Mapo Tofu is one of the popular Chinese dishes in Japan. The dish contains Tofu and meat (normally beef or pork mince) quickly simmered in a spicy sauce. It originated from Sichuan province, from which you can easily imagine that the dish is very hot and spicy! Although the Japanese version is much milder, it still has some kick and we love eating it with rice.
It is very easy and quick to cook, well…, if you already have the 2 important ingredients in your kitchen – Doubanjang (fermented broad been and chilli paste) and Dou-chi (fermented black bean paste), which make this dish “Mapo”.
Yes…, I know some Asian stores sell them…, however if you are like me and do not cook much Siuchuan food, these 2 jars will be sitting and doing nothing in the kitchen cabinet for a next 3 months… So I asked myself “Can I replace them with something that I already have to make Mapo Tofu- ish dish??”.
The Answer is YES. In this recipe, I use very common Japanese ingredients – Miso, Soy Sauce, Cooking and Chilli, which gives a depth and spiciness to the dish. I also add a lot of vegetables, so that this will be a complete dish especially when you serve it on rice (like me serving it on brown rice in the picture).
For meat, I like using Kangaroo mince as I love its leanness and sustainability in Australia, but you can use any meat you like. Beef or pork mince will be lovely. Same with vegetables. Although I recommend Daikon Radish (or normal while radish) as the freshness and crunchiness works in this dish well.
If you need something quick, easy, and something different, please try this recipe. Hope you like it.
Ingredients (Serving for 4):
350g Kangaroo mince (or any meat you like, such as beef or pork mince)
1 clove of Garlic – minced
1cm cubes of Ginger – minced
1 Red eye Chili (or as many as you like) – minced
1 Onion – diced
1 Zucchini – diced
½ Red Capsicum – diced
200g Daikon Radish – about 10cm long – diced
200g Silken Tofu – cut into about 2cm cubes
1 Teaspoon of Corn Starch or Potato Starch
½ Teaspoon of Sesame Oil
2 Spring Onions – finely chopped
Sauce A – combined all together
1 Tablespoon of Miso
½ Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
½ Tablespoon of Sugar
½ Teaspoon of Chili Powder
Sauce B – combined all together
1.5 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake
1 Tablespoon of Miso
- In a frying pan, heat a small amount of oil (not included in the ingredients’ list above) on medium/high heat. Stir- fry kangaroo mince, garlic, ginger and red eye chilli, while breaking up the mince with a spatula or wooden spoon. In order to bring the kangaroo’s best flavour, please stir fry it very well. When the mince starts becoming brown, oil from the mince will come out. Even though the mince has become brown and looks cooked, please keep cooking until the oil has disappeared.
- Add Sauce A and cook all together for about 1 minute or until the mince is well coated by the sauce. If the sauce starts burning in the frying pan, add s splash of water to it (not included in the ingredients’ list above).
- Add onion, zucchini, capsicum and daikon radish to the frying pan. Stir fry them for about 2 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add Sauce B to the frying and and bring it to the boil.
- Place the tofu into the frying pan. Stir and cook the tofu gently in the sauce. Please work gently not to break down the tofu. Simmer it for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
- Take 3 tablespoons of the sauce out from the frying pan to a small bowl. Add corn starch to the bowl and whisk it until the corn starch has completely dissolved. Add the mixture back to the frying pan and mix it into the sauce gently. Cook it for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce becomes thickened. Turn the heat off and add sesame oil.
- Top with spring onions and serve while hot. You can serve it on your choice of rice.