Vegan Mapo Tofu

by Kaitlynn Fenley
a bown of vegan mapo tofu

Mapo tofu is a spicy main dish originating from the Chinese province of Sichuan. We love authentic Chinese recipes, and this one is a must-try! Pair this vegan Mapo tofu with rice and sauteed vegetables for a healthy lunch or dinner.

a bowl full of our Vegan Mapo Tofu!

Mapo 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 wanted to leave out the pork to make our recipe vegan, and that led us to an amazing recipe by Lisa Lin, on her blog Healthy Nibbles. I love Chinese food and I want to make Chinese recipes for our blog with beautiful pictures, but I prefer just sharing and supporting Asian recipes written by various Asian food bloggers. So here, we tested out Lisa’s delicious mapo tofu recipe and I 10/10 recommend making it.


Here’s what you’ll need for this Mapo Tofu Recipe. I’ve indicated what I substituted based on what I was able to find at the Asian Super Market here in Baton Rouge.

  • 1 Pound silken or soft tofu (I subbed for sprouted firm tofu)
  • salt
  • tapioca starch
  • vegetable oil
  • doubanjiang (I subbed this ingredient for Miso)
  • black bean garlic sauce
  • minced garlic
  • ginger
  • Sichuan peppercorns
  • gochugaru (I subbed evenly for Gochujang red chili paste)
  • sugar
  • scallions
  • sesame oil

To read more about mapo tofu check out Fuchsia Dunlop’s post on The Guardian and head to the recipe now by visiting Healthy Nibbles Mapo Tofu recipe blog.

a hand using a spoon of get some pieces of tofu from our a large bowl of our Vegan Mapo Tofu.

Tips for Making Vegan Mapo Tofu

Simply put, I suggest following Lisa’s recipe directions exactly. Even with my substitutions, this recipe turned out flawless. I measured out all of my ingredients before I got started, and it helped a lot allowing me to just flow through the recipe.

What to Pair with Vegan Mapo Tofu

After photographing this beautiful entree, we paired this Mapo Tofu with chili garlic snow peas, jasmine rice, and a small side of fermented kimchi.

a bowl full of our Vegan Mapo Tofu!

The Recipe

CLICK HERE or tap the image below to make Lisa’s delicious Mapo tofu!

author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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