Beef ma po tofu recipe

Neil Perry
Beef ma po tofu.
Beef ma po tofu. Photo: William Meppem

Classic Asian dish that provides maximum flavour for minimum effort – perfect for those weeknights when time is of the essence.


2 tbsp vegetable oil

200g minced beef

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 spring onions, white section finely sliced, green parts julienned

​ 2 tbsp chilli bean sauce

125ml fresh chicken stock

1 tsp Shaoxing cooking wine

1 tsp light soy sauce

½ tsp dark soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

300g silken tofu, cut into 2cm cubes

good pinch Sichuan pepper

½ tsp sesame oil


1. Heat a wok over high heat until smoking.

2. Add the vegetable oil and, when hot, add beef and stir-fry until browned, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the garlic, spring onion whites and bean sauce, stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4. Add the stock, Shaoxing, soy sauces, sugar and salt. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, allowing the liquid to thicken slightly, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Add tofu, Sichuan pepper and sesame oil and gently mix together.

6. Serve immediately, scattered with spring onion greens.

Tip: You can use any quality minced chicken, pork, duck or even prawn as a substitute for the beef. The spiciness and soft tofu will suit any flavour combination.

If you like this recipe, try Neil Perry's Chicken and pickled ginger in honey sauce