Vegan Mapo Tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu, a beloved Sichuan dish, has captured the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts worldwide. Its fiery spices, silky tofu, and rich umami flavor make it a staple in Chinese cuisine.

Table of Contents

The History of Mapo Tofu

To truly appreciate Mapo Tofu, we must first understand its origins. Legend has it that Mapo Tofu was created by a woman named Mrs. Chen, who ran a small restaurant in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, during the Qing Dynasty. The name “Mapo” translates to “pockmarked old woman,” which refers to Mrs. Chen’s facial scars. Despite her appearance, Mrs. Chen was known for her incredible culinary skills, and her Mapo Tofu quickly gained popularity among locals and travelers alike.

The dish’s signature flavors come from Sichuan peppercorns, fermented black beans, chili peppers, and doubanjiang (fermented broad bean paste). These ingredients create a symphony of flavors that is both spicy and numbing, thanks to the unique tingling sensation of Sichuan peppercorns. Traditionally made with ground pork, Mapo Tofu has evolved over the years to accommodate various dietary preferences, including vegetarian and vegan diets..

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Here’s why our Vegan Mapo Tofu will become your new favorite:

  • Authentic flavors: Despite being vegan, this dish stays true to the bold and spicy flavors of traditional Mapo Tofu, offering a deliciously authentic experience.
  • Plant-powered protein: Tofu serves as the star ingredient, providing a healthy dose of plant-based protein that will keep you feeling satisfied and energized.
  • Easy to make: With simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, this recipe is perfect for both beginner cooks and seasoned chefs alike.

What Is In Vegan Mapo Tofu Recipe?

Our Vegan Mapo Tofu features the following key ingredients:

  • Tofu: A versatile and protein-rich staple in Chinese cuisine, tofu serves as the base of this dish, providing a satisfying texture and absorbing the flavors of the sauce.
  • Sichuan peppercorns: Known for their unique numbing and spicy flavor, Sichuan peppercorns add depth and complexity to the dish.
  • Chili bean paste: A staple in Sichuan cooking, chili bean paste adds heat and umami richness to the sauce, giving it that signature Mapo Tofu flavor.
  • Mushrooms: Finely chopped mushrooms add meaty texture and earthy flavor to the dish, making it even more satisfying and hearty.

Key Ingredients

  • Tofu: The backbone of this dish, tofu provides a creamy texture that balances out the spiciness of the sauce. Opt for soft or silken tofu for the best results.
  • Mushrooms: We’re using mushrooms to mimic the meaty texture and umami flavor of traditional Mapo Tofu. Shiitake mushrooms work particularly well, but feel free to use any variety you prefer.
  • Sichuan Peppercorns: These tiny peppercorns pack a punch! They add a unique numbing sensation to the dish that is quintessentially Sichuan. They play a key role in Mapo Tofu, adding depth and complexity to the dish.
  • Doubanjiang: Also known as chili bean paste, doubanjiang adds depth and complexity to the sauce. Look for a vegan-friendly version at your local Asian grocery store.
  • Fermented Black Beans: These salty and pungent beans provide an additional layer of flavor to the dish. They’re a key ingredient in traditional Mapo Tofu and shouldn’t be skipped.
  • Chili Peppers: For that fiery kick, we’re adding dried red chili peppers to the sauce. Adjust the amount according to your spice tolerance.
  • Garlic and Ginger: These aromatics form the base of the sauce and infuse it with their fragrant flavors.

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Boil the cubes of medium firm Tofu for about 60 seconds to allow the Tofu to firm up.
Tofu Boiling

  1. In a wok over medium heat, add the oil and allow it to heat up.
  1. Once the oil is hot, add the finely diced Shiitake Mushrooms and sauté until they are slightly golden.
Shiitake Mushrooms in Wok
  1. Then add the Garlic and Ginger, and sauté for 30-60 seconds.
Garlic and Ginger in Wok

  1. Then add the 3/4 of the finely ground Sichuan Peppercorns, this will infuse the oil.
Sichuan Peppercorn Powder into Wok

  1. Now add the Toban Djan and the Black Bean paste, and sauté until 30-60 seconds or until the paste completely mixed into the oil.
Black Bean Paste and Toban Djan in wok

  1. Then add 3/4 cup of Water, and bring to a boil.
  2. Then add the Cornstarch slurry and stir until the sauce thickens.
Corn Starch Slurry

  1. Now gently add the Tofu and stir it with the sauce careful not to break the Tofu.
Add Tofu to Wok
  1. Once the Tofu is coated, take it off the heat.
  2. Garnish with Scallions or Green Onions and a drizzle of chili oil.
Mapo Tofu

  1. Enjoy with the rice of your choice!!
Mapo Tofu Bowl Of Rice

Have It Your Way!

  • Add extra vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli for added color and nutrients.
  • Adjust the level of spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of chili bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns.
  • Swap out the mushrooms for your favorite vegetables or protein sources, such as diced eggplant or tempeh.

Nutritional Facts

One serving of our Vegan Mapo Tofu provides a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Tofu is rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium, while mushrooms offer antioxidants and immune-boosting properties. Plus, the spicy sauce adds a metabolism-boosting kick to your meal.

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Mapo Tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Berry Berry Life
Mapo Tofu, a beloved Sichuan dish, has captured the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts worldwide. Its fiery spices, silky tofu, and rich umami flavor make it a staple in Chinese cuisine.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 260 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Boil the cubes of medium firm Tofu for about 60 seconds to allow the Tofu to firm up.
  • In a wok over medium heat, add the oil and allow it to heat up.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the finely diced Shiitake Mushrooms and saute until they are slightly golden.
  • Then add the Garlic and Ginger, and saute for 30-60 seconds.
  • Then add the 3/4 of the finely ground Sichuan Peppercorns, this will infuse the oil.
  • Now add the Toban Djan and the Black Bean paste, and saute until 30-60 seconds or until the paste completely mixed into the oil.
  • Then add 3/4 cup of Water, and bring to a boil.
  • Then add the Cornstarch slurry and stir until the sauce thickens.
  • Now gently add the Tofu and stir it with the sauce careful not to break the Tofu.
  • Once the Tofu is coated, take it off the heat.
  • Garnish with Scallions or Green Onions and a drizzle of chili oil.
  • Enjoy!!

Notes

  1. Toasting the Sichuan Peppercorn over a low heat until fragrant before grinding them brings out the essential oils.
  2. Boiling the Tofu helps the Tofu have a silken texture, and firms it up to prevent crumbling in the wok.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 260kcal
Keyword Mapo, Sichuan, Spicy, Tofu, Vegan
Tried This Recipe?Mention us @Berry_Berry_Life or #berryberrylife


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