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Mābōdōfu (Mapo Tofu)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Mābōdōfu is the Japanese name for Mapo Tofu which is a Chinese dish from Sichuan province. Tofu and ground meat are stir fried with flavoursome sauce. But the flavour of Mābōdōfu is yet again modified to suit to Japanese palette and not as spicy as the Chinese version of mapo tofu.

It is quite simple to make just like many Chinese stir fries. Cut the ingredients, mix the sauce, stir fry and add the sauce.

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 275 g (9.7oz) firm tofu cut into 2cm (¾”) cubes (note 1)
  • 200 g (7.1oz) pork mince (ground pork) (note 2)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sake
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp clove of garlic finely minced
  • 2 tsp finely minced ginger
  • 1 cup finely chopped shallots (scallions)
  • 1 dried small chilli finely sliced (note 3)
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 150 ml (5.1oz) stock (beef or chicken)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp miso
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chilli bean paste (note 4)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/corn starch diluted in 1 tbsp water
Garnish (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallots (scallions)
  1. Mix all of the Sauce ingredients except corn flour in a bowl ensuring that miso is completely dissolved with no lumps.

  2. Heat a wok or a deep fry pan over high heat. When smoke starts rising up, add oil, then add pork mince. Stir-fry the mince, breaking up the lumps until the meat is cooked through (about 2 minutes).

  3. Add 1 teaspoon each of soy sauce and sake, a pinch of salt and pepper to the mince and stir.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Add garlic, ginger shallots and chilli, then stir for 30 seconds.

  5. Add the sauce mix and increase the heat to bring it to a boil. Add tofu and cook until it starts boiling again.

  6. Reduce the heat to medium, add cornflour and mix well but gently to maintain consistency of the thickened sauce.

  7. When the sauce is thickened, add sesame oil and mix, then turn the heat off.

  8. Serve immediately with chopped shallots sprinkled on top if using.

Recipe Notes

1. When stir-frying tofu, you should use firm tofu which is called momen dofu (木綿豆腐) in Japanese. Silken tofu is too fragile for stir-fry. It will crumble while mixing the ingredients.

Hard tofu can also be used but I find that the texture of the hard tofu is too hard.

2. I used pork mince (ground pork) in this recipe but you could also use beef instead of pork.

3. You can adjust the amount of chilli depending on your preference.

4. Chilli bean paste is called doubanjiang or toban-djan (豆板醤). You can buy a bottle of doubanjian at Asian grocery stores.

If you like spicy food, you can increase the amount of chilli bean paste.