Ma-Po Tofu (麻婆豆腐), Quick and Easy Chinese Recipes

Easy Chinese Recipe for Authentic Ma-Po Tofu by Dan S @ myeasychineserecipes.com

ma-po tofu 2

Hands-on Time: 10 min. Total Time: 15 min.

SHORT VERSION:

In a pot, high heat, boil water (2 C) + salt (1 to 2 pinches for taste). Add Tofu (~ 1” cube, 8oz) and wait until water re-boiled, turn heat off and let the tofu stay in the pot. On a separate skillet/pan, high heat, add oil (1t), ground pork (~ 4 oz), stir-fry for ~ 1 min. Push pork to the side, and add hot bean sauce (3T) and Sichuan peppercorn (~ 1t), cook for 30 s. Mix ground pork and hot bean sauce, add water (1 ½ C), then add drained tofu. Cover, cook for 3 min. Add chopped scallion before plating.

INTRO:

Ma-Po Tofu is one of the classic Tofu dish in Chinese cuisine. A authentic Ma-Po tofu uses hot bean sauce and Sichuan peppercorn to create depth in the flavor that will numb your mouth and fire-up your tongue. Another major player of this dish is tofu. The tofu should soak up the flavor from the sauce, smooth but yet with textures that will “bounce” in your mouth (see Tip.1 for how to prep tofu). In this recipe, I actually reduced the amount of the oil, Sichaun peppercorn, and the hot bean sauce so most people can enjoy it. But if you are a more adventurous eater, feel free to double or even triple the amount of oil, Sichuan peppercorn, and hot bean paste. Give it a try! I hope you will enjoy this dish!

TIP:

Tip.1

Boil the Tofu in slightly salted water before adding to the sauce. This step helps to fully cook the Tofu and extra some excess water for better texture and flavor.

Tip.2

Use Sichuan peppercorn to add “numbness” to the spicy flavor.

Tip.3

Stir-Fry the hot bean sauce in some oil to fully bring out the color and flavor of the bean sauce.

Tip.4

Add soy sauce (1t) to the dish for depth in the salty flavor of the dish. Hot bean sauce is usually salty, so taste before adding soy sauce.

Going the Extra Mile (G.E.M.)the small steps to take you dish to the next level

G.E.M.1

For Maximum numbness, replace Sichuan peppercorn with crushed Sichuan peppercorn oil (~ 1 t, see Prep.3). 

G.E.M.2

Add chopped scallion at the end to add aroma and color contrast for presentation.

COOKWARE:

  1. Pot (~ 2 Qt)
  2. Skillet
  3. Knife
  4. Cutting board
  5. Measuring spoons

INGREDIENTS:

MA-PO TOFU INGREDIENTS

Protein:

  • Ground Pork ~ 4 oz
  • Tofu -16 oz

Vegetable:

  • (optional G.E.M.2) Scallion – 2 stalks

Sauce/condiments/Spices:

Units: t = teaspoon, T = tablespoon.

*note* relative ratio is more important the absolute amount.

  • Salt ~ ½ t, adjust to your desire saltiness.
  • Hot bean sauce 豆瓣醬 – 3 T
  • Sichuan Peppercorn – 1 t
  • Soy Sauce – 1 t.
  • Sugar  – 1 pinch for taste
  • Water – 1 ½ C

BEFORE COOKING:

MA-PO TOFU PREP

Prep.1

Cut Tofu into ~ ½” cubes.

Prep.2

Chop scallion into small pieces.

(Optional G.E.M.) Prep.3

Pour hot oil (~ 2 T, sesame oil works best, but be sure to use low heat when using sesame oil) over crushed Sichun peppercorn (1 t) to create Sichuan peppercorn oil.

COOKING STEPS:

Cooking.1

ma-po tofu cook2

In a pot, add water (2C), salt (1/2 t). Bring water to boil and then add tofu to re-boil. Cover and turn heat off after re-boil.

