I ate mapo tofu a lot when growing up but never learned how to cook it. In fact, it wasn’t until a year or so ago that I took an interest in cooking Chinese food. If I knew that mapo tofu is so easy to make, I’d have learned how to make it sooner! Could you believe that with only a few ingredients and some pantry items, you can make a delicious dish that goes well with rice?
What is Japanese Style Mapo Tofu?
Mapo tofu is a popular Chinese dish that originated from Sichuan. It’s a saucy dish made of key ingredients such as minced pork, soft tofu and spicy chili bean sauce (doubanjiang). Like other Sichuan dishes, it’s usually too spicy for me. This is why I make the Japanese style mapo tofu, which is less spicy and has a touch of sweetness. The sweetness comes from mirin and sugar, while the addition of miso boosts the flavour and lowers the heat from the spicy chili bean sauce.
Mapo Tofu – A Quick Dinner Solution
If you find that you don’t have much time to cook dinner during the weekday then you will love this recipe. Mapo tofu can be put together really quickly, especially if you make the sauce ahead of time. The night before, measure all the sauce ingredients in a jar. Use a small whisk to combine everything, then cover and keep refrigerated. When you are ready to use the sauce, shake it well before you add it to the pan. That’s it!
Japanese Style Mapo Tofu Recipe (麻婆豆腐食譜)
- 250 g ground pork
- 700 g soft tofu, cubed
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 3 green onion, finely chopped
- 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
Mapo Tofu Sauce
- 5 tbsp spicy chili bean sauce spicy doubanjian
- 4 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 8 tbsp water
- Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and mix well with a whisk.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium heat. Add minced garlic and minced ginger, and cook until fragrant. Add the ground pork and break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Once the ground pork is cooked and no longer pink, add the sauce and mix thoroughly. When the sauce begins to bubble, add in the cubed tofu and gently fold everything together, trying not to break up the tofu. Once the tofu is heated through, remove the pan or wok from heat and gently stir in the green onion. Serve with rice. Enjoy!