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Mabo Dofu

When I first started to make mabo tofu at home, I used a packaged mapo dofu mix.  House brand makes a pretty good one. I used that one for years, but when I tried the recipe from Just One Cookbook, Nami's was so much tastier!

Nami has a great blog and has won many awards. You'll have a lot of fun exploring all her recipes and tips at:  Not only is this dish tasty, but it doesn't take long to cook, only about 20 minutes--it will be done in the time it takes to make rice!

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Prep Time: 5 | Cook Time: 20 | Ready In: 25
Ingredients: Print   Add to cart
US Metric
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork (or any other meat/veggies of your choice)
  • 14 oz. package medium tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions


  • 2 tablespoons Tobanjian or Toban Djan (use Tobanjian with chili for spicier sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon Aloha shoyu
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 cup water

Order Easy Chinese Cookbook

Cooking Process:

Nami uses the soft, silken tofu, but I like this one. It's the kind I grew up eating. I also like Trader Joe's medium tofu. You can use whatever is available, or whichever you like.

Drain the water from the tofu package and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Have the minced garlic and ginger ready, as well as the sauce ingredients.

I couldn't find the same jar of Tobanjian that Nami uses. The next time I go to 99 Ranch Market, I'll look for it--Nami has a photo of the jar of Tobanjian she uses in her pantry. I had to ask someone at Nijiya Market to help me find this one, since the only thing I could read was "Kikkoman" in Japanese (and that's also written in English!). This one's a little bit spicy. In the photo of all the ingredients, there's a red tube of a spicy one--I haven't tried that one yet since this one was spicy enough for me.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to a hot pan and saute 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1 tablespoon minced ginger root until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground pork and saute over medium heat until cooked through. Add the sauce mixture and stir until the mixture becomes thick like gravy. Add a little more water if the sauce is too thick or too strong for your taste.

When my kids were little, I made mabo tofu and added thinly sliced nappa cabbage or thinly sliced zucchini. If you're adding vegetables, add them after the meat is browned and before you pour the sauce mixture into the pan.

Add the diced tofu and mix gently.

Add green onions just before serving--I like adding about a quarter-cup. I decided to save most of the green onions to sprinkle on top of each serving.

Serve over hot rice with chili flakes on-the-side for those that like it spicier!