Mapo tofu is a traditional Sichuan dish with tofu, ground pork or beef and a spicy, vibrant red, oily sauce. This version is far from traditional, but it’s equally satisfying. We’ve kept the backbones of the dish with the deeply savory chili sauce and the tingling heat of Sichuan peppercorns, but lightened it up using less oil and a mixture of ground turkey and finely chopped mushrooms in place of pork and beef. We’ve also flipped the proportions — this take is meat-heavy, adding more lean protein to your meal. For a nice, balanced dish, serve with brown rice to include a small serving of grains.
Active time: 30 minutes Total time: 30 minutes
Turkey and Mushroom Mapo Tofu
- 8 ounces (227g) cremini mushrooms, cleaned
- 2 tablespoons chili-bean sauce (toban djan; see note), plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons hoisin
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 pound (450g) ground turkey
- 1 14-ounce block firm tofu (397g), finely diced
- 3 large scallions, thinly sliced
Optional serving suggestions:
- Steamed brown rice
- Crushed Sichuan peppercorns (see note)
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cremini mushrooms until very finely chopped.
In a small bowl, whisk the chili-bean sauce with the hoisin and soy sauce. In a separate small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 1/2 cup water.
In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and ginger and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with your spoon, until crumbly and almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Fold in the chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms begin to cook down, about 2 minutes.
Add the chili sauce and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gently fold in the tofu. Add the cornstarch slurry to the skillet and simmer, stirring, until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in 3/4 of the scallions. Season to taste with more chili-bean sauce, if desired.
Spoon steamed brown rice into four shallow bowls and top with the mapo tofu. Garnish with the remaining scallions and sprinkle with crushed Sichuan peppercorns, if using. Serve immediately.
Note: Toban djan, or doubanjiang, is a spicy chili-bean paste found in most Sichuan cooking. You can find it in the aisle with the other Asian ingredients or purchase it online; Sichuan peppercorns can also be purchased online.
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: About 1 1/2 cups
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 319; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 78mg; Sodium: 355mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 34g