Japanese Mapo Tofu
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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.
- 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
- 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.
- Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside, making sure the miso & doubanjiang is fully dissolved.
- Heat oil in wok. Fry minced ginger and garlic briefly until aromatic. Then add marinated meat. Fry until the meat just turned fully opaque.
- Add prepared sauce and stir well to mix. Cover with lid and simmer for 2 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- For best results, use minced pork (or chicken) with some fats on for better flavour.
- 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.