My Sister’s Mapo Tofu

mapo tofu
mapo tofu

I know I have been kind of neglecting this blog.. Apologies for those who have been visiting. I have been visiting Korea in Feb and so my focus was shifted temporarily towards Korean cooking. But I am back now so more blogs to come…

Mapo Tofu is a Chinese dish but Koreans love it and for many, it is part of their regular home cooking menu.  The  recipe introduced here is from my sis #1 ( I have 3 sisters and they are all amazing cooks so you will be seeing many more recipes from them thru yours truly!).  Bell peppers and onions also make this a healthier recipe compared to  many others which use just meat and tofu.
This dish is  pretty quick and simple so it’s great for a party. In fact, the pictures you see here was for a party we had and it was a wonderful dinner with other Korean-Chinese favorites (pic at the bottom of the page).

Servings: 3 to 4       Prep Time: 15 min        Cooking Time:25 min


  • 1 pack of firm tofu.  Regular or soft fofu also works but firm is better.
  • 1 T (canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 T finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, cut up in chunks (similar size of tofu pieces)
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, cut up in chunks (similar size of tofu pieces)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped (about 3 T)
  • black pepper


  • 2 T Chili Bean Sauce ( Toban Djan)
  • 2 T Hoisin Sauce

    chili bean sauce and hoisin sauce
    chili bean sauce and hoisin sauce

There are other versions that use a combination of oyster sauce and soy sauce or miso bean paste but my sister’s version uses just these two sauces and it works!!

  1. Prepare the sauce: Mix the chili bean sauce and hoisin sauce and set aside.
sauce for mapo tofu
sauce for mapo tofu

2. Cut the tofu into 3/4 in cubes and let it drain for few minutes. Make sure the tofu is well drained because this recipe does not use cornstarch to thicken the sauce and so we don’t want too much extra liquid coming from the tofu.

tofu for mapo tofu
tofu cut up and drained

3. Get a deep frying pan, a wok or a paella pan. Heat 1 T oil on medium high heat, cook the garlic and ginger until slightly browned.

garlic and ginger
garlic and ginger

4. Add the ground pork to the cooked garlic and ginger. Stir-fry pork while breaking up lumps and cooking until it is no longer pink.

cooking pork for mapo tofu
cooking ground pork

5.Add the cut onions, bell peppers and cook for few minutes more until onions are translucent and the peppers are soft.

onions and bell pepper added
onions and bell pepper added

6.  Stir the chili bean sauce mixture to the pan, mix all of the ingredients together and bring to a simmer.

7. Add the cut up tofu into the pan and stir.  Do not stir too much because tofu will break or get mushed into pieces. Sprinkle black pepper to taste.

simmering mapo tofu
simmering mapo tofu

8. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and sprinkle sesame oil and chopped green onions on top. Serve with cooked white rice.

Here’s a picture of our Korean Chinese night at my sister’s house!

Mapo Tofu, Pork and Chive stir fry, Seafood Medley
Mapo Tofu, Pork and Chive stir fry, Seafood Medley

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