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, toasted sesame oil, oyster sauce, and potato starch powder.


Makes 2-4 servings
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes

  1. 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.
  2. Cut it into ½ inch cubes and set aside.
  3. Cut ½ pound (about 230 grams) of chicken breast into ½ inch cubes and set aside.
  4. Cut ¾ cup’s worth carrot (1 medium sized carrot) into ½ inch cubes and set aside.
  5. Cut 1½ cups’ worth of a large onion into chunks and set aside.
  6. Cut 7 stalks of green onions into pieces ¼ inch long and set aside.
  7. Chop 1 green chili pepper and 1 red chili pepper and set aside.
  8. Mince 4 cloves of garlic and 1 ts worth ginger and set aside.
  9. Heat up a wok and add 1-2 tbs vegetable oil.
  10. Add 3 small dried chili peppers, the minced garlic, and the ginger. Stir for 10-15 seconds.
  11. Add the chicken. Stir and cook for a few minutes.
  12. Add 1 ts ground black pepper, the chopped carrot and onion, ½ cup walnuts, ¼ cup oyster sauce, and 1 cup of water.
  13. Let it cook for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the onion looks translucent.
  14. Add tofu and stir gently with a wooden spoon.
  15. Add the chopped green onions and green and red chili peppers.
  16. Stir occasionally and let it cook for a few minutes.
  17. 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.
  18. Add 1 ts sesame oil.
  19. Transfer to a wide bowl and serve hot with rice.

Leave your rating:

So far this is rated 5/5 from 141 votes

Be the first to rate this.


  1. Thanks again for your delicious recipes. I again veganized this recipe by using mushrooms in place of chicken, I also used put in freshly cut mung bean sprouts that you taught me how to grow and a big handful of spinach at the end just till wilted. It was soooo yummy!

    See full size image

  2. JHV35 Australia joined 8/16 & has 1 comment

    Ciao I love this recipe I come from , Italian and neatherland back ground and my husband is from Denmark and we love our vegetables because that is how we are used to eating , this will be one for safe keeping , I love it so Thankyou I love all your cooking shows

    TESORO ( treasure)

    See full size image

  3. mritty Ocoee, FL joined 1/15 & has 2 comments

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it tonight for my (Korean) girlfriend, and she said she liked it very much! She’s vegetarian, so I used white mushrooms instead of chicken, and regular low sodium soy sauce instead of the oyster sauce – I should have read all the comments to see about combining the soy sauce with bean paste, I’ll try that next time. Only thing is she said it wasn’t quite like her Mom made while she was growing up, so we think next time I should add some gochuchang for a little more of a kick. Either way, I’m thrilled to be able to cook her some Korean foods she really enjoys. Thank you again!!

    See full size image

  4. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13 & has 82 comments

    Hi! Maangchi ssi!

    As always your recipes are healthy and yummy. I made it this morning. I don’t have walnut so I skipped it. However, I use some Szechuan chili peppers. My best friend is married to a Szechuan girl so they just gave me a kg bag of the peppers. It was hot but great. Thank you so much, Maangchi ssi


  5. pamkitty Glasgow , Scotland , UK joined 9/08 & has 1 comment

    can I add zucchini or courgette ? to this dish ?

  6. cherryblossom richland, wa joined 4/13 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi! Your mapa tofu recipe is very good and without MSG. Thank you very much for sharing. I appreciate it.

  7. gogoboo China joined 4/13 & has 3 comments

    hello maangchi! Just wondering what kind of walnut did you use? Most of walnuts I saw in the store are salted or sweetened. Even sometimes although the package doesn’t mention it, usually it still has salty flavour. Do I need to use the original one (without any flavour)?

  8. Q. D. C. joined 1/13 & has 4 comments

    OMG!! I made this last night, and wish I’d made it x 7 so I’d have lots of leftovers to eat. My guests raved about it, I adored it. Wowza! – – a great recipe.

  9. Guus Amsterdam joined 12/11 & has 1 comment

    I made this today and it turned out really tasty. The amount of chili pepper had me sweating a little bit, but not like it was really too much. So thanks for this, I’ll be making it again :).

  10. ayin142 Philadelphia, PA, USA joined 11/11 & has 2 comments

    Makes my mouth water so much.
    Thank you for sharing, Maangchi! ^^

  11. IowaWhiteDevil Near Cedar Rapids, IA USA joined 6/11 & has 10 comments

    I’m going to say this half-apologetically since Mapadubu is really, as Maangchi stated, Schezwan Chinese and not so much Korean. (I’d say that Jajangmyeon by comparison is much more Korean even though it was originally based on the Chinese Zha jiang mian).

    However, this is possibly the best recipe on the site. I mean it’s the best Mapo Tofu that I’ve ever had, even at restaurants, bar none. It’s incredible and that is saying a lot because most of Maangchi’s recipes are great or the best I’ve tried!

    I had to make a couple of substitutions– I used some gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) instead of the dried hot peppers (I don’t use them often and I could only find huge bags)– I used a (sweet) red pepper instead of the red hot pepper which isn’t available in Iowa in November. I also used a serrano pepper rather than the better korean sytle pepper (which I have to grow to get here). (This, or the milder Anaheim, is a good substitution by the way in general.) But even with these substitutions it came out incredibly tasty.

    BTW, if you use the above substitutions, all ingredients except for the pepper flakes are available at Super Walmart! (But the dried peppers in the huge bag are available in the “ethnic” foods section near the Mexican food supplies!) This might be one of the only recipes on the site where it is completely unnecessary to have access to an Asian market.

    It’s wonderful.. thanks again Maangchi!

  12. Jerry Ko New York joined 1/11 & has 9 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I always love coming to your site. This Mapa Tofu sounds really delicious and spicy. I think I will want to make it with the addition of Korean pepper paste.

  13. fstroupe NE Mississippi joined 11/11 & has 6 comments

    Thank you Maangchi for the video. I think that now I will be able to talk my wife into eating tofu. Am now headed to the store to get the rest of what I need to cook this for dinner tonight!

  14. blake0108 Philippines joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    Just made it today i just replaced chicken and tofu with fish (it was a rush decision so i never had the time to go out and buy tofu) and it was great even though water was added to while i was putting in the fish (the fish did not fully defrosted) but i think the ice that melt was enough

    it is so amazing and yummy

  15. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    This was delicious Maangchi !!! although my mouth is still burning from the spiciness , i guess i put too many hot pepper LOL .. love this dish though !! thanks :D

  16. larhie philippines joined 11/11 & has 1 comment

    i just did cook this recipe tonight and my mom loved it!! thanks♥

  17. Lizzie Argentina joined 11/11 & has 2 comments

    I am cooking this tonight! Thanks Maangchi for the greata recipe

  18. sweetchochomelk Vlaardingen - Netherland joined 10/11 & has 8 comments

    yummieeeeeeee, I’ll try next week Maangchi!! :)


  19. Niiaba California joined 11/11 & has 3 comments

    This looks amazing. I was wondering, is there anything I can use to replace oyster sauce? I am vegan and dont eat anything from animals :) I want to eat this so bad!!!

  20. jinpong Washington State joined 6/11 & has 10 comments

    looks delish! can’t wait to try and make your version:)

Leave a Reply

You must create a profile and be logged in to post a comment.