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Spicy Pork and Tofu with Sichuan Pepper

4 Servings

30 minutes

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Sichuan peppercorns give this simple dish a tongue-tingling quality, while the Chinese chili-bean sauce called toban djan provides spiciness and umami. To bring out the flavor and aroma of the peppercorns, toast them in a small skillet over medium until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Cool, then finely grind in an electric spice grinder. If you can’t find chili-bean paste, chili-garlic sauce is a decent substitute. And if you’re sensitive to spiciness, reduce the chili-bean sauce to 2 tablespoons or so. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.



30 minutes


  • 8

    ounces ground pork

  • 3

    tablespoons chili-bean sauce (toban djan) OR chili-garlic sauce

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Jenny A.
September 29, 2022
Speedy Mapo Tofu
This is pretty much a simplified version of Mapu Tofu. It's very flavorful and comes together quickly. What takes the longest is letting it simmer. I do think adding an additional cup of water is too much, so I just add another 1/2 cup and that seems to work just as well. I also add a bit of dark soy sauce to it and it really boosts the flavor. I'm sure a tablespoon of oyster sauce would also work. This has become a staple in our house and I have started to double the recipe every time I make it.
Rebecca S.

I made this last night. It was sensational!

John E.

This was quick, easy, and great. Almost no prep other than mincing ginger (OK so I didn't grate it), slicing scallions, cubing tofu, and toasting and grinding the sichuan peppercorns. One of those dishes that has phenomenal flavor with minimal effort and time. Outstanding!

Dennis Alden D.

While this recipe resulted in good food, it was missing something "Milk Street" in flavor. It needed a boost. Also, the 1 1/2 cups of water had me simmering this for about 10 minutes (on medium/high to high) before the liquid evaporated resulting in the sizzle - seems to be more water than necessary. Resulted in tofu breaking down a bit. Pre-frying the tofu might have held the it together better and given that part of the meal more flavor. Good, but not great.

Chris W.

Really awesome, we doubled the pork and 50% more of the other ingredients. Wonderful!!!