Mushroom Mapo Tofu

We try to have meatless mains at least a few times per week so I am always on the lookout for new vegetarian recipes. This is something I really love to order from a local Chinese restaurant and decided to try making it at home once I found a good recipe. The tofu and vegetables give it some great texture, while the flavors are bright and spicy.  Enjoy!

Mushroom Mapo Tofu
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Adapted, Fast Vegetarian by Jane Baxter & Henry Dimbleby
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Szechuan pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried chili flakes
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced (or several mini peppers, sliced)
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms, rinsed and dried
  • 2 tbsp. chili bean paste or sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 (14 oz.) packages of extra firm tofu, cubed
  • S/P
  • Spring onions and cilantro to garnish, optional
  • Cooked rice to serve, optional
  1. Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet set over high heat. Add the Szechuan pepper, chili flakes, garlic, and ginger, stirring constantly. Turn the heat to medium and add the bell pepper, mushrooms, chili bean sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar. Stir constantly to mix all ingredients and then let simmer for a few minutes.
  2. Now add the tofu, mix well, and cook over a low heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add S/P as needed or adjust seasoning by adding more soy sauce or chili sauce.
  3. Serve hot over rice, or alone, and top with spring onions and cilantro.
*Szechuan pepper is available at Asian food stores, or you can substitute regular black pepper. Szechuan pepper is very spicy and leaves a tingle on your tongue so it’s not an exact substitute, but will work if you can’t find it or if you want a mild option.[br]*For something different, you can make this recipe with eggplant instead of mushrooms (use 1 large eggplant).