Mapo Tofu Recipe – Bokksu Market

Mapo Tofu Recipe

by Emi Noguchi

Mapo tofu, known in Japanese as mabo dofu, is a Szechuan dish. Like many foods from the province, it is traditionally spicy, rich, and—thanks to the Sichuan peppercorn—mouth-numbing. In Japan, mabo dofu is a very popular and fast meal to make. Adapted for the Japanese palate, mabo dofu is generally far less spicy (even with the sauce you use is “Hot”) and contains none of the unmistakably tingly Sichuan pepper. That said, this recipe is still packed with flavor, and requires very little prep time, cook time, and perishable ingredients! We recommend one of our boxed Mapo Tofu sauces.

Cook Do Mapo Tofu: Medium Hot

To round out the meal, we had ours with some seared bok choy, and, of course, a heathy serving of white rice

On to the recipe...

First, let’s gather our ingredients:

Next, all the equipment you’ll need:

  • 1 sharp cooking knife and cutting board
  • 1-2 frying pans or skillets
  • cooking chopsticks
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • rice cooker

Let’s make some dinner!

Assemble the Mabo Tofu

  1. Rinse 1 1/2 cup rice until the water is clear (measure using rice cooker cup)
  2. Soak for 30 minutes, then follow your rice cooker’s instructions!
  3. Drain and cube 1.5 boxes of firm silken tofu
  4. Brown 2-3 oz. ground beef or ground pork
  5. Add 1 full packet of Mabo Tofu sauce
  6. Carefully add cubed tofu
  7. Very gently mix in tofu (minimize stirring to avoid breaking tofu)
  8. Cook until sauce thickens

While it cooks down...bok choy!

  1. Toast sesame seeds in hot pan until fragrant. Set aside.
  2. Thoroughly rinse the mini bok choy
  3. Trim the stems and slice lengthwise
  4. Heat sesame oil in the pan
  5. Once hot, add the bok choy cut side down to sear
  6. Add half of the soy sauce and a little water
  7. Lower heat and cover. Steam for 2-3 minutes
  8. Use cooking chopsticks to flip over one by one
  9. Add remaining soy sauce and evenly sprinkle sesame seeds.
Bok Choy

Finish up:

  1. Once rice is finished, keep it in the rice cooker for 15 minutes to finish steaming
  2. Serve and enjoy while it’s hot!

Gochisosama deshita! (Thanks for all your hard work!) Let’s go enjoy some mabo tofu.

By Emi Noguchi

Author Bio

Emi Noguchi is a fiction writer, blogger, and freelance writing instructor, and co-founder of MFA App Review. After studying standard Japanese at Columbia University, she picked up Kansai-ben while living in Osaka and some Awa-ben in her paternal hometown in Tokushima. Emi is a 2020 recipient of the John Weston Award and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. You can read her work in Essay Daily, The Spectacle, and Fairy Tale Review. Emi is currently writing a novel about diasporic illnesses, art-making, and traditional Japanese puppetry.
Mapo Tofu Recipe


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