Chicken Broccoli Mapo Tofu Soup

Chicken and broccoli mapo tofu soup

Mapo tofu is usually a dish served over rice, but I wanted to eat it like a soup, so I added chicken and broccoli. Why does this make it feel more like soup? I am not really sure, but it worked! The broccoli actually works great with the tofu and chicken and makes this a hearty stew with lots of great textures and flavors. And especially that HEAT! I love the spice level of mapo tofu and I wanted to make sure to retain that, but when you are eating it as a soup instead of with rice you need to keep things a bit more balanced.

The idea for this recipe

After craving mapo tofu the other day I decided to make it for dinner but give it a more hearty and healthy vibe with lots of veggies and a leaner meat instead of beef. Chicken and broccoli seemed like a good flavor combo, and I also liked the idea of tossing in some mushrooms. Adding all the veggies and using fresh chiles instead of dried gave the dish a much fresher vibe than it normally has. I made it a little wetter than it often comes and ate it like soup on the coldest day of the year and it really hit the spot!

Prepping the veggies

All the veggies and the tofu ready to go. I like to cut everything pretty small when I make soup so you can get one big spoonful with everything in it.

all the ingredients chopped and ready

Start cooking the chicken and broccoli mapo tofu

The first step is to cook some Sichuan peppers in vegetable oil to infuse the oil with that numbing spiciness of the peppers. You remove the peppercorns before you add anything else but the essence stays in the oil and flavors the whole dish. Then you add the chicken, mushrooms, and hot peppers into all that tasty peppercorn oil! After it cooks, add the ginger and garlic.

chicken and mushrooms in the pan

Broccoli is in next along with a fermented bean paste and some Chinese cooking wine.

add the broccoli to the chicken

Add the liquids and the tofu to the chicken and broccoli

Add in some chicken stock and let it cook until the broccoli is tender. Then add in the tofu when it is just about ready to eat. If you add that soft tofu too early, it will basically break down into nothingness in the soup.

tofu goes in next!

Serving the chicken and broccoli mapo tofu soup

Serve with scallions and a little extra toasted Sichuan peppercorn.

Chicken and broccoli mapo tofu

This dish has that nice numb-hot flavor found in Sichuan dishes, but it isn’t crazy numb-hot like you find in a lot of restaurants. The hot pepper and Sichuan pepper have a nice balance and the dish is actually edible and enjoyable, not hit you over the head spicy.

Chicken and broccoli mapo tofu

The addition of the broccoli, mushrooms, and fresh chilis, gave the dish a much fresher flavor than it normally has.

Chicken and broccoli mapo tofu

Twists on this dish

You could make this vegetarian by taking out the chicken and it would be almost just as good. You could also swap the meat for any other ground meat. Pork would bring you closer to what is traditional in mapo tofu. And speaking of traditional mapo tofu, if you want a recipe for that, I like this one!

If you are looking for more twists on mapo tofu, check out my mapo tofu burrito, tater tots, or this spicy Sichuan bolognese!

Chicken Broccoli Mapo Tofu Soup

A twist on the classic Chinese Mapo Tofu that is loaded with veggies and served as soup.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: Bowl, Soup, Spicy
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 422kcal


  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 8 ounces mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 5 long hot red chiles sliced into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 heads broccoli diced well
  • 2 tablespoons fermented bean paste
  • 3 tablespoons xiaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 18 ounces silken tofu cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • chili oil


  • Split your Sichuan peppercorns into two equal piles. In a large heavy bottom pot, wok, or dutch oven, toast the first group dry over a medium-high heat just until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from pot before they burn. Add in the vegetable oil and the other pile of peppercorns and cook 2 minutes or so to flavor the oil. Remove the peppercorns from the oil using a fork or slotted metal spoon and discard.
  • Meanwhile, grind the dry toasted peppercorns to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  • Add the chicken to the oil and cook to brown, about 7 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and chile peppers and cook 5 minutes. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook 3 minutes.
  • Add in the broccoli, bean paste, xiaoxing wine, and soy sauce and cook 3 minutes, stirring the whole time. Add in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer about 10 minutes until the broccoli is tender. Taste for seasoning and add salt or soy sauce as needed.
  • Add in the tofu and gently stir so as not to break it up. Simmer 3 minutes.
  • Stir in some chile oil to taste, along with about half of the scallions and Sichuan pepper powder. Remove from heat.
  • Serve with additional scallions, Sichuan pepper powder, and chile oil for garnish.


Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 686mg | Potassium: 1704mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1726IU | Vitamin C: 239mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 4mg

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