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Mapo Tofu

Mapo tofu is arguably the most famous recipe from Sichuan province, this hot and spicy tofu and ground pork cooked in dou ban jiang (chili bean sauce) is sure to be a winner whenever it is served. To cook a mapo tofu, you will need to find a bottle of dou ban jiang in your Asian supermarket. I use the one from Lee Kum Kee since that is what my supermarket carries, you can use other brands. There are two other key ingredients that can be added into a mapo tofu, the first one is Sichuan peppercorns (Indonesian: andaliman/merica Batak), the other one is salted black bean sauce, the later is arguably less important than the first one. If you only have dou ban jiang, you can still whip out a pretty decent mapo tofu, though it will lack a certain oomph.

Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu

5.0 from 2 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon salted black bean sauce
  • 150 gram ground pork
  • 2 tablespoon dou ban jiang/chili bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (Indonesian: andaliman/merica batak)
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 450 gram silken tofu, cut into cubes
  • 2 scallions, cut into 1 cm lengths
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch + 2 tablespoon water


  1. Heat oil in a wok on high heat. Sauté garlic and salted black bean sauce until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add pork and stir until no longer pink. Add dou ban jiang and mix well. Add Shaoxing wine and cook until you can smell the alcohol, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add Sichuan peppercorns, soy sauce, sesame oil, and water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add tofu cubes and simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the scallions, and mix well. Pour the corn starch solution to thicken the sauce. Turn off heat and serve immediately.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Sharon Sharon says:

    We absolutely love this dish,so glad to have found this recipe! Beautiful picture!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Sharon, it is our favorite too :)

  • Maya Maya says:

    Hi Anita, Nice & tempting recipe. What is dou ban jiang/chili bean sauce? Where can I buy it? Maybe you can recommend the brand too? Thx so much!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Maya, if you are in Indonesia, the easiest one is to get chili bean sauce (dou ban jiang) from Lee Kum Kee. Most supermarkets should carry this brand. Cheers :)

      • Maya Maya says:

        Yes, I got it today at All Fresh! Gotta try this tomorrow... Thx so much, Anita!

  • the lousy cook wife the lousy cook wife says:

    Hello, Where can I find this andaliman/merica Batak? I live in Jakarta. What does it look like? Thanks!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Stephanie, they are sold in Pasar Senen. Or, if you somehow have Szechuan peppercorns, you can use that instead. As for how they look, please take a look at this link from Google Image :)

  • Jessica Goenawan Jessica Goenawan says:

    Hi, what's black bean sauce? and if there is a recommended alternative? Thanks!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Jessica, black bean sauce is a Chinese sauce made mostly from fermented black beans (dou chi), garlic, and ginger. The easiest and most widely available is Lee Kum Kee black bean sauce. If you don't have this, you can skip, and simply increase the amount of dou ban jiang a little to compensate.

  • Milky Milky says:

    Most delicious! I've always wanted to make this from scratch (my only experience at home is with the instant Mapo sauce, I think a Japanese brand?) and it's certainly worth buying a jar of dou ban jiang for. I was slightly wary on how spicy it could be, because I recall having one from a Sichuan restaurant that was absolutely blistering! This one was definitely reasonable, possibly even "mild" compared to other recipes I've tried here!

    I used a lean ground beef, so I went heavy handed with the oils, but even if I don't have the ground pork, tofu is the real star.

    The more concerning substitution I made was using "Black bean garlic sauce" (Lee Kum Kee), but I'm not sure how different it would be from "salted black bean sauce." Chinese bean and chili sauces totally confuse me, so I definitely appreciate having a brand, photo, or Amazon link... in this case I used something I already had on hand. Either way, it cooked up fine and tasted "beany" enough to me hahahaa

    Anyway, it was soooo quick and easy- the main challenge is to get proper bean sauces (unless you've got a well stocked Chinese kitchen already), but I've seen many different variations, I think it's pretty forgiving if all you have is tofu and a little meat! Perfect for us tofu-loving omnivores :9

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