Spicy Mushroom Tofu Beef Bowl

by Zarina
Spicy Mushroom Tofu Beef Bowl

Growing up in Hong Kong, we ate tofu in many different dishes; however, a Sichuan dish called Mapo Tofu was my all-time favourite.  Spicy, saucy, and filled with umami, usually made with minced pork and soft tofu and always served with steaming hot rice.  One of those dishes I always have to order in a Chinese restaurant is that every family has their own make-at-home version.  

This time I improvised and threw together what I had in my fridge to make a sort-of-like-MaPo Tofu which turned out bursting with umami and tasted exactly as I had hoped, so I’m excited to share it with you guys.  

I used coarsely minced beef, fresh mushrooms, and firm tofu @tofooco. The beef can be replaced with chicken or pork; alternatively, skip the meat altogether and make it vegan with just mushrooms and tofu.  I made it really spicy and saucy as I wanted it almost soupy and finished it with a ton of fresh spring onions and coriander for freshness at the end.

There are 3 key ingredients in Mapo Tofu. All are available in Chinese supermarkets or online, and believe me. These are worth getting, as they can jazz up so many dishes.

The first is ‘Doubanjiang’, a fermented spicy bean paste with very deep savoury and salty flavours used in Sichuan cuisine.  Chinese tinned salted fermented black beans are the next key ingredient. These add an intense umami flavour to the dish. I use them for any Chinese black bean dish.  They are available on Amazon for £1.39 a tin – I use the Yang Jiang brand.  Lastly, Sichuan peppercorns, which bring the dish alive with their tingling citrusy smokey flavours, are probably available from your local supermarket.

Spicy Mushroom Tofu Beef Bowl

Spicy Mushroom Tofu Beef Bowl

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 250g Small chestnut mushrooms quartered
  • 225g Firm Tofu cut into cubes
  • Cooking oil
  • 3 Dried red chillis – I used Kashmiri
  • 1 tbsp Chinese fermented black beans
  • 2 tbsps Doubanjiang fermented spicy bean paste
  • 400g Minced beef
  • 4 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp Soya sauce
  • 2 tsps Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns ground
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour dissolved in a little cold water
  • 250ml Chicken stock
  • 1 Large handful chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 Spring onions chopped fine
  • Salt


  1. Heat wok over medium-high heat with some cooking oil, add whole dried red chillis, black beans, and black bean paste, and cook for a minute until aromas are released.
  2. Add ginger and garlic and wok fry a few seconds, then add beef and cook until the colour changes and it looks cooked through.
  3. Add mushrooms, soya sauce, sesame oil, crushed Sichuan pepper, and chicken stock, bring to a boil.
  4. Add cubed tofu and cornflour mixture, mix until sauce thickens a little, continue to simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust with salt if needed. Add more chicken stock if you want more broth.
  6. Add freshly chopped coriander and spring onions
  7. Serve with steaming hot rice
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Would love to hear your feedback! If you make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram @zarskitchen.

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