Vegetarian Mapo Tofu with Peas

[Photograph: Lauren Rothman]

Note: The ingredients in the recipe will require a trip to an Asian supermarket. Look for medium or firm silken tofu, as anything softer will fall apart.

About the author: Lauren Rothman is a former Serious Eats intern, a freelance catering chef, and an obsessive chronicler of all things culinary. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and follow her on Twitter @Lochina186.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Vegetarian Mapo Tofu with Peas

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4-6
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:15 minutes
Special equipment:Wok, spice grinder or mortar and pestle
This recipe appears in: Ask The Food Lab: Can I Stir-Fry On An Electric Cooktop? Vegetarian: Mapo Tofu with Peas


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 medium garlic cloves grated on a microplane grater (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane grater
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, finely ground in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle
  • 1 tablespoon fermented chili bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic red chili sauce (sambal oelek)
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch or 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch combined with 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 pounds medium to firm silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 3 large scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. 1

    Heat vegetable oil in a large wok over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly sizzling, about 1 minute. Add chili bean paste and red chili sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Add wine, soy sauce, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

  2. 2

    Add starch mixture and bring to a boil. Cook for until liquid has thickened, about 30 seconds. Add tofu and fold in, being careful not to break it up. Stir in peas and half of chopped scallions and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with remaining scallions, chopped cilantro, and Sichuan peppercorns. Serve with white rice.

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