Recipe: Ma La Street Tofu

Recipe: Ma La Street Tofu

In Chengdu we tried one of the best tofu dishes to date. Here is our version of the famous MaLa Street tofu. 

MaLa Street Tofu: A Culinary Quest of Flavor and Tradition

MaLa Street Tofu, rooted in China's culinary tradition, combines the numbing sensation of Sichuan peppercorns with chili's heat. Its straightforward preparation and minimal ingredients make it a quick, flavorful choice for those seeking a simple yet mouth-watering lunch.

In Chengdu we tried one of the best dishes to date. Here is our version of the famous MaLa Street tofu. 

Chengdu MaLa Street Tofu

Total time 35 minutes
Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Serves 2-3


  • 400g of hard Tofu. 3 thick slices, around 2-3cm thick.
  • ½ – 1 tabelspoons of Ma La spice blend for each slize of tofu 
  • Canola oil or peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Dark Vinegar
  • Light Soy Sauce


  • 2 finely chopped spring onion or chives
  • Chooped fresh ginger 
  • Roasted sesame seeds 

Ingridients to Mala tofu

How to

1. Heat up cooking oil in a pan on medium heat.

2. Slice the tofu horizontolly so you get 3 blocks. Around 2-3 cm thick.

slized tofu

3. Fry tofu blocks on one side for around 5 minutes.

4. Mix dark vinegar, light soy sauce and sesame in a small bowl.

5. Flip the tofu around and coat the fried side with the liquid. Sprinkle on the Ma La spice until you get an even coating on the whole tofu. It should be completley red.

The Pepper Quest Mala Spice Mix

Fry for around 5-10 minutes longer until you get a crispy surface on the tofu.

Mala Street tofu in pan

6. Add the tofu to a bowl of rice and garnish with some chooped spring onion, ginger, coriander, salt and toasted sesame.

Mala Street tofu on plate

Some extra dashes of the liquid can also be nice.



  • Peeling ginger with a spoon is efficient and safe. The spoon contours to the ginger's shape, removing only the thin skin, preserving more flesh. It's also safer than using a knife, reducing the risk of cuts.
Peel a ginger with a spoon