Mapo tofu is a combination of tender tofu and spicy chili-and-bean-based sauce, sprinkled with minced meat, usually pork or beef, and topped with some chopped scallion pieces. The snow-white bean curd, red beef, and green scallion contribute to a colorful, spicy, tender, and aromatic dish.
500g fresh tofu, 120g vegetable oil, 150g minced (scalped) beef, 5.5g salt, 20 ml Mapo tofu sauce (soy sauce), chili powder (to taste), 20g Pixian bean paste, 250g double-boiled soup (made from bone with ginger and pepper), 50g green garlic sprouts, soy sauce (to taste), 40g soy flour and water (the starchy sauce), (2g chicken powder), chili powder and chopped scallions (to taste).
Choose a 500g piece of fresh and tender soft white tofu, not a pickled tofu. Check whether it is fresh by smelling it or kneading it. Dice the tofu into 2 cm (½–1″) cubes, and put them into a bowl of hot water to remove astringency.
Heat up a wok with the prepared vegetable oil to around 80 °C. Fry the chopped beef in the wok till it becomes light brown, and then add the salt, Mapo tofu sauce, chili powder and Pixian bean paste. Keep frying.
Add the double-boiled soup and diced tofu, and use a moderate heat to cook till tasty. Add the garlic sprouts and soy sauce, cook for a few seconds and thicken with the starchy sauce. (Add chicken powder if you like.)
Serve in a shallow bowl, topped with chili powder and chopped scallions.