Easy Sichuan Mapo Tofu / Spicy Tofu

by Yi on March 10, 2014 · 23 comments

{Recipe} Quick and Easy Sichuan Mapo Tofu or Spicy Tofu Made in 25 Minutes

Tofu has been a frequent ingredient on my dinner table this year as I am trying to cut down my meat intake. And let me tell you that turning a block of flavorless tofu into a tasty meal is not always an easy task.

As my quest for good tofu recipes goes on, my number one tofu dish is still the classic Sichuan Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐 – you know, that fiery and tongue-numbering tofu dish that’s almost synonymous the best Chinese tofu dish!

{Recipe} Quick and Easy Sichuan Mapo Tofu or Spicy Tofu Made in 25 Minutes

While cooking Mapo Tofu or a more generic Sichuan spicy tofu dish is pretty straightforward, one can never refuse an even quicker way of making tasty tofu dishes at home.

At least I couldn’t. That’s why when the generous distributor at Sino-American Quality Food (SAQF) came to me for a Sichuan seasoning sampling gig, I gladly signed up! And the next thing I knew, a box full of seasoning and sauces from ZHOU JUN JI (周君记) was waiting for me to try!

{Recipe} Quick and Easy Sichuan Mapo Tofu or Spicy Tofu Made in 25 Minutes

If you love hot pot, you might have already seen ZHOU JUN JI seasoning in action from this simple Sichuan hot pot recipe. The hot pot came out amazing and it took me only 30 minutes to prepare the broth.

With that said, let me share with you today how I can whip up a piping hot a Sichuan Spicy Tofu dish in no time with the help Spicy Mala Tofu Seasoning from ZHOU JUN JI!! This should be a good news to you busy professionals looking for quick and easy recipes!

Speaking of good news, one of the readers DB has kindly nominated this site as the best site for the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards! I’ll share a link on how to vote for your favorite food blog (hope that’s Yi Reservation) on March 31st when the poll opens :)

{Recipe} Quick and Easy Sichuan Mapo Tofu or Spicy Tofu Made in 25 Minutes

Each bag of Spicy Mala Tofu Seasoning includes three individually packaged seasoning. Each small package is good for 1lb (500g) of tofu.

{Recipe} Quick and Easy Sichuan Mapo Tofu or Spicy Tofu Made in 25 Minutes

There is a cooking instruction, in both English and Chinese, on the back of the bag.

{Recipe} Quick and Easy Sichuan Mapo Tofu or Spicy Tofu Made in 25 Minutes

In testing the tofu reasoning, I made myself a vegetarian Sichuan Spicy Tofu with shiitake mushroom in less than 25 minutes. If you can’t wait to see how I did it, just skip straight to the recipe. But read on if you also wonder how it tastes?

{Recipe} Quick and Easy Sichuan Mapo Tofu or Spicy Tofu Made in 25 Minutes

Let’s just keep it simple by saying that if you enjoy the mapo tofu from a good Sichuan restaurant, you’d love the taste of this tofu dish! It’s very aromatic and packed with tons of heat but not overly spicy at the same time.  Overall I would recommend this seasoning to anyone who wants to make authentic Sichuan spicy tofu at home!

One last thing, compared to my homemade mapo tofu, the seasoning uses less of the tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorn so if you need to turn this spicy tofu dish into mapo tofu just add additional Sichuan peppercorn powder!

{Recipe} Quick and Easy Sichuan Mapo Tofu or Spicy Tofu Made in 25 Minutes

Disclaimer: The review below represents the opinion of Yi Reservation based on personal use and results. I do not receive any monetary compensation other than the free sample.

Easy Mapo Tofu / Spicy Tofu

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Serving Size: 2 Servings

Make this easy Mapo Tofu or Spicy Tofu following this step-by-step recipe at yireservation.com.


  • 1 pkg soft tofu, about 1lb
  • 1 pkg spicy tofu seasoning
  • 1.5 cup stock or water
  • 3 cups Hot salt water for soaking tofu
  • 2 shiitake mushroom, reconstituted (optional)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch, dissolved in 2 tbsp of water
  • Chopped scallions for garnishing


  1. Cut the tofu into 1” x 1” cubes
  2. Soak the tofu in hot salt water for 5 minutes in order to reduce the pungent soy taste. Remove the tofu using a mesh drainer and set aside
  3. Mince the reconstituted shiitake mushroom
  4. In a frying pan or wok, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add a pack of tofu seasoning and minced shiitake and stir fry until aromatic. About 2 minutes
  5. Add 1.5 cups of stock or water. Bring to boil
  6. Add the tofu cubes to the sauce and bring to boil again. Let simmer for about 5 minutes in low heat. Gently use a specula to splash sauce over the tofu. Thicken the sauce with cornstarch. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve hot

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Judy October 10, 2014 at 9:49 am

Although I am always a bit wary of edible food products that have a shelf life of years, I am thinking the sodium content of the spicy mala seasoning will help preserve it. Wondering if there is a list of contents on those packets?


