Easy Mapo Tofu

 Mapo tofu with nam prik sauce


A classic Chinese dish, mapo tofu became a staple in our household. Whenever I have to puzzle over what to make for dinner or if I was too tired to even think about what's for dinner, this dish inevitably makes an appearance on the table with freshly made jasmine rice.

While this recipe is not a true replica of restaurant-style mapo tofu, it is bursting with flavors that will make you want more. At the same time, this dish is warming and soothing, a comfort food that I would want on a rainy day.


WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE DIFFERENT?  For one, this recipe does not include sichuan peppercorn because I personally am not a big fan of its numbing effect. In its place, Nam Prik Chili Sauce stars as the spice king, giving this recipe a nice warm heat. I have also added Chinese pickled mustard strips, which gives the dish an added texture and depth of flavor. The mustard strips can be bought at your local Chinese supermarket.


mapo tofu, green onions, and nam prik sauce




  • 1 lb ground meat of your choice
  • 2 packets Chinese pickled mustard strips
  • 1 block tofu (medium firmness), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Nam Prik Chili Sauce
  • Chopped green onions for garnish
mapo tofu in white bowl



  1. Heat cooking oil over medium-high heat in large skillet or frying pan.
  2. Cook garlic until golden and aromatic.
  3. Add ground meat and cook until brown.
  4. Add pickled mustard strips, ginger, soy sauce, and Nam Prik Chili Sauce. Cook for one minute more.
  5. Add tofu and stir everything together.
  6. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Garnish with green onions and serve over steamed rice. Enjoy!