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Scrumptious Vegetarian Mapo Tofu Recipe – easy, healthy, and literally oil-free!

Updated on December 5, 2012

Mapo Tofu, a popular Chinese dish originally from Szechuan province in China, is basically tofu stir-fry with dried mushrooms and meat in spicy chilli and broad bean paste. The authentic Mapo tofu is powerfully spicy with the characteristic of numbing spiciness flavour of Sichuan cuisine. The authentic version of this dish can be easily found in Sichuanese restaurants. In other Chinese restaurants, the spiciness of this dish has been toned down to suit the local taste.

Here is my version of scrumptious Mapo tofu recipe which is meat-free and literally oil-free! It is so tasty that my family has graded it as one of my signature dishes. My boy will scoop the soup and pour it all over the rice on his plate and finish his meal in a short time with satisfaction, and asking for more next time.

Vegetarian Mapo Tofu Soup
Vegetarian Mapo Tofu Soup | Source

Sizzling scrumptious Mapo tofu does not need to be complicated. Here, I have modified the recipe such that it is entirely meatless where the meat is replaced with soy cubes. The recipe is a quick and easy modification from the classic Chinese version - ready in about half an hour time.

With minimal use of oil and meat-less, this recipe is great for vegetarians and people with restricted diet.


10 pc soy cube, minced
2 pieces soft taufu, cubed

1 tsp of salt

1 tbsp of broad bean paste (optional)

Chilli paste (grinded and stir fried):

4 dried chilli

2 lemon grass

3 slices of fresh root ginger

2 cloves of garlic, crushed


2 cups of water

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tbsp of light soya sauce

1 tsp of dark soya sauce

Thickening (combined):

2 tsp cornflour

1 tbsp water


Chopped spring onions


1. Boil 2 cups of water in a pot.

(Add another cup of water if you want it more soupy)

2. Stir in mushroom, soy cubes and add in sauce ingredients.

3. Add chilli paste (and broad bean paste as option). Simmer for five to six minutes with low fire.

4. Add tofu and continue to cook until mixture turns bubbly.

5. Thicken with corn flour mixture. Add salt.

6. Taste the gravy. If it is too spicy, add some sugar to tone down the spiciness.

7. Dish up and serve with garnishing.

And voila - the freshly made, nutritious and healthy dish is ready!
The best thing about this dish is that it is very thick, chunky and tasty, therefore excellent to serve it with rice.

Note: You can grind and stir-fry the chilli paste ingredients in bulk, and keep it in the refrigerators for months. This chilli paste is also excellent for cooking chicken curry, chilli prawn, and chilli chicken among others.


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