Mapo Doufu (Sichuan Tofu Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce)

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“This recipe is from a restaurant in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu, drained cut into 1 inch cubes
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 12 cup sichuan red chili oil (hong you)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 inches piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6 ounces ground beef or 6 ounces ground pork
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced plus more for garnish
  • 1 red Thai chile, stemmed and minced
  • 2 12 tablespoons chinese red chile bean paste (douban jiang)
  • 1 tablespoon chinese fermented black soybeans (dou chi)
  • 1 14 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 14 cup cornstarch, mixed with 6 tbsp water
  • 14 teaspoon ground sichuan pepper, for garnish
  • steamed rice, for serving


  1. Place tofu in a bowl with 3 cups boiling salted water. Let sit 15 minutes. Drain and spread on paper towels to dry; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a 14 inch flat-bottomed wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add beef; cook, stirring and breaking up meat, until browned, 4–6 minutes.
  4. Add chives, chiles, paste, and beans. Cook, stirring, until scallions are wilted, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add stock and tofu. Bring to a boil, stirring gently, so as not to break up the tofu.
  6. Add sugar and soy. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. While stirring, slowly add cornstarch mixture. Cook until sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes more.
  7. Transfer to a dish and garnish with scallions and pepper. Serve with rice.

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