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Recipe: Vegan Ma Po Tofu

This Szechuan dish is popular the world over. It is supposed to be named after the old woman with a pock marked face who created it. Full flavoured and easy to prepare this vegan alternative is great for those who don't eat meat.


30g dried shiitake mushrooms
200g extra firm tofu
2 tsp Wing Yip Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Wing Yip Sesame Oil
2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 tsp minced garlic paste
1 jar Wing Yip Spicy Szechuan Sauce
1 packet soft tofu
2 spring onions (fine sliced)
1 red chilli (fine dice)

Cooking Method

Serves 2

Soak the shiitake mushrooms in just-boiled water for 20 minutes, or until soft. Once soft, drain but reserve the mushroom liquid.

With your hands, gently crumble the extra firm tofu and season with 2 tsp light soy and 1 tsp sesame oil. 

Dice the soft tofu into 1cm cubes (handle gently). 

Heat the peanut or vegetabl oil in a wok and quickly add minced garlic, mushrooms and crumbled extra firm tofu.

Stir well with a metal spatula.

After 1 minute, when the garlic has started to colour add Wing Yip Spicy Szechuan Sauce and continue cooking for 5 minutes. If you prefer your dish to be quite wet, add some of the reserved mushroom liquid at this stage.

Add the diced soft tofu and cook for further 2 minutes, allowing tofu to absorb sauce. 

Just before removing from the heat GENTLY stir in onions. 

Garnish with more sliced spring onions and the diced red chilli.

Serve with boiled rice.