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Easy MaPo Tofu Recipe

Easy MaPo Tofu Recipe with Ground Pork | Cook Smarts

Enjoy the delicious Szechuan flavors of our exciting and easy-to-make Chinese New Year recipe!

According to the traditional Chinese calendar, today marks the first day of 2019’s Lunar New Year. To celebrate this new Year of the Pig, we decided to bring you a special Chinese recipe from Szechuan Province: MaPo Tofu. If you have never tried this dish before, you are in for a real treat!

MaPo Tofu is a popular meal that simmers tofu in a spicy sauce, usually with minced meat. While the traditional dish has classic “numbing” spiciness, we turn the heat down but keep all the mouthwatering flavors with aromatics, ground pork, and chili-garlic, soy, and Chinese black bean sauce. Served with a side of fluffy rice and wok-fried green beans, this Chinese new year meal is a must-try.

Our easy MaPo Tofu recipe takes about as long as ordering from your local take-out spot, so simply use our meal planning and prepping tips below and you can be on your way to a smart and delicious new year!

Meal Planning Smarts

  • Reduce Food Waste: The black bean sauce used in this dish really makes the meal stand out, but rather than letting the remainder of the jar sit in the fridge until you make MaPo Tofu again, you can use this condiment in your next dinner, too! Adding a scoop or two to noodles will bring a delicious umami flavor, so try stirring the sauce into simple Sesame Noodles, or add some to the sauce of this Dan Dan Noodle recipe. Plus, if you make Dan Dan noodles, you can double up on the ground pork that you buy for the MaPo Tofu and have two meals covered for the week!
  • Budget Option: For a budget-friendly MaPo Tofu option, you can easily omit the ground pork entirely for a vegetarian meal that is just as satisfying and like the real deal.

Prepping Smarts

  • Did you know that a spoon can help you grate ginger? It actually prevents peeling away too much of the ginger! Watch this 1-minute video and find out how to get the most flavor in your MaPo sauce by peeling and grating your ginger like a pro:

How to Peel, Grate and Chop Ginger

See how easily we peel ginger and then grate it or chop it.

  • While MaPo Tofu traditionally uses soft tofu, you can also use firm if that’s what you have on hand. Either way, our short video on how to prep tofu can help with making all your tofu dishes come out deliciously!

How to Prepare Tofu

Learn how to prep and cook tofu the right way with this short video.

Equipment Smarts

  • Having a nice rice cooker is the easiest way to make rice without having to keep your eye on any pots. Since this appliance is specifically made for cooking rice, you can simply set it and forget it.
  • If you don’t own a rice cooker, you can use a saucepan to make the rice that goes hand-in-hand with MaPo Tofu. This saucepan is also great for cooking pasta, vegetables, or beans, and even has straining holes in the lid to make draining liquid a breeze!
  • If you want to make great Asian cuisine, definitely add a wok to your collection of kitchen tools. It’s used for cooking both the MaPo Tofu and the green beans in this recipe, which keeps the number of dishes to clean a minimum. This cookware is not only great for stir-frying, but also for stewing, deep frying, searing, and steaming.

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