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vegan mapo tofu closeup

Vegan Mapo Tofu

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese



For the Tofu:

  • ½  pound cremini mushrooms
  • ½ pound chinese or japanese eggplant
  • 1 container medium firm tofu
  • 1 onion, medium dice 
  • 4 scallions, washed 
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, washed 
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil 
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 cloves large garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried chile flakes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons water mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil

For the Sauce:


  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian stir-fry sauce
  • 1 tablespoon spicy doubanjiang bean sauce


Prep The Ingredients:

  1. Drain the tofu and cut into ½” inch cubes. Set aside.
  2. Wash, trim the ends, and then cut the eggplant into ¾ inch pieces. Set aside. Wipe off the mushrooms to remove any grit and then cut in half or quarters for the really big ones. Put it aside as well.
  3. Cut the scallions into thin rounds and chop the cilantro. Put the cilantro and scallion into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Mix the soy sauce, sugar, vegetarian stir-fry sauce, and the doubanjiang bean sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Set a deep skillet over medium heat. 
  6. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the oil, szechuan peppercorns, and the chile flakes. Let the spices steep in the oil for 5 mins until the oil is fragrant and the spices dark. Remove the spices from the oil with a strainer and discard.
  7. Return the pan with the flavored oil to medium high heat and add the onion. Stir the onion to coat with oil and then cover the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  8. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.
  9. Stir in the eggplant and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 mins until the eggplant is almost soft. Add the tofu, vegetable stock, and the sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for another 3-4 mins. until the eggplant is soft.
  10.  Mix the cornstarch slurry and then pour it over the mixture in the pot and stir gently. Cook until the sauce has nicely thickened, 1-2 minutes. Add the sesame oil and the scallion/cilantro mix. Stir gently and serve immediately.


As the dish sits, the tofu will start to give off liquid. If you have any leftovers, it’s a good idea to check for seasoning and add more slurry when re-heating.

Keywords: vegan, mapo tofu