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  • Writer's pictureEmily Yeo

Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

I never used to love spicy food, but I’ve always, always loved tofu. As a kid, it would be on the menu two, sometimes even three times a week. Partially because we all loved it, but mostly it was because my brother was a tofu addict. Today, I’m sharing my vegan maps tofu recipe below. Disclaimer: this is in no way an authentic recipe for mapo tofu. This dish is inspired by few vegan versions of mapo tofu that I have tried in restaurants.



Mapo Tofu is a popular Chinese dish from Sichuan Province, where spicy food is king and the signature spice of the region––the Sichuan Peppercorn––gives dishes a unique “numbing” effect. It’s almost like the Sichuan peppercorns are there to not only add their fragrance and flavor, but also to numb your tongue so it can take more heat! In Chinese, “麻” means “numb” and “辣” means “spicy.” The combination of Sichuan peppercorns and chili flakes provide the distinctive mala spice. This combination creates the málà (麻辣) balance of spicy and tongue-tingling that’s the signature flavor profile of Sichuan province.



Tender tofu cooked in an aromatic and spicy sauce, accompanied by minced ‘meat’, mapo tofu is one of the most popular ways to prepare tofu in China. The tofu is cooked in a spicy and oily, chili- and nut-based sauce, which lends beautiful bright red color to the dish. Not only is this vegan version healthier and lower in saturated fat, it’s also more pleasurable on a textural level. The cooking process is quite similar to that of the original mapo tofu, but it’s healthier and still yields a super delicious result.


IF YOU EVER GIVE THIS RECIPE A TRY, DO LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND/OR TAG @FRUITYEMZ AND HASHTAG #FRUITYEMZ ON YOUR INSTAGRAM POST! I WOULD LOVE TO SEE ALL YOUR YUMMY CREATIONS 🙂

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