Elevate your tofu dish with this popular Chinese Mapo Tofu with Minced Milkfish

There’s a lot of things you can do with a block of tofu that don’t have to do with frying. In fact, no matter how plain tofu looks, it’s actually very flavorful. All you have to do is explore new cuisines. 

Take Mapo Tofu for example, a popular dish which originated from Szechuan province. The word má stands for mázi which means pockmarks while pó stands for pópo which means old woman. Some tales say this dish came from an old lady during the Qing Dynasty in the 1860s. 

Mapo Tofu is known for its spicy chili and fermented soybean flavor which is usually topped with minced meat. It’s also full of aromatics like the Szechuan peppercorn and scallions. Some versions are less spicy and use mushrooms. But in this recipe, we’re using minced milkfish as a substitute for the usual pork. 

Mapo Tofu is one of the healthiest Chinese dishes because it has a lot of flavor with less sodium. It’s ingredients like tofu are packed with protein. It has less cholesterol, iron, calcium, and isoflavones which help protect against cancers, heart disease, and osteoporosis. 

And since this recipe calls for bangus, it adds protein and omega-3 to the dish which helps with strengthening the body and maintaining muscle formation and development of cognitive function. 

Enjoy this dish with warm rice and share it with the whole family for your next salu-salo.

Mapo Tofu with Minced Milkfish


500g Sarangani Milkfish Fillet, skin removed and minced

500 g tofu, cubed

½ cup spring onion, sliced

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

1 tbsp garlic, minced

2 tbsp garlic, minced

2 tbsp cooking oil

2 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns, toasted

1 cup chicken broth

2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

¼ cup chili bean paste

2 tbsp black beans

2 tbsp potato starch dissolved in ¼ cup water



  1. Heat cooking oil in a wok, stir-fry onion, garlic and red peppers. Add black beans, soy sauce, chili bean paste, and Sichuan peppercorns.
  2. Stir in minced bangus. Cook for 5 minutes. Add broth and sugar. Allow to boil for 5 mins. Lower heat and add the potato starch slurry. Cook until thick and shiny. Sprinkle top with spring onions.
  3. Remove from heat and serve hot. Makes 6 servings.