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Cultured Guru is an Educational Health & Wellness Brand and a Fermentation Company.

Created and Operated by Microbiologist Kaitlynn Fenley and Photographer Jon Scott Chachere II.

Mapo Tofu with Kimchi | Vegan Tofu Recipe with Kimchi

Mapo Tofu with Kimchi | Vegan Tofu Recipe with Kimchi

Ma Po tofu is traditionally a dish from the Chinese province of Sichuan containing chili oils, fermented broad bean paste, a type of chili paste, fermented black beans and ground pork. There are many variations of Mapo Tofu with flavors adapted to suit local flare or dietary restrictions. We left out the pork making our recipe vegan, used what ingredients we could find, and added Cultured Guru Kimchi for flavor and nutrients! 

Vegan Mapo Tofu Recipe with Kimchi

Just a bit about the ingredients we used: We got Lee Kum Kee brand of Black Bean Garlic Paste and Guilin Style Chili Sauce from the Asian market. These were the only things we could find, that closely resembled Mapo Tofu ingredients, without MSG, preservatives and artificial flavors. Try visiting your local Asian market for these ingredients, but if you cannot find them they’re available on Amazon. The black bean paste and chili sauce are both salty, and so is our Kimchi, so there is no need to add any salt to the recipe.

This recipe does involve cooking the kimchi, so the probiotics do not remain alive. Good news though, cooked kimchi still adds vitamins, nutrients, prebiotics, and lots of delicious flavor. You can always add a little more kimchi after the cooking process to up the probiotic content!

Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu with Kimchi

We love Mapo Tofu, and had quite the craving for this dish. Upon our trip to our local Asian market, we decided that it would be fun to make our own rendition of Mapo Tofu! We were inspired by elements of the traditional Chinese dish and used what we were able to find at our local Asian market. We were able to find what we needed and acceptable substitutes that are artificial ingredient free. After making it vegan, and adding our Kimchi, it is now our absolute favorite Mapo Tofu! It’s so easy to make too... we have to resist the urge to eat it for dinner every night.

You can serve Mapo Tofu with many different sides. We like to serve it with brown rice and steamed broccoli on the side, or with rice noodles, purple cabbage and kale. It would also be great paired with sauteed green beans or asparagus or mushrooms!

Mapo Tofu with Kimchi | Vegan Recipe with Kimchi

Vegan Mapo Tofu with Kimchi


  • ¼ Cup Cultured Guru Fermented Kimchi (with Brine Included)
  • 16 oz Extra-Firm Organic Sprouted Tofu
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fermented Black Bean and Garlic Paste 
  • 1 Teaspoon of Guilin Style Chili Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Stock
  • Chopped Green Onions (for garnish)



  1. Drain tofu and let it dry out on a paper towel for about 10 minutes. Slice tofu into cubes. Place on another paper towel and let it dry out for another 10 minutes.
  2. Begin heating the sesame oil and olive oil in a large skillet.
  3. When the oil is hot, add in the cubed tofu and brown to your liking on each side.
  4. While the tofu is browning...add the sauce ingredients: the black bean paste, chili sauce, maple syrup, vegetable stock, and kimchi to your blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Once the tofu is browned and a bit crispy add the sauce from your blender into the hot skillet.  
  6. Stir and simmer over medium heat until the sauce is reduced to your desired thickness. If you cook it too long and need to thin it out, add more vegetable stock.
  7. Build a bowl by adding brown rice or rice noodle, steamed or fresh vegetables, a little more Cultured Guru Kimchi for probiotics, and the Ma Po Tofu.
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