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Easy Japanese Mapo Tofu

by momen
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Easy mapo tofu recipe

It’s easy and simple Japanese style Mapo Tofu made with minimal ingredient. Mabo Tofu, spicy stir-fry bean curd with ground meat is widely known as Chinese cuisine. It’s also very common homemade dish in Japan! I make it regular basis because my family loves it. It may be Japanese version of Mapo Tofu is less spicy than Chinese original one, which I’ve never had it in China though. Red bean spice is essential ingredient for Mapo Tofu, but without hot spice, it’s still delicious that I prove in the case of making for my children.

For those of you are not familiar with Chinese ingredients, I made simplified Mapo Tofu recipe so that you can make easily but well enough authentic, flavorful and super delicious. Of course, if you have Chinese food ingredients, switch the white miso to Tian Mian Jiang Sauce, change the white wine to 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing rice wine. This simple recipe will be ready in 15 minutes. So please save the useful recipe for when you don’t feel like cooking but want to serve something decent.

I went to with silken tofu but whatever tofu kinds you like silken or firm, all works for this Mapo Tofu. My recommend is silken tofu because it’s blended easily and the tofu soak Mapo spicy seasoning quickly. Basic Japanese Mabo tofu recipe is a little too salty as we normally eat with steamed rice or place top of rice. I reduced salt for those who do not cook steamed rice everyday. So please adjust your favorite saltiness with soy sauce or tamari on the last stage of the recipe. It’s really great to eat hot and spicy Mapo Tofu in hot summer to avoid summer heat fatigue! I hope you enjoy!

Easy mapo tofu recipe
5 from 2 votes

Easy Japanese Mapo Tofu

Author Matcha and Tofu
Servings: 3


  • 300 g silken tofu
  • 150 ground pork
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • 20 cm(8 inch) spring onion or leek chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil


  • 1/2 tbsp doubanjiang, chili bean paste
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 tsp chicken broth powder
  • 1 tsp white wine
  • 1/2 cup(100ml) water

Water starch

  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch or potato starch
  • 1 tbsp water


  • Sichuan pepper powder


  • Cut the tofu into 2 cm square and drain in a strainer with paper towels.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the seasoning in a medium bowl, and mix well together.
  • Place the corn starch and the water in a small bowl, and dissolve to make the water starch.
  • Heat the 1/2 of the sesame oil in a large frying pan, and saute the garlic and the ginger until fragrant.
  • Add the ground pork and stir fly until golden brown over high heat.
  • Add the spring onion, the tofu cubes and the seasoning mixture. Then boil for 2-3 minutes as stirring gently over medium heat with a spatula.
  • Pour the water starch and stir until thickened.
  • Taste it, adjust saltiness with soy sauce to your taste if necessary. Pour the 1 tbsp of the sesame oil evenly and serve. Dash of the Sichuan pepper powder as an option. 

Recipe note: about the chicken broth powder, I recommend Ajinomoto or Lee Kum Kee.

If you want to eat with steamed rice, please refer to this recipe.

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Recipe Rating


Diane 19th 5月 2020 - 3:08 am

5 stars

Thank you for this recipe! This afternoon I was in a hurry to eat, didn’t have any ready that I could just reheat and had some tofu I wanted to use up. So I searched your blog and found this one. Although I did not have any pork on hand (actually, I don’t eat meat), it was still very good. I added some nutritional yeast to try and make up a little bit for the absence of pork.

I was inspired to serve it over a bed a very thinly sliced red cabbage (I use my Benriner mandoline for that, so the result is very, very fine) mixed with soba noodles. It makes a nice combination that complements really well this tofu dish.

momen 19th 5月 2020 - 11:48 pm

Thank you for trying the recipe! I’m very happy to hear that your arrangement went well with this Mapo tofu. I’ve never thought the combination of Mapo tofu and soba noodles, but it sounds really delicious! Thank you so much for your feedback😊