Mapo Tofu Tots

Mapo tofu is something I tried for the first time only recently, and I was instantly hooked. The flavors are pure comfort food to me. Any dish that can be served on top of rice can easily be served on top of tots.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
4 servings


  • 1 ¼ pounds frozen bite-sized potato nuggets (such as Tater Tots®)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns

  • ½ pound ground pork

  • ½ cup chopped onion

  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped red chile peppers, divided

  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)

  • 2 tablespoons fermented bean paste (doubanjiang)

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 (8 ounce) container firm tofu, cubed

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (260 degrees C). Arrange tots on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt.

  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn tots over, then continue baking until crispy and hot, 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, grind 1/2 of the peppercorns into a powder. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in remaining whole peppercorns; cook, stirring occasionally, until oil is infused, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard whole peppercorns.

  4. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir pork, onion, and 1 tablespoon chiles into the skillet. Cook, stirring to break up lumps, until pork is lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

  5. Stir in garlic and ginger; cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken stock, wine, bean paste, soy sauce, and ground peppercorns. Add tofu and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, 10 to 15 minutes.

  6. Stir cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Stir slowly into the tofu and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.

  7. Transfer tots to a serving platter and top with tofu mixture. Garnish with green onion and remaining red chile peppers.

Cook's Notes:

Sichuan peppercorns taste more complex and less pungent than black peppercorns.

Use any red or green chiles you like, such as jalapeno, serrano, Thai, or Fresno.

Substitute mirin for the Shaoxing wine if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

545 Calories
34g Fat
45g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 545
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 1965mg 85%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 8mg 40%
Calcium 417mg 32%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 746mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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