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Maipo Tofu

Shared by chef Julian Denis of London’s Mao Chow restaurant, this vegan recipe comes with tons (and we mean tons) of bold Sichuan flavour.

Serves 2 Total Time 30 mins


  • 500g silken tofu, cut into 2.5cm cubes 
  • 2 bunches spring onions, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp Lee KumKee Chilli Bean Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Chiu Chow Chilli Oil 
  • 3 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground]
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, mixed into a paste with 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, toasted, ground into powder
  • 2 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger 
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil 
  • 200g vegan mince
  • steamed jasmine rice (to serve)


  1. Simmer the tofu in well-salted water over a low heat for 10 mins, then strain. 
  2. Meanwhile, put the vegetable oil into a wok over a high heat. Once hot, add the black bean sauce and sugar. Stir continuously until fragrant. 
  3. Lower the heat to medium, add the chilli bean sauce and stir constantly, so the sauce doesn’t dry out and stick to the wok – add a little water to the mixture if it becomes too dry. Add the vegan mince to the wok and stir until lightly crisped. 
  4. Pour a 1/4 cup of water into the wok, then add the strained silken tofu. Be very careful not to break the tofu cubes as you stir them gently into the sauce. 
  5. Add the chilli oil, Sichuan peppercorn oil, spring onions, garlic and ginger. Stir gently, then add the cornflour paste and mix again, to incorporate. 
  6. Simmer for a few mins over a low heat and finish by adding a sprinkling of Sichuan peppercorn powder on top.
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