Host Charlotte Mei, runner-up of culinary competition Eat List Star shares her recipe for this dish from the inaugural episode of makan show Crave, now airing on Ch 5.

Mapo Tofu With Soba

Serves 2 


- ½ tbsp Sichuan peppers, whole

- 100g minced pork (or beef/chicken)

- ½ tsp sesame oil

- ½ tsp salt

- 2 tbsp vegetable oil

- 1 ½ tbsp dou ban jiang (chilli bean sauce)

- 2 pcs garlic, minced

- 1-inch pc ginger, minced

- 2 spring onions, white portion only, sliced

- 2 spring onions, green portion only, sliced

- 400ml water

- 2 ½ tbsp water

- 1 tbsp cornstarch

- 1 block of silken tofu, cut into cubes

- 1 tbsp light soy sauce

- ½ a packet of soba


1. To make Sichuan pepper powder, heat the peppercorns in a dry pan over medium heat until the aroma of the peppers is released. About 3 minutes.

2. Remove peppercorns from heat and allow to cool, then pound with a mortar and pestle and sieve mixture to obtain a fine powder. Set aside.

3. Marinate the pork with sesame oil and salt. Set aside.

4. In a large wok, heat the veg oil over medium-high heat and fry the pork. Once lightly browned and cooked, remove the meat out and set aside.

5. Add dou ban jiang to the wok and fry for 30 seconds over low fire.

6. Add the garlic, ginger and spring onions (white portion) and fry for 30 seconds.

7. Add the 400ml water and bring to a boil.

8. Once mixture boils, add the tofu, beef and light soy sauce.

9. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding the spring onions (green portion).

10. Combine cornstarch with 2 ½ tbsp water, stir till mixed and pour  into the wok.

11. Stir well until the contents thicken.

12. Add Sichuan pepper powder to taste.

13. While mapo tofu is thickening, cook soba according to its packet instructions. Shake excess water from the noodles and divide into two plates. Ladle mapo tofu and sauce generously over each plate of soba and serve immediately.

Catch Crave on Ch 5, Tue, 8pm, or on Toggle.