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Mapo Tofu Dip

Mapo Tofu Dip

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Cuisine: Chinese/American


This mapo tofummus is better than the real deal. Creamy tofu, covered with a mapo-like sauce is definitely craveworthy. Though this takes a few steps to put together it disappears very fast! Love Sichuan food? This is for you!


Units Scale

Garlic Confit:

2 .5 heads of garlic, peeled

4 bay leaves

1/2 c canola oil

1 T fish sauce

1/4 t ground white pepper

Mapo Sauce:

3 oz ground pork or beef

1 t plus 1 T toasted sesame oil

1/2 t cornstarch

3 T canola oil

1 T Sichuan broad bean chile paste/doubanjiang

1 t ground dried mushrooms

1/2 t finely minced fermented black beans or 1 t of dark miso

1/2 to 3/4 t chile flakes (Korean)

2 grated garlic cloves

2 t grated ginger

1 t ground Suchuan peppercorns

1/8 t ground cumin

2 T Shaoxing wine or sherry

1/4 c chicken stock

1 1/2 t apricot jam

1/4 t ground white pepper

5 drops rice vinegar


1 lb firm tofu

2 T garlic confit sauce

1 1/2 t toasted sesame oil

1/3 t fine sea salt

For serving:

Chile oil

Diced scallions



Garlic Confit:

Smash 35 cloves (about 2 1/2 heads) of garlic with a knife and remove the skins. Set inside a non-stick pot along with 4 fresh bay leaves, 1/2 cup (120 ml) of canola oil, 1 tbsp fish sauce and 1/4 tsp ground white pepper.

Cook over medium-low~low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is evenly golden browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and transfer the rest into a blender (or you can do this with hand-held immersion blender), and blend until the mixture is smooth. Keep in an air-tight jar inside the fridge for up to 2 week. Stir before use.

Mapo Sauce:

In a small bowl mix the ground meat with 1 t of sesame oil and cornstarch until smooth.

In a small saucepan heat the canola oil and the remaining 1 T sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook until evenly browned. (TIP: I use a pie crust dough blender to crumble the meat finely while cooking.) Add the broad bean chili paste, mushroom powder, fermented black beans or dark miso, and chile flakes and cook stirring often for 1 -2  minutes, or until the chile flakes have turned dark maroon in color.

Add the garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine, scraping the sticky bits that are sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan and cook until the wine has evaporated. Add the stock, jam, white pepper and vinegar. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half and is slightly thickened. The sauce can be made a couple days ahead and reheated before serving.

Pat the tofu dry with a paper towel and cut into big chunks. Add to the food processor and run it for 1 -2 minutes until the tofu is smooth and pureed. (It will look like smooth humus.) Add the garlic confit sauce, sesame oil and salt and run again until incoporated. Though it still will not have much flavor, it will when it is served with the mapo sauce. This can also be made ahead and brought to room temperature before serving.

Serve the tofu covered with warm mapo sauce, diced scallions and some more ground Sichuan peppercorns. I also added an extra dose of chile oil! Don’t forget the naan or your favorite dippers!


Thanks Mandy Lee.