Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Mains - non veg

Mapo Tofu (Mabo Dofu)

4 servings


25 minutes

total time


2½ Tbsp doubanjiang (spicy chili bean paste) (for less spicy, use 1½ Tbsp doubanjiang (non-spicy) and 1 Tbsp la doubanjiang (spicy); read more about this condiment in the blog post; use gluten-free doubanjiang for GF) 1½ 1

1 Tbsp oyster sauce

1 Tbsp miso

½ Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp mirin

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp potato starch or cornstarch

4 Tbsp water

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp ginger (minced)

2 green onions/scallions

14 oz soft/silken tofu (kinugoshi dofu) (drain for 15–30 minutes, if you can)

1 Tbsp neutral oil

½ lb ground pork (or your choice of meat and veggies)


Gather all the ingredients.

Combine all the seasonings. Add 2½ Tbsp doubanjiang (spicy chili bean paste), 1 Tbsp oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp miso, ½ Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp mirin, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1 tsp potato starch or cornstarch, and 4 Tbsp water in a bowl. Mix well together with a whisk.

Finely mince 2 cloves garlic (I use a garlic press). Peel the ginger skin thinly with a sharp knife. If you can't peel it thinly, you can scrape it off with a spoon.

Cut the ginger into thin slices, julienne into thin strips, and then mince them. Measure 1 Tbsp ginger.

Cut 2 green onions/scallions into small pieces.

Drain 14 oz soft/silken tofu (kinugoshi dofu) and cut into ¾-inch (2-cm) cubes.

To Cook the Mapo Tofu

Heat a wok or large frying pan on medium heat. When it‘s hot, add 1 Tbsp neutral oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger to the wok.

Sauté in the oil (make sure they don‘t burn). Once they are fragrant, add ½ lb ground pork.

Cook the pork, breaking up big chunks with a spatula or wooden spoon, until no longer pink.

Add the seasoning mixture and stir thoroughly. Bring the sauce to a simmer.

Once the sauce is simmering, add the tofu and gently coat it with the sauce. Stir frequently, without mashing the tofu, until it is heated through.

Add the green onions and stir to incorporate just before taking the pan off the heat.

To Serve

Sprinkle sansho pepper and serve immediately.

You can enjoy Mapo Tofu as a part of the ichiju sansai meal or over steamed rice as a one-bowl meal.

To Store

You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this dish as tofu changes its texture once frozen.


Serving Size



263 kcal

Total Fat

17 g

Saturated Fat

5 g

Unsaturated Fat

9 g

Trans Fat



41 mg


845 mg

Total Carbohydrate

9 g

Dietary Fiber

1 g

Total Sugars

4 g


17 g

4 servings


25 minutes

total time
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