Mapo Tofu

Mapo tofu has its roots in China, but it's a dish that has become a staple in Japanese households and restaurants. Master this recipe for delicious, authentic mapo tofu!

Mapo Tofu
Photographed by Akio Takeuchi


Recipe by
Harumi Kurihara

Average

Beef

Vegetables

Beans & Tofu

350kcal

20minutes

Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 blocks kinugoshidofu (700 g)
  • 1/2 Japanese leek (50 g)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 piece ginger
  • 200 g beef trimmings
  • [A]

    • 1 tsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
      Note

      *If unavailable, substitute sake.

    • A pinch of sugar
    • A dash of sesame oil
    • A pinch of salt
    • A pinch of pepper
  • [B]

    • 300 ml soup
      Note

      *Dissolve 2 tsp granulated chicken stock (Chinese) in 300 ml of hot water.

    • 3 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp broad bean chili paste
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
    Note

    *If unavailable, substitute sake.

  • Sichuan pepper, as needed
    Note

    *Adjust amount to taste.

  • Cilantro, as desired
  • 1-1 1/2 tbsp potato starch
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Sesame oil, as needed

Directions

1

Mince the leek. Mince the garlic and ginger separately.

2

Crush the Sichuan pepper in a suribachi grinding bowl.

3

Mix 1-1 1/2 tbsp of potato starch with equal parts water.

4

Chop up the beef trimmings and marinate in [A] for 2-3 minutes.

5

Cut the tofu into 1.5 cm cubes. Add a pinch of salt to a pot of boiling water. Parboil the tofu for 1-2 minutes and then drain.

Advice

Parboiling the tofu removes excess water, which keeps the sauce from getting watery. It also helps prevent the tofu from crumbling.

6

Combine the [B] ingredients in a saucepan and keep warm.

7

Add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil to a deep frying pan and place over high heat. Stir-fry the minced leek, garlic, and ginger until aromatic. Add the marinated beef and stir-fry until cooked through. Add the broad bean chili paste, stir-fry, then mix in the Shaoxing rice wine. Add the seasoned soup and bring to a gentle boil. Add the tofu and give a few big stirs.

8

Give the potato starch thickener another stir before adding to the pan. Turn off the heat when thickened, and drizzle sesame oil on top in a circular motion. Finally, sprinkle the Sichuan pepper and give a quick stir.

9

Plate and garnish with cilantro to taste.