Mapo Tofu

Posted on June 6, 2009 at 11:13 AM

I took Ana on a long walk and came home around 7pm.  I still didn't know what I was going to make for supper.  I looked inside the fridge and found 3 blocks of tofu and ground chicken.  I wanted to use them up so I decided Mapo Tofu. 

MapoTofu is a very popular Szechuan dish in Japan.  It's a "Teiban" - a"standard" fast food  that I make at home.  My Mapo Tofu is milder than the original Szechuan dish.  This is what happens to most foreign dishes when it reaches the Japanese kitchen.  We adjust the recipes to suit our milder palate.  I still use Tobanjan - the hot Chinese fermented bean paste but sparingly because the heat is rather intense. I combine it with Japanese miso paste which tones down the intensity and gives it a nice beany flavor of miso.   

If anyone wants the dish tobe hotter, I pass the hot chili sauce at the table or you can add more Tobanjan or La Yu while you are cooking the dish. The tofu cubes can be cut small or big.  Smaller tofu cubes make the dish look fancier. Also, a dash of ground Szechuan pepper at the end adds a nice fragrance and spice to the dish.  With bowls of steamed rice, this makes a quick and satsifying meal.




Serves 2-3 

  • 3/4 lbs ground chicken, beef or pork
  • 1 medium firm tofu, cot into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tbls soy sauce 
  • 1 medium firm tofu (men-goshi tofu)
  • 4 scallions, chopped - white and green parts
  • 1 tbls ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped  
  • 2 Tbls white miso paste or more to taste
  • 1 tsp Tobanjan (Chinese fermented bean paste) or more to taste
  • 2 Tbls Sake 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp sugar 
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 Tbls corn starch (Katakuriko) mixed with 1 Tbls water
  • Ground Szhechuan Pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying - I use roasted sesame oil (1-2 Tbls)
  • La Yu (optional hot seasoning)
  1. Combine ground meat with soysauce. Let meat marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Mix miso paste,  sake, salt, sugar and water in a small bowl and set aside. 
  3. In a medium size frying pan, heat oil and saute ground mea over medium heat until the meat is cooked and a little crispy.  Add the chopped ginger, white part of green onions and garlic.  Mix in the miso mixture and bring the heat to a simmer.
  4. Blanch the tofu cubes in hot water for 2-3 minutes.  Drain.  Gently add the tofu cubes and continue cooking over low heat for another 10 minutes.  
  5. Combine cornstarch with one tablespoon of water to dissolve the starch.  Pour the starch mixture into the frying pan.  Mix it into the meat-tofu mixture.  Be careful not to break and crumble the tofu cubes.  Cook until the cornstarch liquid thickens the Mapo Tofu.
  6. Sprinkle with scallions and ground some Szechuan pepper on top.  Serve immediately with fresh steamed rice.

Categories: Meat , Egg and Tofu

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