Mapo Tofu (aka Homemade Chinese “Hamburger Helper”)

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To me, Mapo Tofu is Chinese comfort food at its best. The tofu melds with the other ingredients to take on an almost cheesy quality. And even Tony, who isn’t a big tofu fan, really liked it. I have yet to trial this recipe with little ones, but it seems like a dish I would have loved as a kid. It has a “Hamburger Helper” vibe to the taste. I didn’t have a zucchini on hand for this batch, which does add nice color and nutrition to the dish.

Mapo Tofu Recipe - a delicious weeknight meal (dairy-free, gluten-free, optionally allergy-friendly)

Special Diet Notes: Mapo Tofu

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, and peanut-free.

Mapo Tofu
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Don't be afraid to swap the vegetables in this dish. Sliced mushrooms stand in well for the zuccini.
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (3/4-inch) piece ginger, minced, or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ pound ground beef or pork
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons black bean sauce, to taste
  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 to 2 small chile peppers, diced or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • Sesame oil (optional)
  • Chili oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add the ground meat and stir fry until lightly browned and crumbly.
  2. Stir in the chicken broth and bean sauce. Add the tofu and zucchini and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the bean sprouts, green onions, and peppers (if using) and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Divide the rice between 4 plates or bowls and top with the mapo tofu. Serve with the sesame oil and hot chili oil for drizzling, if desired.

Key Pantry Supplies: Mapo Tofu

Want More Dairy-Free Recipes? Enjoy My Cookbooks:

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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