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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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    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 4 years ago

      Thanks, claudyobcn.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Wow, I am impressed, Galaxy, that you can cook Chinese food. :)

    • GALAXY 59 profile image

      Galaxy Harvey 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I made this dish last night when my in-laws came round for dinner, they loved it! They are two of the most commited meat eaters on the planet and they didn't even notice this was meat free until I told them after they had cleared their plates.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Thanks, Galaxy59.

    • GALAXY 59 profile image

      Galaxy Harvey 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Sounds delicious, I can't wait to try this recipe. I love Tofu and this seems to be another great way to serve it.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Thanks, sanjeeta.

    • sanjeeta kk profile image

      sanjeeta kk 7 years ago from India

      Great Tofu dish. Good way to include tofu in diet for better health.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Ya, the Vegetarian T-shirt is extra-ordinary, isn't it.

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 7 years ago from Texas

      Sounds tasty. I like you Vegetarian T-shirt ad from Amazon.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Thanks, glassvisage. Glad you like it. :)

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

      This looks (and sounds!) fantastic! It looked like a Chinese dish, and I'm glad that it has tofu because I love tofu and I am a vegetarian as well! Great recipes!

    • izaniee80 profile image

      izaniee80 7 years ago from Malaysia

      Looked very delicious, I will try making it. Thanks for sharing

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Thank you, GeneralHowitzer and Quyen Duong.

    • profile image

      Quyen Duong 7 years ago

      Thanks so much for your sharing.

    • GeneralHowitzer profile image

      Gener Geminiano 8 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      A yummy treat indeed, hmmm the picture is indeed gastronomic!