise that it is omitted from the mapo tofu served there. As I had been cooking this dish for years now, I had adjusted the recipe to be slightly sweeter while keeping it lightly spicy. I now have this dish often because of its delicious flavours and simplicity in preparation.

Vegetarian or vegan mapo tofu

In this recipe, I used meat. Opt for a vegan version of mapo tofu by omitting meat and replacing it with mushrooms. Preparation is very simple. To prepare vegan mapo tofu, use double the amount of shiitake mushrooms to replace the meat. It tastes exceptionally great as the mushroom flavour goes really well with the chilli bean sauce. In fact, I enjoy the vegan version most of the time as I try to abstain from meat as much as possible especially during dinner. Serve this dish with rice with some fresh scallions as garnishing.


1⁄2 tbsp
garlic clove(s)
1 cm
100 ml
shiitake mushroom(s)
1 tbsp
chilli bean sauce
50 g
minced meat
2 tbsp
tofu (silken)
1 tbsp
corn starch
1 tbsp
1⁄2 tbsp

Steps to Prepare

Mapo Tofu Step 1

Step 1 of 3

    • 1⁄2 tbsp oil
    • 1 garlic clove(s)
    • 1 cm ginger
    • 100 ml water
    • 2 shiitake mushroom(s)
    • 1 tbsp chilli bean sauce
    • 50 g minced meat

Add oil into a preheated pan. Sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant and then add pork. Once pork is almost cooked, add shiitake mushrooms and chilli bean paste. Continue to sauté the ingredients for a minute.

Mapo Tofu Step 2

Step 2 of 3

    • 2 tbsp ketchup
    • 1 tofu (silken)

Add water to the pan and increase the heat to allow the gravy to boil. Then, add ketchup. Once gravy begins to boil, add diced tofu. Allow dish to continue cooking for about 4 minutes.

Mapo Tofu Step 3

Step 3 of 3

    • 1 tbsp corn starch
    • 1 tbsp water
    • 1⁄2 tbsp sugar
    • salt
    • 1 scallions

Thicken gravy by adding cornflour slurry (a mixture of corn flour and water). Add salt and sugar to taste. Then, add scallions. Turn off the stove and lightly stir the dish before dishing out.

Published: March 23, 2017

2 Discussions

R Puvanes
2 years ago

R Puvanes

Hi. What is the brand of your ketchup and chili bean paste? Any alternative if available.

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
2 years ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

We don't have brands that we specifically love. Any ketchup will do. As for chilli bean paste, you can substitute with fermented soy beans (tau chu) and blended chillies. It will taste different but it's a yummy substitute.

R Puvanes
2 years ago

R Puvanes

Thank you so much ! Will try this recipe this weekend :-)

3 years ago


Definitely one of my all time favorites from Nyonya Cooking. If you love your spice, you can use ground Sichuan pepper, instead of cornflour, to thicken the sauce.

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
3 years ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Agree! Thank you for the lovely review, Janice.

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