Silken Ma Po Tofu

Ma Po Tofu

Softness and Spiciness – That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of?

What are little girls made of?
Tofu and spice and all things nice.
That’s what little girls are made of!

And so is this my version of the nursery rhyme that reveals the exact sentiments of this dish.


  • Silken tofu: 200g, cubed
  • Boiling water: 2 cups
  • Corn oil: 4 tbsp
  • Minced pork meat: 200g, marinated with 1 tsp corn starch and sesame oil each
  • Dried chilli: 4 – 5 pieces, washed & soaked in warm water
  • Chilli padi: 5 pieces, sliced
  • Chilli powder: 1 tbsp
  • Singlong spicy and sour sotong sauce: 1 tbsp
  • Lee Kum Kee chilli black bean paste: 1 tbsp
  • 老干妈: 1 tbsp
  • Shaoxing wine: 2 tbsp
  • Dark soya sauce: 1 tbsp
  • Oyster sauce: 1/2 tbsp
  • Leeks: 1/2 stalk (10cm), halved then sliced diagonally
  • Water: 1/2 cup
  • White pepper: 1/2 tsp
  • Corn starch mixture: 1 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • Spring onion: 1 stalk, sliced


  1. Leave tofu to cook in boiling water for 5min.
  2. Drain tofu and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in frying pan. Stir fry minced pork for 2 min.
  4. Add dried chilli, chilli padi, chilli powder, sotong sauce, black bean paste and 老干妈. Stir well.
  5. Add tofu and stir ino mixture carefully without breaking them.
  6. Add Shaoxing wine, soya and oyster sauces. Stir well.
  7. Stir in leeks and water. Leave to cook for 5 min.
  8. Add pepper and corn starch mixture. Stir gently.
  9. Garnish with spring onion. Serve hot with rice.


  • Boiling the tofu before the cooking of the dish ensures that they remain intact and firm during the frying.
  • Use different types of chillis and chilli pastes (there are 6 here) to create a whirlwind experience!


  • Some recipes use firm tofu to cook this dish. I personally prefer the softer texture of the silken tofu because it is more capable of absorbing the different chilli pastes all at once.
  • I used sotong sauce instead of chilli bean paste, as per traditional methods, because this sauce works more effectively to bring out a numbed tongue.

Fiery rating:
👿 👿 👿 👿 👿

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