Turkey Ma Po Tofu

July/August 2013

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Ma Po Tofu is a traditional Chinese recipe usually made with ground pork. This delicious, healthy version uses ground turkey to cut saturated fat and calories and adds mushrooms for extra veggies. Serve with brown rice and make it extra special with a drizzle of sesame oil just before serving.

Turkey Ma Po Tofu

Makes: 4 servings, 1 1/4 cups each

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 tablespoons chile-garlic sauce (see Tips)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black bean-garlic sauce (see Tips)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups water plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 14- to 16-ounce package water-packed soft tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Whisk chile-garlic sauce, black bean sauce, rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce and 1 1/4 cups water in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and mushrooms and cook, stirring and breaking up the turkey, until it is no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add scallions and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the reserved sauce; bring to a boil. Stir in tofu and cook until hot, about 2 minutes. Combine cornstarch with the remaining 2 tablespoons water and add to the pan. Simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Tips: A blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar, chile-garlic sauce is commonly used to add heat and flavor to Asian soups, sauces and stir-fries. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets (sometimes labeled as chili-garlic sauce or paste) and keeps up to 1 year in the refrigerator.
  • Black bean-garlic sauce is a savory sauce used in Chinese cooking, made from fermented black soybeans, garlic and rice wine. Find it in the Asian-foods section of most supermarkets or at Asian markets. Refrigerate for up to 1 year.


Per serving: 325 calories; 18 g fat (3 g sat, 5 g mono); 65 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 31 g protein; 1 g fiber; 451 mg sodium; 695 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium (20% daily value), Iron (19% dv), Folate (17% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1/2 vegetable, 4 medium-fat meat, 1 1/2 fat

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