Mapo Tofu

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Mapo Tofu is an EASY Sichuan dish made with pork, tofu, mushrooms, Sichuan peppercorns, and chili peppers in a spicy ginger sauce, ready in under 20 minutes!

Stir Fry Chinese dishes are quick, easy and healthy and some of our favorites include Easy Shrimp Stir-Fry, Chinese Pepper Steak, and Hunan Chicken!

Chinese Mapo TofuMAPO TOFU

Mapo Tofu is a really quick and easy weeknight takeout dish, made right in your own kitchen. This dish is pork, tofu, and mushrooms in a spicy sauce made from black bean paste, chili garlic paste, Sichuan peppercorns, and spices. Plus, it’s ready in under 20 minutes! I like to serve this tofu with steamed rice and extra chopped green onions.

What do you serve with Mapo Tofu?

You can serve this with Chinese Steamed Rice or Fried Rice and definitely have appetizers on hand to complement the dish including Egg RollsCrab RangoonSpring Rolls, and Potstickers dipped in Sweet and Sour Sauce.


Mapo tofu can easily be converted to vegetarian. Leave out of the pork entirely, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can add some more tofu or mushrooms to replace some of the pork if you feel that it needs it.


Mapo tofu will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator, in an airtight container. If your tofu dries out at all, you can stir-fry it for a minute or two with extra sauce, to add back some moisture, until it’s heated through.


This mapo tofu recipe can be made ahead and frozen in an airtight container. If you do freeze it, I recommend making some extra sauce and freezing it in a separate container on the side. Take it out the night before you want to eat and leave it in the refrigerator, then the next day stir fry until warmed through, adding the extra sauce as needed.



  • You can make mapo tofu with ground pork instead of pork loin. If you don’t like ground pork, you can also make this dish with chicken, beef, or shrimp.
  • If you want to make this mapo tofu recipe less spicy, leave out the chili peppers and chili garlic paste. You can also leave out the peppercorns, but they’re not as spicy as the other ingredients. The black bean paste or fermented black beans should be ok, but double check the seasonings added.
  • If you want this dish to be even spicier, add a few dashes of spicy chili oil.
  • If your tofu is too wet after you drain it, you can press it gently between two paper towels to soak up some of the extra moisture. Be careful not to press down too hard, or the tofu will flatten.
  • You can also use low sodium soy sauce or tamari without any flavor difference in this recipe.
  • There are a few different types of tofu out there. For this recipe, I would use firm tofu or medium tofu, which will hold up to the stir-frying better. I do not recommend soft tofu or silken tofu, because it will break apart.
  • If you want to add some extra flavor and texture to the tofu, boil some water with salt and blanch the cubes quickly, then drain.

Easy Mapo Tofu with pork and mushrooms

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Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu is an EASY Sichuan dish made with pork, tofu, mushrooms, Sichuan peppercorns, and chili peppers in a spicy ginger sauce, ready in under 20 minutes!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces pork loin chopped into small pieces (or ground pork)
  • 6 ounces white mushrooms quartered
  • 4 ounces sliced bamboo shoots drained
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 2 green onions sliced white part only
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoons cornstarch halve if using cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons black been paste or chopped fermented black beans
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste Sambal Oelek
  • 4 red chili peppers
  • 14 ounces medium tofu drained and cut in 3/4” chunks


  • Add the vegetable oil to a wok or large skillet with the pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and onions and cook on medium high heat until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in the sesame oil, garlic, ginger and green onions and cook for an additional 30 seconds while you whisk together the broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar and peppercorns in a small bowl and add it to the skillet.
  • Add the black bean paste, chili garlic paste, red chili peppers and whisk together then add in the tofu and stir to combine until the sauce starts to thicken another 2 minutes before serving.


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 319mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 5.5mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Chinese Takeout Ma po Tofu with Pork

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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