Tofu, chili, perfection.

I’ve been eating this dish from Chinese restaurants for years, but I just recently found out, it’s is suppose to be very spicy. Well, as you know if you follow my recipes, I love spicy food, especially really spicy food, but I’ve never had really spicy Ma Po Tofu. Not surprisingly, I decided to make some! Found a bunch of recipes, several common threads, so I followed those, then changed things around to my own tastes. Ended up being easy to make, and far better than most any version I’ve had in a restaurant.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 8 oz Lean Ground Pork
  • 2 Tbsp of oil (to brown the pork)
  • 1 Package Tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes. I used firm, but all the recipes call for medium/soft
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Bean Paste (Broad bean is best, black bean also worked well)
  • Hot Chili paste to taste (I used 3 Tbsp of Chili paste in oil)
  • Additional ground chili to taste. I used 1 tsp ground chinese hot chili powder, and 2 Tbsp of chili flakes
  • Also, you can use whole red peppers as well
  • 1 tsp Szechuan Peppercorns, ground
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or sherry
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 green onions, chopped, reserve some of the green parts for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 3 Tbsp water


  • Put 2 Tbsp of oil in a wok on medium high heat
  • Add ground pork, cook until lightly browned
  • Add garlic, ginger, and white parts of the green onions, stir until fragrant
  • Add 1 Tbsp rice wine, soy, 1 tsp szechuan pepper and sugar, cook for a minute
  • Add all the chili, stir for 15-30 seconds
  • Add 1 cup chicken stock, bring to a simmer
  • Add 1 Tbsp of the cornstarch mixture, stir until the mixture thickens a bit
  • Add 1 Tbsp of the remaining cornstarch mixture, stir in
  • Add the tofu, gently stir in, cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add the last of the cornstarch, very gently mix in, don’t break up the tofu
  • Cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring gently
  • Garnish with chopped green onions, and serve with rice