Mapo Doufu

Mapo Doufu

Traditional Mapo doufu is said to have a “numbing spiciness” which is very common in Sichuan cuisine. So of course when I read that, I had to try making it! Since my family isn’t into “numbing spiciness,” I toned the dish down for them but kept a bowl of the chile-garlic sauce on the side for my plate. The after-burn on my lips and tongue were totally worth it!

This recipe is a great example of texture and flavor complimenting one another between the savory ground meat, the silky tofu, and the crunchy water chestnuts. And the left-over reheat was just as good the next night!


1 package firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 pound lean ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons chile-garlic sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water


1) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2) Add the beef and pork and cook the meat, breaking up any large chunks, until it’s crumbly and lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.

3) Stir in the hoisin, chile-garlic, fish and soy sauces, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

4) Gently fold in the tofu and water chestnuts and reduce the heat to medium-low.

5) In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and the water together until smooth. Stir the mixture into the skillet and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.

6) Stir in the scallions and remove the pan from the heat.

7) To serve, spoon the Mapo Doufu over jasmine rice, and then top it with a sprinkle of chopped scallions.

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