I've made this mapo tofu recipe at least six times this year, obviously because I love the taste of it.
It shows that tofu demands strong flavouring. In this recipe, the blandness of the tofu is actually needed for relief from the fiery sauce. I really think that using meat in place of the tofu might mix too many strong flavours together, doing none of them justice. Made with tofu, the bland balances out the bold, which is why it's so good.