Vegan Mapo Tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu
Vegan Mapo Tofu

"Since my mother cooks Mapo Tofu without fermented black beans and fermented spicy broadbean paste (doubanjiang), she made a secret ingredient for it and it’s been used in so many of her signature dishes. The secret ingredient is Hot Chili Oil with pepper solids. If you haven’t made some yet, I’d highly recommend you do. It only takes 5 minutes and requires 2 ingredients. Here’s how to make hot chili oil at home. The store-bought one will not work because you will need not only the oil but the peppers solids as well."

NotesBoiling tofu in salted water will make the tofu strong and not easy to break.

2. If you don't have Sichuan numbing pepper, you can still make this recipe with ground black pepper. But the result is going to be less ideal.

3. For finely ground Sichuan numbing pepper, toast the peppercorns over high heat until fragrant, then process them in a food processor.

Serves2 People

Preparation Time15 min

Cooking Time15 min


  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms or 8 ounces fresh ones
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (16-ounce) block soft tofu
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hot chili oil with pepper solids
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground Sichuan pepper (aka numbing pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  1. In a medium saucepan, simmer mushrooms in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.

  2. Cut tofu into half-inch cubes.

  3. In another medium saucepan, bring a large amount of salted water to a boil and gently place the tofu into the boiling water. Let it cook for 2 minutes. Drain.

  4. Strain the mushroom water and reserve 1 1/2 cups. Drain the mushrooms on paper towels, remove stems and chop into small bits.

  5. In a large wok or sauté pan, heat up oil over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add ginger and garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chopped mushrooms and a pinch of salt, sauté for another minute.

  6. Pour the reserved mushroom water into the wok. Turn the heat up to high and bring it to a boil.

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