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A Little Bit Spicy Vegan Mapo Tofu

A spin on tradition, my A Little Bit Spicy Vegan Mapo Tofu recipe uses minced and sliced mixed mushrooms and silky eggplant instead of pork mince in this beautifully spicy and full-bodied Sichuan dish


  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan pepper corns
  • 300 grams silken tofu
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 300 grams mixed mushrooms I used 200 grams shiitake and 100 grams Swiss brown
  • 1 medium eggplant sliced in to large cubes
  • 3 spring onions cut in to 2cm batons, the green parts finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • ½ inch thumb of ginger grated
  • 1 tbs shaoxing wine or brandy
  • 1.5 tablespoons Korean chilli paste
  • 375 ml vegan chicken-style  stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon soy or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch or corn flour


  • To prepare the peppercorns, dry fry them over a low heat for 1–2 minutes until light brown and aromatic. Crush lightly in a mortar and pestle.
  • Cut the tofu into large cubes and set aside to drain on an absorbent towel.  
  • Take 100 grams of mushrooms and pulse them in a food processor to a rough "mince." Slice the remaining mushrooms in half.
  • Place a wok over medium to high heat. Add the oil to heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and eggplant and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the the rice wine and the chilli bean paste and cook for 1 minute until the mixture is aromatic.
  • Add the stock, bring to the boil and season with soy sauce and sugar. Cook for a minute before reducing the heat to a simmer. 
  • Gently add the tofu and stir carefully trying not to break up the tofu too  much.  Simmer for 6-7 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly and the eggplant is soft.
  • Combine the potato starch with 1 tablespoon of water and mix into the sauce. Cook for a further 2 minutes until thickened.
  • Add the spring onion batons and stir. Remove from heat.
  • Serve sprinkled with Sichuan pepper, sliced green spring onions and steamed rice.