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Ma Po Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Minced meat is very versatile and we often have a few portions of marinated frozen minced meat in the freezer. If we can't think of anything to eat or we don't have much time to cook, this dish is what we would cook. It's simple and tasty!


  • 250g minced pork
  • 1 pack silken tofu (firm) – cut into small cubes
  • 1 large onion – diced
  • ~ 1 tbs minced garlic
  • ½ cup mixed vegetables (optional)
  • ~2 tbs spicy bean sauce (辣豆瓣醬) (depends on how spicy you want)
  • Light soya sauce
  • Sugar
  • 1 tbs Sesame oil
  • 1 tbs tomato paste


  • Light soya sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch


  • Marinate minced meat at least 1 hr beforehand. (Optional step)
  • Sauté garlic and onions with sesame oil.
  • Add in mixed vegetables and lightly fry.
  • Mix in mince pork and spicy bean sauce. Stir fry until pork is slightly cooked.
  • Add in ½ cup water. Cook on medium heat until gravy thickens.
  • Mix in tomato paste.
  • Stir in tofu and leave to cook for about 5 mins.
  • Add in sugar and soya sauce to taste.


  • Marinating the minced meat makes the meat tastier. Meat seems more tender and juicy after marinating with corn starch. Easier to break up the meat while stir frying and doesn't form large clumps.
  • Instead of thickening the gravy with corn starch slurry, I find that adding tomato paste thickens the gravy too. And it adds a hint of tomato taste which goes really well with this dish. I sometimes add tomato sauce if I feel like a sweeter version. Or add chilli oil if I feel like something really spicy. So it's really up to you.
  • There are 2 types of packed silken tofu - soft and firm. The soft one would just disintegrate upon stirring.

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