Iron Chef Chinese - Chef Chen's Mapo Tofu

Recipe by Rinshinomori
READY IN: 25mins


  • 15 -16
    ounces tofu, regular
  • 12
    teaspoon salt
  • water, for parboiling tofu
  • 3
    ounces ground pork
  • 12
    cup green garlic chives, chopped in 1/2 inches (nira)
  • 2
    tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1
    tablespoon chinese chili bean sauce (toubanjan or doubanjiang)
  • 1
    tablespoon chinese brown bean sauce (tenmienjan, tenmenjan, or tenmenjiang)
  • 2
    teaspoons fermented black beans, chopped finely
  • 14 - 12
    teaspoon ichimi togarashi pepper or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon japanese dried red chili pepper, minced
  • 1
    teaspoon chili oil
  • 34
    cup chicken stock
  • 1
    tablespoon sake or 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1
    teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1
    teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1
    tablespoon szechuan peppercorn (optional)
  • Cornstarch paste
  • 1
    tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1
    tablespoon water


  • Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Heat enough water in a large saucepan, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and tofu pieces. Bring to boil and cook tofu on medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes and remove from heat. Precooking tofu in water prevents tofu from breaking apart easily later. Set aside.
  • While tofu is cooking, make cornstarch paste by mixing 1 T cornstarch and 1 T water. Set aside.
  • Set wok on high heat for 1 minute until hot. Add 2 T vegetable oil and swirl the pan, then add ground pork, stirring to separate.
  • When ground pork is browned, add Chinese brown bean sauce ie tenmenjan, tenmienjan, or tenmenjiang, Chinese chili bean sauce ie toubanjan or doubanjiang, fermented black beans, and ichimi tougarashi or minced dried red chili pepper. Continue to cook for 1 minute.
  • Add chili oil, drained tofu pieces, chicken stock, garlic chives, soy sauce, and sake. Stir fry gently for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add cornstarch paste to thicken and add sesame oil. Swirl gently and cook for another 3-4 minutes on medium high heat. Sprinkle Szechuan peppercorn on top.
  • Serve with steamed white rice.