Mapa tofu (also called “mapo tofu” or “mapo doufu“) is one of the most popular Chinese Korean dishes in Korea along with jjajangmyeon and tangsuyuk. Koreans call this dish “mapa dubu.” I use chicken breast but you could use pork or beef. Every family seems to have their own version of mapadubu, and you could even use hot pepper paste if you want. The good thing about mapa tofu is that it’s a well balanced meal in one dish, made with cheap ingredients, and delicious. You won’t need any other side dishes with this. If you’re a vegetarian, skip the chicken and use vegetable stock instead of water, or use mushrooms.
1 package of tofu, chicken breast, green onions, green chili pepper, red chili pepper, dried red chili peppers, ground black pepper, carrot, onion, walnuts, garlic, ginger, vegetable oil, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and potato starch powder.
Directions (makes 2-4 servings):
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes
- Take the tofu (14 oz: 400 grams) out of the package and rinse it in cold water. Pat dry with a kitchen towel or cotton cloth.
- Cut it into ½ inch cubes and set aside.
- Cut ½ pound (about 230 grams) of chicken breast into ½ inch cubes and set aside.
- Cut ¾ cup’s worth carrot (1 medium sized carrot) into ½ inch cubes and set aside.
- Cut 1½ cups’ worth of a large onion into chunks and set aside.
- Cut 7 stalks of green onions into pieces ¼ inch long and set aside.
- Chop 1 green chili pepper and 1 red chili pepper and set aside.
- Mince 4 cloves of garlic and 1 ts worth ginger and set aside.
- Heat up a wok and add 1-2 tbs vegetable oil.
- Add 3 small dried chili peppers, the minced garlic, and the ginger. Stir for 10-15 seconds.
- Add the chicken. Stir and cook for a few minutes.
- Add 1 ts ground black pepper, the chopped carrot and onion, ½ cup walnuts, ¼ cup oyster sauce, and 1 cup of water.
- Let it cook for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the onion looks translucent.
- Add tofu and stir gently with a wooden spoon.
- Add the chopped green onions and green and red chili peppers.
- Stir occasionally and let it cook for a few minutes.
- Mix 1 tbs starch powder and 1 tbs water in a small bowl so the starch is dissolved. Then pour it into the wok gently.
- Add 1 ts sesame oil.
- Transfer to a wide bowl and serve hot with rice.