Mapo Tofu Banchan. Easily one of the best tofu dishes in the world!
It’s originally a Chinese dish from the Sichuan province. The Sichuan version uses a special ingredient called Doubanjiang – which is a spicy fermented bean paste. And of course some chili oil. If you have those readily available in your pantry, go make the original Sichuan version!
But Koreans also have their own variation of this Chinese dish – and it’s very simple to make! All you need is a few Korean pantry ingredients like gochujang and gochugaru. Today, I’ll show you how to make the Korean version in under 15 minutes!
Like pizza, this is one of those dishes that taste great the next day. So save the leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the morning.
Oh and don’t forget to make some rice in the background. You’ll need it 🔥🔥
I’ll leave a few cooking notes and takeaways:
-We will blanche the tofu in water before adding it to the stirfry. This will firm-up the tofu slightly and make it less prone to crumbling when being mixed into the sauce.
-You can swap out the minced beef with minced pork or turkey… or even minced mushrooms (go vegetarian).
-Don’t forget to add in the sugar. Without it, the sauce tastes too spicy and earthy.
-Also remember to add the sesame oil at the end – this will round-out the spicy flavors
Optional: You can sprinkle some scallions and cilantro sprigs at the end to make it look prettier
This is one of my favorite comfort meals – and I’m happy that so many of you have tried it out already. Tag us on IG (@efutureneighbor) if you do – would love to see myself 🙃
P.s. We’ve also made a less spicier version here in the past!
- 300 -350 grams Tofu (Firm)
- 4 cups Water
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
Mapo Sauce Ingredients
- 1 stalk Spring Onion (use white portion) (forearm-length piece)
- 2 Tablespoons Minced garlic 5-7 garlic cloves
- 1/2 Tablespoon Minced ginger
- 200 grams Minced pork (Or minced beef)
- 4 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 3 Tablespoons Soy sauce
- 1 cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Gochugaru
- 3 Tablespoons Gochujang
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 5-6 shakes Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
Starch Powder Water
- 1 Tablespoon Starch Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- Cut a block of tofu (300-350g) into smaller bite-sized cubes. Fill a pot with 4 cups of water. Add salt (1 Tablespoon) and bring it to a boil. Add the tofu pieces into the water and set a timer for 1 minute. After 1 minute, empty the water out through a strainer and set the tofu aside for now.
- Cut the spring onion stalk into thin slices. Measure out and mince a piece of ginger (we need 1/2 Tablespoon worth). Mince 6-8 cloves of garlic (we need 2 Tablespoons worth). Then measure 200 grams of minced pork.
Cook Mapo Tofu
- Place wok or large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Place in 4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil gets hot, add-in sliced spring onions. Then add in the minced garlic and minced ginger. Mix everything together until it gets aromatic.
- Then add in the minced pork. Stir-fry everything until most of the pink is gone from the meat. Then add in Soy Sauce (3 Tablespoons). Stir-fry everything in the soy sauce for 10-15 seconds. Then add-in the water (1 cup).
- Now add-in Gochugaru (2 Tablespoons), Gochujang (3 Tablespoons), Fish Sauce (1 Tablespoon), Sugar (2 Tablespoons), Black Pepper (5-6 cracks). Mix everything together.
- Add the tofu pieces in and stir it in gently. Quickly mix together starch powder (1 Tablespoon) with water (2 Tablespoons). Give it a good mix and slowly add the starch water into the stew to thicken it up (don't add everything at once - about half should be enough).
- Finally, add-in the Sesame Oil (1 Tablespoon). This will round-out all of the spicy flavors. Give it a final mix and turn off the heat.
- Serve with rice! Bon Appetit