Tofu Recipe from XU Taiwanese Restaurant

Mapo tofu

  • serves 3
  • Easy

Check out this easy vegan mapo tofu recipe from the new Taiwanese restaurant XU in London's Chinatown. This super simple recipe is packed with flavour and takes no time at all to make



  • vegetable oil 3 tbsp
  • firm tofu 200g, drained, patted dry and cut into cubes
  • silken tofu 50g
  • spring onions 2, green tops only, chopped
  • chilli oil 1 tbsp
  • Szechuan peppercorns ground to make 2 tsp


  • vegetable oil 3 tbsp
  • Szechuan peppercorns 1 tsp
  • onion 1, finely diced
  • ginger a thumb sized piece, finely chopped
  • garlic 5 cloves, finely chopped
  • doubanjiang 3 tbsp, (see details below)
  • kombu stock 200ml, (see details below)
  • light soy sauce 2 tbsp
  • soft brown sugar 1 tsp
  • shaoxing wine 1 tbsp


  • Step 1

    To make the sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan, add the peppercorns and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Scoop the peppercorns out of the oil and discard. Add the onions to the infused oil in the same pan and cook for 10 minutes until caramelised. Add the ginger and garlic, and fry for another few minutes, then add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes on a low heat until thickened.

  • Step 2

    Heat another 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the firm tofu. Fry for 5 minutes, turning often until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

  • Step 3

    Put the firm tofu onto a plate, pour over the sauce, and add the pieces of silken tofu, spring onions, a drizzle of chilli oil and some of the ground szechuan pepper.

Doubanjiang is a chilli bean sauce available in Chinese supermarkets and online at and Kombu stock is made from infusing dried sheets of seaweed in water. Put 30g of kombu seaweed into 1 litre of water (soak for 3-5 hours if you have the time) and then very slowly bring to the boil – this should take 20-25 minutes. When it reaches the boil, discard the seaweed. It will keep in fridge for 3-5 days. Alternatively, you can buy Mara seaweed kombu stock powder from or in large supermarkets.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 593
  • Fat 32.8g
  • Saturates 2.4g
  • Carbs 11.3g
  • Sugars 8.2g
  • Fibre 1.8g
  • Protein 62.1g
  • Salt 3.7g