One of my favorite Chinese dishes to eat is vegan Mapo Tofu. I love the tongue-numbing features of the Szechuan peppercorns, the depth of chili flavors in the sauce, and the texture of the tofu that perfectly absorbs the sultry sauce. There are only a few restaurants I have been to that do a vegan Mapo Tofu excellently. I have been disappointed with most so I set out to make one of my favorite Chinese dishes from the Szechuan province. You can make this as mild or as spicy as you prefer! I hope you enjoy making my vegan Mapo Tofu recipe.
If you try one of my recipes, I would love if you could tag it on Instagram or FB @chivegfood!
Vegan Mapo Tofu Recipe
- 1 lb soft/firm tofu (silken is too runny)
- 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (diced)
- 1 tbsp ginger (minced)
- 2 sprigs green onion (garnish)
- 1 container sliced water chestnuts (optional)
- 4 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1-2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorn (1.5 is what I prefer - grind it up)
- 6 pieces dried mini red chili peppers
- 3 tbsp Chinese black bean sauce
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp corn starch (mixed with water to create a thick paste)
- 2.5 tbsp fermented black beans
- 2 tsp chili oil
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp white sugar
- Chop up your tofu into 1-inch squares. Soak the tofu in hot water for about 15 minutes and then drain it. You don't need to fry it but if you do, drizzle some tamari/soy sauce on it.
- Chop your vegetables and heat up half of the oil (2 tbsp) in the wok on medium heat.
- Add your chopped shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and garlic, then add the ground up peppercorn.
- Then add your corn starch- water mixture and simmer while the sauce thickens for about 2 minutes.
- Then add the sugar to take out any bitterness.
- Turn off the heat and drizzle with sesame oil, peppercorn sprinkled on top, and chili oil. Garnish with green onions and your mapo tofu is ready.
- It goes wonderfully with jasmine rice but you can also eat it with noodles.
- For more tongue-numbing, add more Szechuan peppercorn.
- The tofu in Mapo Tofu is traditionally fried separately, but I like to sauté mine separately to add a bit more flavor.
- You cane easily find these ingredients at an Asian Grocer like H-Mart or Amazon (see my storefront page).
Hungry for more? Check out my Asian Tofu Recipe : Perfect for a Tasty Stirfry!