Mapo tofu


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

By Sasha Gill

Published 2019

  • About

This dish calls for a Chinese fermented broad bean paste known as doubanjiang, which can usually be found in larger supermarkets or local Asian shops. If you have no luck, simply substitute with 1 more tablespoon of miso and 1 teaspoon of Sriracha sauce – the flavour will be slightly different, but still wickedly tasty. I like to use firm tofu here, as it holds up well to stir-frying, but if you are gentle, silken tofu also works well and is much more traditional.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm ginger, finely chopped
  • Β½ cup (40 g) soy mince, prepared
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon doubanjiang (chilli bean sauce)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 block (300 g) extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • Β½ teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Β½ teaspoon white sugar
  • sliced spring onion (scallion), red chilli and sesame seeds, to garnish
  • steamed rice, to serve


In a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, fry the garlic and ginger in the oil for 1–2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the drained soy mince and fry for another minute or so. Next, stir in the miso and doubanjiang until no large clumps remain – add a splash of the stock to help dissolve the pastes, if necessary. Once it’s smooth, pour in the rest of the stock and the soy sauce. Stir well, then bring to the boil and add the tofu to the pan.

In a small bowl, whisk the cornflour with 1 tablespoon water until smooth. Pour into the pan, stirring as you do so, to prevent lumps from forming. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid starts to thicken, about 3–5 minutes.

Add the sesame oil and sugar, mix and take the pan off the heat. Garnish with the sliced spring onion and chilli, sprinkle with sesame seeds, then serve with steamed rice.