March 14, 2016


Mapo Inspired Breaded Tofu in Pasta Sauce

I am not a vegetarian – I love too much meat to be one (anyone in the same boat with me?). BUT (yes, it’s a BIG but), I do LOVE tofu!

Growing up, I only know two ways on how tofu is served. One, Taho – this delicious soy creation served with caramelized sugar and sago (much like tapioca) and the other, fried tofu with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce. The latter is what my mom used to make while the former is usually bought at a local street vendor who shouts “taho” in the morning. Oh my, this surely brings warm memories when I was a kid!

This dish is a combination of two inspirations. The first inspiration is a popular Chinese dish from Sichuan province known as Mapo Tofu (Mapo Doufu). The other is from a local restaurant I visited on a writing assignment in Laguna back in 2010. I had dinner at Chef Mau Luto ni Tatay sa Bungkol and happen to order a tofu dish that was not only so affordable (Php 50 or a little over US1 per order) and it was truly satisfyingly delicious. More on my gastronomic visit at Chef Mau Luto ni Tatay sa Bungkol here.

With these two inspirations, allow me to share with you a Tofu dish – Mapo Inspired Breaded Tofu in Pasta Sauce.

Mapo Inspired Breaded Tofu in Pasta Sauce

This is an inspired Mapo Tofu (Mapo Doufu) dish for the sauce but there is no ground meat in this dish and the spiciness has been tempered.

Mapo Inspired Breaded Tofu in Pasta Sauce Ingredients

*Scroll down for Cooking Tips

1 Pack Firm Tofu (sliced, matchbox size)

Salt & Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Coconut Oil for Frying

Chopped Parsley (garnishing)


3T – 4T Cornstarch (or flour)

½ Cup Japanese Breadcrumbs

1 Egg (beaten)

2 Plastic Bags


½ Cup Pasta Sauce

1 Medium White Onion (minced)

3 Pcs. Garlic (minced)

¼ Tsp. Chili Powder

3T Water

Mapo Inspired Breaded Tofu in Pasta Sauce


1)    Dredge Tofu in cornstarch or flour, dip in egg and cover with breadcrumbs.

2)    Fry tofu until golden in color, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side at medium heat. Set aside.

3)    For the sauce, sauté onions until translucent then add garlic. Continue sautéing until garlic becomes more fragrant and about to turn golden but not burnt.

4)    Pour pasta sauce and water (if it becomes too thick for you) then simmer for 5 minutes in low heat. Stir a bit to avoid sauce from sticking to pan.

5)    Add chili powder, salt and ground pepper. Once the sauce has reached the consistency you desire, turn off heat and pour over the fried tofu.

6)    Serve while hot, garnish as desired.

Mapo Inspired Breaded Tofu in Pasta Sauce

Enjoy this easy recipe Mapo Inspired Breaded Tofu in Pasta Sauce!


Breading with cornstarch or flour and breadcrumbs can be too messy. To lessen the mess (and of course the washing of plates), I put cornstarch or flour and breadcrumbs on separate plastic bags. Place tofu (or whatever fish and meat you are cooking) and shake away.

If you LOVE food and easy to whip up recipes to cook for your friends and family, looking for delicious food and awesome travel inspirations then follow me at Instagram as I often share easy recipes, food discoveries and stunning travel destinations via @eattoyourheartscontent.

This Easy Recipe Mapo Inspired Breaded Tofu in Pasta Sauce is part of my Monday Madness here at Eat To Your Heart’s Content.

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Pie Rivera is a former food columnist of Republic of 7107 Island Travel Magazine and a freelance food & travel writer for local magazines and online travel communities. She is a TV producer and creative director by day and wanderlust at heart.

Pie Rivera captured all photos in this site, unless otherwise stated.

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