One bite and you’ll be hooked on this spicy Schezwan MaPo Tofu!
Addictively Spicy MaPo Tofu
The first time my husband and I tried MaPo Tofu at a local Sichuan (you might also see it spelled Schezwan) restaurant, we were hooked!
Complex flavors ignite your senses, with a heat that builds throughout your meal. This traditional Chinese dish definitely packs a kick, but it’s not so spicy as to overpower everything else.
Instead of waiting to go back to a restaurant, my husband created this vegetarian MaPo Tofu recipe you can easily make at home. We’ve been trying to do at least one meatless meal a week, and this is a keeper!
This MaPo Tofu recipe is the perfect way to spice up your dinner routine!
Related: For another take-out inspired classic, try our General Tso’s Cauliflower!
What is Sichuan Cuisine?
Sichuan (sometimes spelled Schezwan) is a type of cuisine that comes from the Sichuan Province of China. It is distinguished by the pervasiveness of chili oil and Sichuan peppercorn throughout many of the dishes.
While chili oil definitely packs the heat, the Sichuan peppercorn provides a different kind of burn. Actually, I’d describe it more as a “numbing” effect. The more you eat, the more your mouth tingles!
It’s an oddly satisfying sensation that leaves you craving more – so when I say that Sichuan food is addicting, I mean it! (In a good way!)
MaPo Tofu Ingredients
For your convenience, I’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products used to make this recipe; disclosure policy available here.
- Firm tofu
- Green onions, chopped
- Mirin (sweet white cooking wine)
- Soy sauce
- Powdered ginger
- Chili oil
- Chinese 5-spice
- Doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean paste)
A free printable copy of this recipe with full ingredient amounts and directions is available at the bottom of the post.
Keep reading for cooking tips or click here to jump to printable recipe.
How to Make Authentic Sichuan MaPo Tofu
Add diced onions to a large sauté pan with 2 TB cooking oil. Cook on medium heat until onions begin to caramelize.
Add mushrooms, Doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean paste) Stir until well combined.
Add chili oil, ginger, soy sauce, garlic, 5-spice, sugar, and mirin. Stir.
Cut tofu into bite-sized cubes and lay on top of the ingredients in saute pan. Add 1 1/2 cup hot water and gently stir.
Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until tofu is tender.
TIP: For a thicker sauce, mix 1 tsp cornstarch with 2 TB cold water until it forms a paste (use more water if needed). Add this paste to your MaPo Tofu and gently stir until sauce thickens.
Garnish with green onions and serve over jasmine rice.
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Grab a free printable copy of this MaPo Tofu recipe:
Addictively Spicy MaPo Tofu
- 2 blocks firm tofu about 12 ounces per block
- 2 Onions diced
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 3 stalks green onions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons mirin sweet white cooking wine
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 2 teaspoons chili oil
- 1/4 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Doubanjiang spicy fermented bean paste
- Add diced onions to a large sauté pan with 2 TB oil and saute on medium heat until onions start to brown.
- Add mushrooms, Doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean paste) and stir until well combined.
- Add chili oil, ginger, soy sauce, garlic, 5-spice, sugar, and mirin. Stir.
- Cut tofu into bite-sized cubes and lay on top of the ingredients in saute pan. Add 1 1/2 cup hot water and gently stir.
- Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until tofu is tender.
- Garnish with green onions and serve over jasmine rice.