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Japanese Mapo Tofu

Japanese Mapo Tofu Recipe

This recipe uses a Japanese brand of doubanjiang (spicy hot bean sauce). You can use any favourite brand of Japanese-style (or even Chinese) hot bean sauce and adjust the seasonings to taste accordingly.

Check out the ingredients and detailed step-by-step photos on the previous page.


  • 150g minced pork (or chicken)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Japanese la doubanjiang (spicy chilli bean paste/hot bean paste/辣豆瓣酱)
  • cornstarch slurry (dissolve 2 tbsp cornstarch in 2 tbsp water)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 dried red chilli deseeded & sliced thinly; to taste
  • 1 block (250g) tofu cubed

Sauce (whisk in a bowl)

  • 1/2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp doubanjiang
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 150ml water
  • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin


  1. Marinade minced pork (or chicken) in sesame oil and doubanjiang. Use chopsticks to stir in a circular motion to mix in the hot bean sauce until the meat is evenly coated.
  2. Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside, making sure the miso & doubanjiang is fully dissolved.
  3. Heat oil in wok. Fry minced ginger and garlic briefly until aromatic. Then add marinated meat. Fry until the meat just turned fully opaque.
  4. Add prepared sauce and stir well to mix. Cover with lid and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add tofu and mix them into the sauce gently, taking care not to break them. Cover with lid and simmer for another minute. Season the sauce to taste.
  6. Stir in cornstarch slurry gradually to thicken sauce to liking (you may not need to use all of it). Garnish with chopped spring onions before serving.

Cooking Note(s):

  1. I usually buy pressed tofu as it is multi-purpose (can be used for steaming, frying and soup) and the tofu being quite firm, does not break easily. If you want a more silky soft texture, use silken tofu.
  2. For best results, use minced pork (or chicken) with some fats on for better flavour.
  3. In place of dried red chilli, you can also use cayenne pepper powder, 1/4 tsp at a time, to build up the heat level.
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2 comments on “Japanese Mapo Tofu”

  1. Looks so appetizing! I love that sauce a lot.

  2. 太开胃太下饭了!惨了,肚子饿了 !
    Singapore Daiso is much better compared to in the US. The variety of items is not as good here. I don’t remember seeing doubanjiang in the Daiso here but let me check again next time.

    Many times, the mapo tofu we have outside is too salty 口味太重 but yours looks just perfect with right amount of spice, flavor and depth (with the use of miso).

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