Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ma Po Tofu

When I was a vegetarian I lived on tofu, but back then I wasn't into cooking a whole lot so I always just had different tofu and veggie stir fry dishes. I tried Ma Po Tofu at PF Changs several years ago but never thought about recreating it myself. Well now that I absolutely love to cook and experiment I decided to try it.

I looked at a few recipes online, including
this one, and also got a recipe from Joelen on thenest.com (she has recipes for everything - she's amazing so check out her blog). Below is what I did:


  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes (pressing tofu between towels for 30 minutes releases all of the extra water and allows it to soak up more flavors when cooking)
  • 10 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp chili sauce/chili paste (I used Hunan Chili Sauce)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Rice


  • Heat olive oil in a pan; add onions and garlic, saute for a few minutes
  • Add tofu and half of the chili sauce; cook for 4-5 minutes
  • Add 2/3 of the chicken broth, the rest of the chili sauce, and the soy sauce; let simmer for 5 minutes
  • Mix the remaining chicken broth with the cornstarch; add slowly to the pan to thicken your sauce
  • Serve over rice

WOW - this was good! So simple, too. It had a good amount of heat and a ton of flavor. I will definitely make this one again. I also think I'll be able to make it with shrimp for Jon.

I'd recommend this to anyone who has never had tofu but would love to try it, or to anyone looking for something new and easy to do with tofu! Enjoy.

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  1. this is one of my favorite chinese dishes! i think it's a great way for someone to try tofu who isn't sure if they like it or not b/c it has great flavor and texture. funny you posted this b/c kevin from "closet cooking" just recently posted this dish too! you should check out his recipe...

  2. We were recently in China and tasted this dish at the very restaurant where it supposedly originated in Sichuan province. We really did not care for it at all (although we found plenty of other things there that we went bananas over, Sichuan being the place for really good food in China!) Oddly enough, it was so heavily spiced that it numbed the inside of the mouth. This recipe looks very tasty, without the deadening spice, and we might have to give it a whirl!

  3. I made this last night and loved it! It was my first time cooking AND eating tofu! I just ate the rest of my leftovers for lunch and was surprised that I liked it better for lunch today than I did for dinner lastnight! Thanks for the recipe!