How to Cook Ma Po Tofu 麻婆豆腐

by Xinny G

Ma Po tofu is an authentic dish in Sichuan cuisine. It is my favorite way to cook silken tofu. If you like spicy food, you will definitely enjoy the aroma and flavor of Ma Po tofu.


  • 1 Box of Silken tofu
  • ⅓ Pounds Ground beef
  • 2 Scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Glove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Spicy bean paste (Sichuan preferred)
  • ½ Tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Sichuan pepper (optional)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Spicy bean paste is essential for Ma Po tofu. I use spicy bean paste from Sichuan to get the authentic spicy flavor (郫县豆瓣酱). The numbing effect of Sichuan peppercorn (花椒) is called "Ma" 麻。

    Step 2


    Step 3

    Open the tofu package. Use a knife to divide the tofu into small cubes within the box. No mess!

    Step 4

    In a small pot, heat cooking oil. Add ginger, scallion and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds.

    Step 5

    Add spicy bean paste and Sichuan peppercorn (optional), cook on high heat for 30 seconds.

    Step 6

    Brown the grounded beef (ignore the picture, the beef is supposed to be mixed with the spicy bean paste at this point.)

    Step 7

    Add tofu and soy sauce in the pot. Cook on high heat until boil and simmer for 15 mins.

    Step 8

    Garnish with fresh scallion. Yummy! Perfect with white rice or noodles.