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Mapo Chickpeas
5 from 3 votes
Servings: 3
Author: Lisa Lin

Mapo Chickpeas with Potatoes

This mapo chickpeas recipe is a playful adaptation of my mapo tofu recipe. The potatoes add nice textural contrast to the dish. One of the key ingredients in this dish is doubanjiang, a Sichuan-style fermented bean paste. You can read more about the different types in my blog post. You can serve the dish with any kind of rice and vegetable side dish you like. I’ve included a quick recipe for cilantro lime rice in note 1.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes


Mushrooms, Potatoes & Chickpeas

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, safflower, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (65g) finely diced shiitake mushrooms
  • salt for cooking mushroom and potatoes
  • 4 to 5 ounces (113g to 141g) potatoes,, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one (15.5-ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed


  • 3 to 4 teaspoons red Sichuan peppercorns, depending on desired level of spice
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable, safflower, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons doubanjiang, depending on type of doubanjiang (see note 2)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons gochugaru, (see note 3 for substitutions)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 stalks of scallions, sliced, lighter pieces and dark green pieces separated


  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish


Cook Mushrooms

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with a small pinch of salt.
  • Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and turn off the heat.

Cook Potatoes

  • Add the potatoes and a generous pinch of salt to a saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water.
  • Bring the water to boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-high and continue cooking the potatoes for another 6 to 8 minutes, until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.

Prepare Sauce

  • Grind the Sichuan peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Sift the ground peppercorns through a fine mesh to sift out the tough husks. Discard the tough husks.
  • In a small bowl, stir the water and cornstarch (or tapioca starch) together. Set it aside.
  • In the same wok (or sauté pan) that you used to cook the mushrooms, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 30 seconds. Then, add the doubanjiang and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the ground Sichuan peppercorn, gochugaru (or other chili flakes), and sugar and stir together.
  • Give the cornstarch slurry a stir again and add to the wok (see note 4). Add the white and light green parts of the scallion. Let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes.

Mix Sauce with Mushrooms & Chickpeas

  • Add the chickpeas, potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms to the wok. Toss everything together. Add the dark green parts of the scallions to the wok, saving a small pinch for garnish. Toss everything again and transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Garnish the mapo chickpeas with the remaining scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with a side of vegetables and jasmine rice or cilantro lime rice (see below for recipe).


  1. Cilantro Lime Rice: Cook 1 cup of jasmine rice using the stovetop method outlined in this recipe. Once cooked, let the rice sit, covered for 15 minutes. Then, fluff up the rice with a fork. Mix in 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, zest of 1 lime, juice from 1 lime, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic.
  2. I used hongyou Pixian douban (紅油郫县豆瓣) to develop this recipe. You can find it in Asian grocery stores, especially ones that sell Chinese ingredients. One tablespoon of hongyou Pixian douban will deliver a good amount of spice to the dish, but feel free to use 4 teaspoons if you want something spicier. If you can’t find any Pixian doubanjiang but can find ones made from other brands like Lee Kum Kee or Zhuangyuan (狀元). These latter brands of doubanjiang tend not to be as spicy or salty, so you can use up to 2 tablespoons of doubanjiang for the recipe. Just add the sauce gradually and taste as you go.
  3. Traditional mapo tofu recipes use Chinese-style red chili flakes for the dish. I prefer using gochugaru because it gives the sauce a nice red color and a subtle smoky flavor. Note that different chili flakes vary in their level of spice! If you’re using a very mildly spiced chili flake, use 1 tablespoon and add more if desired. Chili flakes from the supermarket that are sold with the seeds tend to be spicier. If you’re using that type of chili flake or any spicy chili flake, start with 3/4 teaspoon of the flakes and add more if you want more spice.
  4. Cornstarch settles at the bottom very easily. That’s why you should stir the cornstarch right before adding to the wok.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.7g | Protein: 9.9g | Fat: 17.7g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 734mg | Fiber: 10.4g | Sugar: 3.2g
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