100 times of Mapo Tofu

I just crossed 100 times of cooking mapo tofu. I basically read/tried all the recipes I could possibly find on the Internet. I thought I could write something. All the things I’ve learned from cooking 100 times of Mapo Tofu.

Let’s see where this dish was from first.

It was 1862 in ChengDu. A young coupe 陳春富 and 溫巧巧 came from the countryside to this big city. They settled in near 萬福橋 (wanfu bridge). 萬福橋 has lots of merchants, doctors, all sorts of people passing through here. It's busy. It’s like the center of commerce at that time in ChengDu, things go through here.

This young couple started a little resturant called 陳興盛飯鋪. 溫巧巧 is a great at cooking, so she is the owner chef. At that time, a restaurant is more than just selling their food. They could also make food for you with what you have. You could also bring in your ingredients and ask the restaurant to cook for you.

When you started a business, other business also started around you. The tofu shop next to 陳興盛飯鋪 will often put a few pieces of tofu in their resturant. In that time, the people who sells oil, the butcher who sells beef and pork are moving also wait here. workers around this area or someone who did the heavy lifting job of shipping stuff came, they often extremely hungry. They just buy some ingredients and give to the resturant to cook for them.

溫巧巧 is a empathetic person, she knows how hard the job it is of these people who came to her. How life is disappointing and she needs to put some extra flavores in order to wake them up from the terrible realities. Hence she used handmade pepper powders

It's a cuisine originated from Sichuan. There was a restaurant called 陳興盛, and the person who made the dish great is the owner's wife Ms. 溫巧巧.

  • Tofu
  • Chinese chive
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • The seed of zanthoxylum piperitum ("Sichuan papper")

Where you live affects your ingredients. The temperature, the humidity, the ingredients, are all variables in the success formula.

  • The "Authentic" Recipe
  • The Sichuan Recipe
  • The Japanese Recipe
  • The Vegan Recipe
  • The Avocado version
  • The Authentic Recipe


From the avocado, vegan version you can see that once you got the key element, the presentation right, you could toss in anything and still can be called this is Mapo Tofu.

I also got myself some improvements taking pictures of food.

Cooking Mapo Tofu -> Writing this longest form post I’ve ever write also improves my writing.

There is a period I become this kind of bad person, I will go and find recipes on the internet, and see how they messed up. But one day I also made a mistake that made me realized how childish.

After 50+ tries cooking the same thing. I started to have some sort of in the flow feelings while cooking the recipe. I could feel my motions are neater. My body motion just become much faster while I know I’m cooking Mapo Tofu. I could see what’s coming next, imagine what would it be if I do this. See a mistake I made and know how to fix it, and picture the result while in the middle of it.

I've tried all recipes. I've failed terribly at first 30 times. But after 50 times, I could basically reach more or less the same result and quality. And after practice and practice, one day it got me thinking about the meaning of life. It’s such a big topic and it seems noone has it figured out. Same as I. But maybe the meaning of life is after you cooked an amazing dish, you ate it with joy, and you still need to wash the dishes.

I'm now going to wash the dishes.