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Vegetarian Mapo Tofu Recipe

Try These Vegetarian Mapo Tofu Recipes, They are Insanely Yummy

Mapo tofu is a popular Chinese dish, which has its roots from the Sichuan province. Given in this article are mouth-watering recipes for the same.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Mar 5, 2018
Chinese cuisine is well-known for its spiciness and strong flavors. Mapo tofu is a dish that originates from the Sichuan province of China. Its original version is made of minced pork or beef. But there is a simpler version of the dish for vegetarians as well, in which the meat is replaced by mushrooms or soy cubes. The vegetarian Mapo tofu recipe given here is one of the standard recipes. However, a lot of permutations and combinations can be done to make it as close as possible to its non-veg version.

Recipe #1

Ingredients
  • Fermented black beans, 3 tbsp.
  • Green peas, ½ cup
  • 2 blocks of soft tofu, diced into ½ inch cubes
  • Vegetable broth, 1½ cup
  • Olive oil, 1 tbsp.
  • Cornstarch, 2 tsp. mixed with 1½ tbsp. water
  • Minced garlic, 1½ tbsp.
  • Grated ginger, 1 tbsp.
  • Chili bean paste, 2 tbsp.
  • Light soy sauce, 2 tbsp.
  • Salt, ¼ tsp.
  • Ground Sichuan pepper corns, 1 tsp.
  • Finely chopped green onions, ¼ cup
Procedure

Boil water in a saucepan and put the tofu cubes in it for a minute. Remove the cubes and keep them aside. Heat olive oil in a non-stick wok. Add black beans to the oil and let them fry for a minute. Then add the ginger, garlic, and chili bean paste. Also add half of the green onions and sprinkle the salt. Stir fry this mixture for 2 minutes. Next, add the tofu and soy sauce. Stir it gently so that the tofu doesn't get crushed. Then mix the vegetable broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Thereafter add the green peas and cook for a minute. Lastly add the cornstarch/water mixture to thicken the sauce. The consistency of the sauce should be slightly more runny than tomato ketchup. Cook on low flame till you achieve the right consistency. Once done, take off the gas and garnish with Sichuan peppercorns and the remaining chopped green onions. Serve hot.

Recipe #2

The vegetarian Mapo tofu recipe has another popular variant in which mushrooms are included. The ingredients in it are the same as above, with a few additions.

Ingredients
  • Dried Chinese black mushrooms, 6
  • 2 blocks tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Water, 8 cups
  • Canned vegetables, 2 tbsp.
  • Cold water, 5 tbsp.
  • Seasoned vegetable broth, 2 tbsp.
  • Chili oil, 2 tbsp.
  • Brown bean sauce, 1 tbsp.
  • Cornstarch, 1½ tsp.
  • Soy sauce, 1 tsp.
  • Oriental sesame oil, ½ tsp.
  • Sugar, ½ tsp.
  • White pepper, ground, ½ tsp.
  • Vegetable oil, 2 tbsp.
  • Finely chopped green onions, ¼ cup
  • Minced garlic, 1½ tbsp.
  • Chopped ginger, 2 tsp.
  • Peas, ¾ cup
  • Sichuan peppercorn powder, ½ tsp.
Procedure

Place the mushrooms in hot water for an hour; then drain the water. Wash the mushrooms and cut off their stem. Then dice the mushrooms and keep aside. Boil the water in a bowl. Place the tofu in a sieve smaller than the bowl and put it in the bowl. Soak the tofu for 30 minutes. Then drain away the water. In a smaller bowl, mix 5 tablespoons of water with the seasoned vegetable broth, chili oil, brown bean sauce, cornstarch, soy sauce, oriental sesame oil, sugar, and white pepper powder. Keep it aside too. Heat vegetable oil in a wok. Add the green onions, ginger and garlic. Sauté lightly. Then add the mushrooms, canned vegetables, and peas; stir fry for a minute. After frying, add the broth mixture from the smaller bowl. Cook till the sauce boils and then add tofu. Mix gently and cook for 2½ minutes. Lastly, sprinkle the Sichuan pepper powder. Garnish with finely chopped green onions, and serve hot.

Mapo tofu recipes can be modified in many ways. A variety of vegetables can be added, such as bell peppers, carrots, green beans etc. Some chefs add soy cubes too, to give it a taste similar to the non-veg variant. Ready-made Mapo tofu mix (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) is also available in the markets. So, if you like Mapo tofu, but the recipe seems a bit complicated to you, then try out the ready-to-use mixtures.