Ma po beancurd


Preparation info

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  • Feeds


Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

A pock-marked grandmother from Chengdu in the peppery province of Sichuan came up with this now-famous dish, a fiery Stir-fry of beancurd and pork sauce. Restaurants tend to make this a dish of pork garnished with beancurd, but I prefer to return it to its original intent: a dish of beancurd garnished with pork. Serve with plenty of rice and a spicy Shiraz.


  • 6 blocks fresh beancurd
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 250 g (9 oz) minced pork
  • 3 green (spring) onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chilli bean sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns (fagara), ground
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) chicken broth
  • 6 sprigs coriander


Cut beancurd blocks into 2 cm (¾ in) cubes, and set aside to drain for 15 minutes.

Heat wok, add oil, and heat. When hot, add garlic, chilli and ginger. Add minced pork and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add green onions, chilli bean sauce, sugar, wine, dark soy and chicken broth and stir fry for 5 minutes.

Add the drained beancurd, lower the heat and cook gently for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the ground Sichuan peppercorns over the top and stir them through the pork sauce. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

P.S. Reinvent this dish as a first course or light supper by steaming whole beancurd squares over simmering water for 10 minutes. Make the pork sauce in the wok, arrange a square of beancurd on each warmed serving platter, and spoon the chilli pork sauce on top. Top with coriander and serve.