Mapo tofu is a gorgeously warming dish that is often off limits to vegetarians owing to the minced pork. Cindy Lam offers us a vegetarian mapo tofu alternative, and if you want to, you could add Hong Kong’s own OmniPork between steps 1 and 2 to satisfy the omnivores.

Serves: 2

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


  • 1–2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 small shallot, chopped finely
  • 1 spring onion stalk, chopped finely (save some for garnishing)
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped finely (save some for garnishing)
  • 1 small fresh red chilli, chopped finely (deseeded if you don’t like spicy food)
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 350g silken tofu
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp shichimi
  • 1 tbsp miso or Chinese chilli bean sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese chilli oil
  • 2–3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil


  1. Preheat a saucepan with a few drizzles of oil on medium heat. Cook the garlic, ginger, shallot, spring onion, chilli and a little chopped coriander for about 1–2 minutes, until the oil is fragrant. Turn down the heat if necessary to avoid burning the ingredients.
  2. Add the cooked farro, green peas and tofu along with the white pepper, shichimi, miso/chilli bean sauce, chilli oil and soy sauce. Stir to combine and add more seasoning if needed.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and let simmer with a lid on for about 3–5 minutes on medium-low heat.
  4. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a serving plate.
  5. Garnish with some chopped spring onion and coriander and a drizzle of sesame oil before serving with a bowl of steamed rice.

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