Japanese-Style Mapo Tofu

Serves 4
Total Time
20 Minutes
For the sauce
75g of brown miso
75g of tobanjan chilli bean paste
2 tbsp of soy sauce
4 tbsp of mirin (or 2 tbsp of sugar dissolved in 2 tbsp of water)
125ml of water
1 tsp of cornflour
2 tbsp of sesame oil
For the mapo tofu
500g of firm tofu (or silken if you prefer)
2 tbsp of sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
250g of minced pork
100g of bamboo shoots, cubed (optional)
To garnish
1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tsp of toasted white sesame seeds
Generous pinch of shichimi pepper or hot chilli (dried red pepper) flakes
Step 1

Start by making the sauce. Place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, mix well and set aside.

Step 2

Cut the tofu into 2cm cubes, place in a pan of boiling water over a medium heat, and when the cubes come up to the surface, remove them from the pan and drain over a colander for a few minutes. This will prevent the tofu from breaking up as it stir-fries.

Step 3

When you're ready to cook, heat the sunflower oil in a wok until smoking hot, add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant but not burnt. Add the pork and cook, stirring constantly, until it is no longer pink.

Step 4

Add the bamboo shoots, if using, and stir-fry for another minute, then add the sauce and cook on a gentle heat for about three minutes, stirring from time to time. Finally add the tofu, gently mixing, and let it warm through for a couple of minutes.

Step 5

Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with the sesame seed oil, and scatter over the spring onions, white sesame seeds and shichimi pepper or hot chilli (dried red pepper) flakes. Serve immediately.

Recipe from The Japanese Larder by Luiz Hara (Jacqui Small, £26)

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