Mapo Tofu

A classic, generously spiced dish hailing from the Sichuan region of China, this vibrant plate is best served with a steaming pile of rice and some lightly grilled Asian greens — and extra spoonfuls of the sauce, if you dare!

Preparation time Prep: 15 mins
cook 8 mins
Skill level Easy Peasy

You will need:

  • 600g pressed silken tofu, drained and cut into 2cm cubes
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 100g plant-based mince
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan chilli bean sauce (e.g. Lee Kum Kee brand)
  • 2 tablespoons salted black beans (optional), rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 cup vegan chicken stock (e.g. Massel brand)
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour, mixed with 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
To serve
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 long red chill, deseeded (optional) and finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, roughly ground
  • Steamed rice, to serve
  • Asian greens (e.g. bok choy) grilled or steamed, to serve
Recipe: Fiona Roberts Food


  • 1Place prepared tofu in a medium bowl, cover gently with boiling water. Set aside until required.
  • 2Heat oil in a wok on high heat. Add plant-based mince and stir-fry quickly until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving oil behind. Reduce heat to medium.
  • 3Add the chilli bean paste, black beans, ginger and garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes until aromatic. Add stock, cornflour mixture, soy sauce and sesame oil, stirring to combine. Allow mixture to boil and thicken slightly before returning mince to the wok.
  • 4Carefully drain tofu and add to wok, gently stirring to combine.
  • 5To serve, sprinkle over spring onions and chilli, serve with rice and Asian greens.
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