Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes

Vegan Mapo Tofu - 麻婆豆腐

When it comes to Sichuan tofu dish, the first that came to mind is Mapo Tofu. This vegan version is made with medium-firm tofu that is simmered in a flavorful sauce until the tofu absorbs all the umami savoriness.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: 30-minute, tofu
Servings: 6
Author: woonheng


  • ½ tablespoons Sichuan peppercorn
  • 28 oz medium-firm tofu drained
  • 3 oz mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons white part of the green onions or leek or yellow chives
  • 2 tablespoons spicy bean paste see notes
  • ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons Shao Xing wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • teaspoon mushrooms powder
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch + 3 tablespoons water
  • chopped green onions
  • salt to taste
  • oil for cooking


  • To prepare the Sichuan peppercorn, heat a non-stick pan over low heat.
  • Toast the peppercorns until fragrant. When you hear a popping sound or see some peppercorns jumping in the pan, they are ready.
  • Turn off the heat immediately and let it cool down.
  • Transfer to a spice blender or mortar. Grind or pound into ground pepper, then set it aside until later.
  • Next, cut the tofu into cubes and place them on a plate.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil and season with ½ teaspoon of salt.
  • Carefully slide the tofu into the boiling water. Be sure you have enough water to cover all the tofu's surface.
  • Cook the tofu for about 4-5 minutes or until they look plump. Using a sieve, drain out the water and transfer tofu to a plate.
  • Now, heat a large wok and add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  • Sauté mushrooms until they turn slightly brown and fragrant. Push the mushrooms to the side of the pan.
  • Sauté ginger, garlic, and the white part of the green onion until aromatic, add more oil if needed.
  • Add the spicy bean paste, chili powder, and vegetable stock.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then season with Shao Xing wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and mushrooms powder (if using).
  • Stir the mixture until the sugar has melted.
  • Carefully slide the tofu into the broth, making sure that all tofu is immersed. Bring the heat back to a boil.
  • Then, lower the heat to medium-low while maintaining a low boil. Cook the tofu until the broth has reduced to half. Stir occasionally and taste. Season accordingly.
  • Add the chopped green onions and stir the cornstarch slurry* until you get your desired thickness.
  • Finally, add the ground peppercorn* and a drizzle of chili oil before serving.
  • Serve warm with a bowl of rice. Enjoy.



  • The spicy bean paste that I used had a little sugar in it. If yours is without, please adjust the sweetness level accordingly. 
  • *Slowly add in the ground peppercorn and adjust the numbing flavor accordingly. 
  • Add the cornstarch in 3 portions. The first portion is to allow the tofu to absorb the sauce, the second is to thicken the sauce, and finally is to create a glossy look of the final product.