Mapa tofu

Mapadubu 마파두부

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.

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  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!

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  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)

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  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!!

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  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 ?

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