Cooking.2

ma-po tofu cook1a

In a separate pan/skillet, high heat, add oil (1t), ground pork (4oz). Stir fry for ~ 1 min.

Cooking.3

Push pork to the side, add hot bean sauce and Sichuan peppercorn to the center of the pan, stir fry (without pork), for ~ 30s. Skip the step of adding Sichuan peppercorn if you plan to use Sichuan peppercorn oil.

*Note* Add extra 1 to 2 T oil to “fry” hot bean sauce (up to 6T) for extra color and spicy taste if you like red and spicy Ma-po tofu.

Cooking.4

Add water (2C), and soy sauce (1t) bring everything to boil.

Cooking.5

ma-po tofu

While waiting for the sauce to boil, drain the boiled tofu (from cooking.1). Add tofu into the boiling sauce, cover, turn to low heat, and cook for another 3 min.

G.E.M.1

Drizzle Sichuan peppercorn oil (~ 1 t) over the dish before plating.

G.E.M.2

ma-po tofu cook9

Add chopped scallion before plating.

Turn heat off and It’s ready to serve!

ma-po tofu 2

Quick and Easy, Ma-Po Tofu (麻婆豆腐)
Quick and Easy Chinese Recipes for Ma-Po Tofu. Mouth-watering Tofu with savoy and spicy sauce, with a kick that will numb your mouth! Must try!
Author:
Cuisine: Chinese, Asian
Recipe type: Tofu, Stew, stir-fry, chinese, quick and easy
Serves: 2 to 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • Ground Pork ~ 4 oz
  • Tofu -16 oz
  • (optional G.E.M.2) Scallion – 2 stalks
  • Salt ~ ½ t, adjust to your desire saltiness.
  • Hot bean sauce 豆瓣醬 – 3 T
  • Sichuan Peppercorn – 1 t
  • Soy Sauce – 1 t.
  • Sugar - 1 pinch for taste
  • Water – 1 ½ C
Instructions
  1. Cut Tofu into ~ ½” cubes.
  2. (optional) Chop scallion into small pieces.
  3. In a pot, add water (2C), salt (1/2 t). Bring water to boil and then add tofu to re-boil. Cover and turn heat off after re-boil.
  4. In a separate pan/skillet, high heat, add oil (1t), ground pork (4oz). Stir fry for ~ 1 min.
  5. Push pork to the side, add hot bean sauce and Sichuan peppercorn to the center of the pan, stir fry (without pork), for ~ 30s. Skip the step of adding Sichuan peppercorn if you plan to use Sichuan peppercorn oil.
  6. Add water (2C), and soy sauce (1t) bring everything to boil.
  7. While waiting for the sauce to boil, drain the boiled tofu (from cooking.1). Add tofu into the boiling sauce, cover, turn to low heat, and cook for another 3 min.
  8. (optional) Drizzle Sichuan peppercorn oil (~ 1 t) over the dish before plating.
  9. (optional) Add chopped scallion before plating.
Notes
Add extra 1 to 2 T oil to “fry” hot bean sauce (up to 6T) for extra color and spicy taste if you like red and spicy Ma-po tofu.
Boil the Tofu in slightly salted water before adding to the sauce. This step helps to fully cook the Tofu and extra some excess water for better texture and flavor.
Use Sichuan peppercorn to add “numbness” to the spicy flavor.
Stir-Fry the hot bean sauce in some oil to fully bring out the color and flavor of the bean sauce.
Add soy sauce (1t) can add depth in the salty flavor to the dish. Hot bean sauce is usually salty, so taste before adding soy sauce.

 

If you love Asian or Chinese food, I have created (still creating) authentic and easy Chinese recipes here on my food blog – myeasychineserecipes.com. Some of my favorite dishes are Sweet and Sour PorkTeriyaki ChickenBraised Beef Shank, Fried Shrimp with eggs, Kung-Pao Chicken, and so much more. Click here to check out all my Chinese Recipes.

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