{Recipe} *Cheater* Mapo Tofu

In my own little non-traditional corner of the world, dishes are made with whatever ingredients I have in the pantry (and/or whatever ingredients my family and I will eat) and whatever I have to add to make it taste good.

This recipe for Mapo Tofu is simple to make, less spicy than the Sichuan-style Mapo Tofu but just as flavorful. This version takes about 20 minutes (start to finish) and makes a lovely one meal dish that even kids can enjoy. My little cousins scarfed it down without a word!

The secret…? Store-bought Mapo Tofu sauce! Yes, sometimes a cheater sauce is just the answer. No offense to the traditional folks – just keepin’ it real. 😉

When it comes to Sichuan-style cooking, a do-it-yourself sauce can be tricky. The recipe for the sauce sometimes includes ingredients which aren’t that easy to find in grocery stores. I personally like to use Lee Kum Kee Mapo Tofu Sauce. It’s the one my store carries, and it’s really good! Let me know if you’ve tried others and have had good/bad results.



1 pack Lee Kum Kee Sauce for Mapo Tofu (80g)
500g soft tofu, cut into small cubes (I like using Korean Soft Tofu. You can also use a firmer tofu if that’s what you prefer)
2 tablespoons sesame oil (I used the Lee Kum Kee brand)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated peeleed fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (Again, I used the Lee Kum Kee brand)
2 links of Chinese sausage a.k.a Lap Cheong, sliced into rounds (I didn’t have lean ground pork at home 😀 , so for this recipe, I used Chinese Sausage instead. Plus my Boo loves them! *winks*)
3 tablespoons chopped green onions (scallions)
**Salt and pepper to taste (optional)


  • Heat a wok or large heavy skillet over high heat until hot and add 2 tablespoons sesame oil, swirling to coat. Add Chinese sausage and stir-fry until the edges are brown. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry over moderate heat until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Combine Lee Kum Kee Mapo Tofu Sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce. Add mixture to pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Drain tofu in a large sieve and slide into sauce, stirring gently. Bring to a boil, stirring gently, and cook until thickened and glossy, about 20-30 seconds.
  • Turn off heat and sprinkle with scallions. Serve Mapo Tofu over steamed rice or you may also eat it as is.

Hope you will enjoy this version of Mapo Tofu. Comment below or send me an e-mail if you have questions or suggestions. 🙂


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