Chicken Thigh Mapo Tofu

Welcome to The Chicken Thigh Guy.
While you’re here, check out my other project – The Weekly Menu.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with using chicken thighs in dishes that traditionally call for pork or other red meats. The texture and flavor of the thigh meat works perfectly for a lot of pork dishes, including this Mapo Tofu – which is a takeout favorite at our house.


Finely minced chicken and soft tofu in a spicy sauce laden with chilies and tempered with numbing Sichuan Peppercorn is great simply ladled over rice, or as part of a make-it-yourself takeout style meal with General Tso’s Chicken and Chicken Thigh Kung Pao.

Sichuan Peppercorn, also called Flower Pepper, is available online and at asian groceries. Depending on local laws, Shaoxing wine may be available online or at asian groceries. I have used amber rum or mirin as a substitute, though both have different flavors.

Chicken Thigh Mapo Tofu

Recipe by DrewCourse: UncategorizedCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (sub Mirin or even 1 oz rum)

  • 1 block medium or firm tofu

  • 1 tsp minced ginger

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 tsp red pepper flake

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 tsp corn starch

  • 1 tsp neutral oil

  • 1 tbsp chili oil

  • 1 tsp fermented bean paste

  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed

  • 1 green onion


  • Prepare and Marinade the Chicken
  • Grind the chicken thighs using a meat grinder or food processor.
  • Mix soy, wine, garlic, and ginger in a non-reactive bowl.
  • Add the ground meat, stirring to ensure that the meat is evenly coated with marinade.
  • Marinate at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
  • To Finish
  • Slice the green onion into thin slices, dividing the green and white pieces.
  • Add neutral oil such as soybean oil or peanut oil to a pan over medium heat.
  • Add the red pepper flake and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the white parts of the onion, the marinade, and chicken, and sauté using a spoon to break the chicken into very small pieces. Cook until just cooked through.
  • Add chicken stock, bean paste, Sichuan peppercorns, and chili oil. Stir to combine and bring to a low simmer.
  • Mix the corn starch with a tbsp of water to form a slurry. Add the slurry to the simmering pot and stir well.
  • Cut the tofu into ½ inch cubes. Add to the simmering liquid.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Top with the reserved green onion slices.
  • Serve with steamed medium grain white rice.

Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!

One Comment

  1. Great idea!!! I love thighs! Very excited to try using them in my next batch of Mapo!!!

    Speaking of which… I suggest you give Toban Djan (Pixian doubanjiang) and Douchi (fermented black soybeans) a try in your recipe. Together with Sichuan peppercorns these items make up the Trinity of Mapo’s true essence! 😁

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