This spicy, saucy Mapo Tofu Noodles are addictive and so easy to make!
Mapo Tofu goes great with rice, but it’s also amazing with some noodles! This recipe for Mapo Tofu Noodles is simpler, can be done in 15 minutes, and is just as addictive.
Mapo Tofu is a Sichuan dish of silky, soft tofu in a spicy, umami meat gravy made with doubanjiang, or spicy Chinese bean paste. I have a recipe for Mapo Tofu here. I love Mapo Tofu and I make it often at home to serve with rice. The silky smooth tofu in the deliciously umami spicy sauce… this is such a winner at my house.
How to make Mapo Tofu Noodles
It’s so easy and quick to make this Mapo Tofu Noodles! Make the Mapo Tofu sauce, and them blanch the noodles. Plate the noodles and pour the sauce over the noodles.
Make the Mapo Tofu sauce by browning the ground meat first. Then saute ginger and garlic in, before
My Chilli Oil has Sichuan Peppercorns for that numbing sensation. If you do not have chilli oil, and you want to replicate that numbing flavour, dry toast Sichuan Peppercorns, and ground to a powder. Toss this in, in place of the Chilli Oil.
And yes – in case you’re a rice kinda person, you can absolutely serve the Mapo Tofu sauce with rice instead of noodles.
What Noodles to Use for Mapo Tofu Noodles?
I used wheat noodles, or You Mian noodles. You can use any noodle of choice, but I think wheat noodles are best for this.
Pasta also goes great with the Mapo Tofu sauce. I especially love this with spaghetti, fettucine and conch shell pasta.
Ingredients for the Sauce for Mapo Tofu Noodles
- Ground Proteins: I used ground beef, but feel free to use any other minced meat of choice. Beef is my preferred because it gives a lot of flavour without marination. With chicken (or pork), I recommend giving it a quick marinate with light soy sauce and pepper, although this is not necessary. Want to keep this vegan? Use chopped up mushrooms! If you don’t mind tofu overload, break up extra firm tofu instead.
- Soft Tofu: I exclusively use soft tofu because the melty texture is just so good with the sauce! You can also use firm tofu, if that is what you have or like – but try this with the soft tofu if you can.
- Doubanjiang: Doubanjiang is a spicy Chinese broad bean paste. It’s one of the key ingredients in Mapo Tofu. Doubanjiang is not quite replaceable, but a close alternative is a combination of 1 part Sambal, and 1 part Taucheo/taucu or Salted Soybeans. Gochujang can also be an option, but the flavour is different. You will end up with Korean Mapo Tofu – which tastes good too!
- Chilli Oil: I use my homemade Chilli Oil, which has Sichuan Peppercorns in it to give the Mapo Tofu that “numbing” flavour. but use any you have at home – this can be off-the-shelf too, don’t worry too much about it.
- Oyster Sauce: Oyster sauce is a seasoning agent for Mapo Tofu, adding another layer of umami to the dish. You can replace with light soy sauce.
- Chilli Powder: This adds even more heat to the dish! Omit if you prefer a milder dish. Another option to chilli powder is some minced fresh chillies.
- Ginger and Garlic: These are the main aromatics for Mapo Tofu.
- Cilantro and Spring Onions: Spring Onions are the classic garnish, but I love adding cilantro for a burst of freshness and flavour.
- Water or Stock: Water or stock will create the gravy. In my Mapo Tofu recipe, I used chicken stock for additional flavour, but it’s not necessary. There are plenty of umami, flavour-boosting ingredients in Mapo Tofu, so I’d rather save the stock for other recipes!
- Cornstarch Slurry: A combination of cornstarch in water will create a slurry, to thicken the sauce to a luscious, glossy gravy.
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Mapo Tofu NoodlesCourse: Recipes
2 servings of noodles
100g Ground Beef (or minced meat of choice)
150g or half block of Soft Tofu, cubed
1 tsp minced Garlic
1 tsp minced Ginger
1 tbsp Doubanjiang
1 tsp Oyster Sauce
1 tbsp Chilli Oil
1 tsp Chilli Powder (optional)
1 cup Water or Stock
Cornstarch slurry (1 tsp cornstarch + 1-2 tbsps water)
A handful of Cilantro and Spring Onions, more for garnish
- Add oil to pan and place over medium heat. Saute minced ginger and garlic, until fragrant.
- Add ground beef or ground protein of choice. As you’re stir frying, break the ground meat with your spatula to avoid the meat from clumping in big chunks. Allow the meat to fully cook and brown.
- Add doubanjiang, chilli oil, oyster sauce, and chilli powder (if using), and stir to combine.
- Add water or stock next and stir to combine. Gently add cubed soft tofu.
- Allow the sauce to come up to a boil. Once boiling, gently stir in cornstarch slurry. Give a slurry a quick mix to recombine any cornstarch that may have separated.
- Once thickened, turn off the heat. Garnish.
- Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Pour Mapo Tofu over the noodles – serve and enjoy!