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Ma Po Tofu with Pork
with rice / spicy green beans

Active: 40 min Total: 40 min

This spicy, saucy Chinese tofu with pork has gained a following of fans since we first featured it in 2017. Some reviewers have even tracked down Szechuan peppercorns to give this dish its signature mouth-numbing spice.
Smarts: In China, Szechuan peppercorns are traditionally toasted and then ground in the first step of this recipe. Since they can be difficult to find, we use chili-garlic sauce to spice this version.

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Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Szechuan Green Beans:
  • Green beans - 1 lb, trimmed
  • Oil, sesame - 2 Tbsp
  • Ma Po Sauce (ingredients listed separately) - 1 Tbsp
Rice (for 2 nights):
  • Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 1/2 cups
Ma Po Sauce:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger - 2 tsp, grated
  • Ketchup - 4 Tbsp
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
  • Chinese black bean sauce - 2 Tbsp (find this in the international aisle as regular, black bean garlic, or a spicy version called doubanjiang)
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Chili-garlic sauce - 2 tsp (sub any hot sauce)
Ma Po Tofu with Pork:
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts separate
  • Tofu, soft - 16 oz, 1" / 2.5 cm cubes (sub firm tofu)
  • Cornstarch - 2 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 1 1/2 cups
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Pork, ground - 8 oz
  • Ma Po Sauce (ingredients listed separately) - 8 Tbsp
  • Lime juice - 2 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Prep

  1. Garlic / Ginger / Green beans - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make Ma Po sauce - Combine garlic, ginger, ketchup, soy sauce, black bean sauce, sugar, and chili-garlic sauce. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Rice - (This makes enough for 2 nights.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Green onions - Prep as directed. Store green and white parts separately. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  5. Tofu - Drain liquid off tofu and slice into 1" / 2.5 cm cubes.

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Make

  1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat for green beans. Add sesame oil then green beans to heated oil. Saute for 10 to 12 minutes, until browned and blistered.
  2. While green beans cook, whisk cornstarch into stock.
  3. Stir Ma Po sauce (portion for green beans) into green beans and remove from heat. Season to taste with some salt. Set aside, covered to keep warm.
  4. Return wok to medium-high heat and add cooking oil. Add white parts of green onions and saute until fragrant, ~2 minutes. Add ground pork and saute, breaking it into small pieces, until it begins to brown. Drain any excess liquid or oil from wok and return to heat.
  5. Pour remaining sauce and stock / cornstarch mixture over pork and bring to a simmer. Add tofu and reduce heat to medium. Simmer gently to let the flavors come together, 2 to 3 minutes more. Taste tofu and add some chili-garlic sauce if you'd like it to be spicier.
  6. If rice was made ahead, warm in the microwave (reserve half for Thursday).
  7. Top tofu with lime juice and green parts of green onions. Serve with rice and green beans on the side. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Reviews

Ratings

Original (21)
Gluten-free (3)
Paleo (4)
Vegetarian (16)

25 reviews

This was really very good. My husband really enjoyed the sauce. I made a couple of substitutions. I added a package of ramen noodles and more broth. I think my chili garlic sauce may be loosing it's punch, but the version I made was not very spicy. (which is good, because I'm very sensitive.) I also used extra firm tofu and sauteed it first so it was a bit toasty. I used a smidgen of sesame oil and some grapeseed, because I find sesame oil overwhelming. But at the end of the day there wasn't much left.

By: Johanna
Posted: Sep 18, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

YUM!

By: Marcella
Posted: Sep 01, 2020
Diet: Paleo
0 Helpful

So yummy - glad to know the reviewer below suggestion of hoisin sauce instead of black bean as that might tone down spice quotient further for my girls.

By: Namrita
Posted: Aug 11, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I love this recipe and have made it several times. I like making the Ma Po sauce without the stock or corn starch as more of a stir fry rather than a stew. So yum! I also used hoisin sauce today instead of black bean sauce because I was out and it was still great.

By: Rachel
Posted: Aug 10, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Everyone loved it!

By: Susanne
Posted: Aug 06, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Easy and great

By: Nechama
Posted: Aug 04, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful