Sichuan cuisine has to rank up there with my most favorite of foods from around the world. There’s the spicy punch, the sizzling and numbing Sichuan peppercorn bite, and the oodles of garlic. It’s a culinary style that is guaranteed to turn your day around with vibrance and vigor.
This packet sauce from House Foods aims to enable the home cook to whip up one of Sichuan cooking’s classics with minimal effort. Mapo tofu (Mabo tofu here) is a mix of ground pork, tofu (usually the softer silken type) and a sauce that brims with spice and flavor. Here’s my creation with the House Foods sauce:
In fairness I went a little overboard with the pork. The package calls for 2 ounces and I probably a little over four. Everything else was per the packaging instructions.
The result was a sadly lackluster affair. Despite a med-hot sticker on the box I had to add my own chili oil as you can see in the picture. There was little to no heat level to my palate. Moreover there was no major Sichuan peppercorn bite, none of that numbing, dizzying flavor and experience.
I happily finished every last bite, the sauce wasn’t unpleasant at all, I’m just not sure I could say it was a good representation of mapo/mabo tofu.
House Foods Chinese Mabo Tofu Sauce ingredients, nutrition
Is House Foods Chinese Mabo Tofu Sauce any good?
Sadly this one is a pass for me. We normally love products from House Foods but feel this one misses the mark. There’s none of the signature sizzle and spice I’d normally associate with a mapo tofu dish. This isn’t poor tasting by any means, but I’d be hard pressed to say it presses those mapo tofu buttons.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC – Utah’s biggest and oldest online food magazine; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. I started Shop Smart to catalogue my adventures in the grocery store and kitchen. Follow along on Instagram too!