2 Yi November 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Hi Judy, sorry for getting back to you late. There is a list of ingredients on the package but I unfortunately didn’t take a picture of it. Yes i agree that the sodium will keep the seasoning from turning bad. Hope this helps a little bit.


3 nusrat2010 May 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Tofu cooked at its best form and look! Who wouldn’t fall for this spicy, warm, provocative dish? :)
Love that blue plate. And all your pictures.
Beautiful post.


4 mjskit April 9, 2014 at 9:44 pm

I love tofu, but my husband, not so much so I’m always looking for spicy, flavorful tofu dishes. This definitely looks like one. I love this dish! Thanks for sharing!


5 Min April 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I love tofu. In Austin we have just about every ethnic grocery store. I will have the spicy tofu seasoning packet as a staple at my house from now on. So good to know there is something like that available. My poor husband is German and grew up with meat and potatoes. He is pretty adventurous with food but he gets tired of me cooking Asian so I sometime cook 2 meals for dinner.


6 Yi April 2, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Yup these seasoning packages come really handy when you just want to whip out a delicious tofu dish under 20 minutes. I am glad to hear that you are a tofu fan!


7 Connie April 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm

I love tofu and this looks delicious. Unfortunately I cannot tolerate really spicy food. What other sauce packet can I use to get this same type of dish without the spice?


8 Shuhan March 30, 2014 at 3:41 am

I love tofu and I find it really sad that most Westerners don’t really get tofu, thinking it’s just a bland healthfood thing. Done right, it’s delicious! Love the flavours of mapo tofu– definitely NOT bland.


9 Daniela March 25, 2014 at 6:26 am

I love tofu cause of it’s health benefits and versatility.
The touch of spiciness added by the sauce sounds wonderful.
Congratulation for your nomination!


10 tigerfish March 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Interesting way to cook mapo tofu. The tofu must have soaked up the flavors of the seasoning really well.


11 Malorie March 19, 2014 at 2:58 am

Wonderful, what a weblog it is! This blog provides useful data to us,
keep it up.


12 Frank @Memorie di Angelina March 17, 2014 at 8:31 am

Very nice, Yi! Mapo tofu is one of my very favorite Chinese dishes. I usually steer clear of prepared seasonings, but this one gets your seal of approval, then I’m up for it.


13 Juliana March 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I too like the idea of using the ready made sauce, but have never used this one…looks really spicy…yum!
Have a great weekend Yi :D


14 Lokness @ The Missing Lokness March 14, 2014 at 7:29 pm

How easy is that! Looks good! Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend!


15 Bam's Kitchen March 12, 2014 at 8:33 am

I love love love mapo tofu and of course my boys love the spice. It is very interesting that you make it mushrooms. I usually start out with some ground pork. Will have to give your vegan version a try. Take Care, BAM


16 Angie@Angie's Recipes March 12, 2014 at 4:47 am

This is definitely my all time favourite Szechuan dish. So good with some steamed rice.


17 Nazneen @ Coffee and Crumpets March 11, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Hi Yi! I stumbled across your blog whilst searching for water spinach. I have a treasure chest of an Asian store by me but I cannot tell what anything is! But looking at your photos of the water spinach and the name, I think I’ve deciphered it! This site is a find! And I see an old pal Mr Riffs is here too :). I’ve been missing out :). I will surely hit up your site when I need help! Thanks so much. This tofu dish looks amazing too. Can’t wait to see more.



18 John@Kitchen Riffs March 11, 2014 at 7:17 pm

I love this dish! And this is such a great way to make it. Easy, tasty, spicy — just what I like. ;-) Thanks so much.


19 Daniela March 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

We eat Tofu dishes quite often, I love the versatility of Tofu.
This recipe looks mouthwatering with a gorgeous, spicy touch.


20 Cooking Jar and Happy Accidents March 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Tofu is so easily overlooked but I can understand why, if you don’t know how to bring out the best in it. This looks wonderful with plenty of sauce to go around.


21 Shannon | JustAsDelish March 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

I haven’t had mapo tofu is a long time, I too prefer the vegetarian version


22 Ivy Sew March 11, 2014 at 9:46 am

Hi Yi, my favorite spicy mapo tofu!!! I love having it with plain congee as I like to mix the gravy with the congee. Guess what? I can have 2 big bowls of congee just with this spicy mapo tofu dish alone! Thanks for sharing your easy peasy yet delectable recipes. You have a great week ahead and regards :)


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