Mapo Tofu Tots

Mapo Tofu Tots

Love Mapo Tofu and can’t resist a plate of crispy tater tots? Well, get ready to be blown away because I combined these two favorites into one mouthwatering dish – Mapo Tofu Tater Tots! In this ultimate guide, I will show you how to recreate the irresistible flavors of Szechuan cuisine in the form of addictive tater tots. From the fiery heat of chili peppers to the rich umami of fermented black beans, each bite is a harmonious symphony of flavors. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen newbie, this guide is for you. Let’s walk through every step of the process, from preparing the perfect Mapo Tofu sauce to achieving the ideal balance of crispiness and tenderness in your tater tots.

The inspiration for this dish

The tot ideas are still flowing here with only a month until the book launch. I had the idea for these because I wanted a super spicy and meaty sauce on the tots. Mapo tofu is one of my favorite all time dishes and it was the first thing to come to mind! Dumping the mapo tofu on top of tots was a real win. Normally you serve it with rice, but the tots add a nice crispy twist. I used a firmer tofu than you normally would for a mapo tofu recipe so it could hold up on the tot pile. I also made the sauce a little thicker to cling to the tots better.

First make the mapo tofu

Pork, peppers, and onions in the pan with the oil that I infused with Sichuan peppercorn.

cooking the pork and veggies with the spicy peppercorns

Bean paste in the mix along with soy sauce and xiaoxing wine. I switched up this recipe and made it specifically to be poured on top of tots. If you want to do a more traditional version, I love this recipe.

Adding the bean paste

Let the tofu simmer in the sauce for a bit before finally thickening it with a little cornstarch.

mapo tofu

Next make the tater tots

I make tater tots by tossing them on a sheet pan with a little oil and salt. Cook them at 25 degrees higher than the package says.

tater tots

Now that’s a pile of tots!

Serving the mapo tofu tater tots

Pile up the tots, then dump on the mapo tofu! You could do this on individual plates, or in a big central pile like I did. Top with sliced jalapenos and scallions!

mapo tofu tater tots!

The mapo tofu is such a great fit to be served on tots. The tots add a crispy element to the dish and the heat level is just perfect.

mapo tofu tots

The gravy and tofo combo with the crispy tots almost makes this feel like tot poutine with certain bites.

mapo tofu tots with scallions and jalapenos

Twists on mapo tofu tots

I listed this as serving 4 people which is a heavy snack. It could serve 6 in more of an appetizer fashion, or 2 or 3 as a main dish. I also linked a more authentic mapo tofu recipe above if you want to make it that way instead of my more shortcut/tot topping version. This could also be vegetarian if you used mushrooms instead of pork!

For more fun tater tot recipes, check out my brussel sprouts and tots, clam chowder tots, or banh mi tots!

Mapo Tofu Tots

A pile of tater tots smothered in a mapo tofu style gravy with pork, tofu, and plenty of Sichuan peppercorns. Top with scallions and grab a fork!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Keyword: Mash-Up, Spicy, Tots
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 596kcal


  • 60 tots
  • 2 tablespoons sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 long hot red and green chiles diced
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fermented bean paste
  • 3 tablespoons xiaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 overflowing cup cubed firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • chopped scallions and more sliced chiles


  • Preheat oven to 450. Place the tots on a baking sheet and toss with a splash of oil and pinch of salt. Bake about 15 minutes, remove from oven and flip, then bake another 5 to 10 minutes until crispy and hot.
  • Grind half of the Sichuan peppers into a powder. Take the other half and toss them into a pan with the vegetable oil. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oil.
  • Add the onion, hot peppers, and pork to the oil and turn the heat up. Cook 10 minutes until lightly browned and the pork is cooked through and broken up.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes. Add in the bean paste, wine, soy sauce, and stock. Stir to combine. Add in the tofu and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Mix the cornstarch with water and add a little at a time to the tofu mixture until the sauce reaches the desired thickness.
  • Put the tots on a plate and pour the tofu mixture on top. Top with scallions and chile peppers and serve with lots of forks.


Calories: 596kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 1241mg | Potassium: 729mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 3mg

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