Turkey Ma Po Tofu for Two

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 calories and saturated fat 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 for Two

Makes: 2 servings, 1 1/4 cups each

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups each

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Total Time:


  • 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (see Tips)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons black bean-garlic sauce (see Tips)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup water plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 ounces 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • Half a 14- to 16-ounce package water-packed soft tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. Whisk chile-garlic sauce, black bean sauce, rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce and 2/3 cup water in a small bowl; set near the stove.
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet or flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok over medium-high heat. Add turkey and mushrooms and cook, stirring and breaking up the turkey, until it is no longer pink and mushrooms have released their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Add scallions and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the reserved sauce and bring to a boil. Add tofu and gently stir to combine. Cook until the tofu is hot, about 2 minutes. Combine cornstarch with the remaining 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and add to the pan; simmer until the sauce is glossy and thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve garnished with scallions, if desired.

Tips & Notes

  • Tips: Black bean-garlic sauce: 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.
  • Chile-garlic sauce: 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.


Per serving: 326 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; 456 mg sodium; 696 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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