Heart Mind & Seoul

Mapo Tofu {Mapa Dubu}

Mapo Tofu {Mapa Dubu}

I’ve been living in the States for 10 years now. The first three to four years or so, I lived in a little, tiny town called Rexburg going to college and I rarely got to eat any types of Korean food… or any descent Asian food for that matter. I remember there was only one Japanese restaurant 30 minutes away from Rexburg, that was way overpriced and the food was mediocre. And of course, there were NO Korean restaurants nearby.


Then when my husband and I came here (Northern California), we were so excited for the abundance of all types of food and restaurants. We have so many choices here and I am really grateful. One of many things that I craved the most was “Mapa Dubu” (The Korean name for Mapo Tofu).


I am not quite sure where this dish is originated from… It seems as though all East Asians enjoy this dish, China, Japan, and Korea. But here’s information about Mapo Tofu on Wikipedia.


I am a big fan of the lean ground beef and tofu together, over a bed of steamed rice. I like things a little spicy so I added a little bit of red chili pepper, and oh boy, it was amazing!


The key ingredient in this recipe is definitely a good miso paste. Try to get an authentic miso paste to make this dish tastier and more flavorful. I often replace miso with Korean Ssamjang (Korean dipping paste for Korean BBQ) or Duenjang (Korean soybean paste), too.


I’ve also tried this recipe with ground turkey before, too. I’ve tried this recipe many, many times. It’s a flexible recipe which is why I love.


To make this recipe, you will need one firm tofu.


Cut the tofu into small cubes.


Brown about 1 pound 7% fat (93% lean) ground beef over medium high heat. Add the prepared tofu to the browned meat and stir together. Add the sauce and sliced red peppers to the pan and stir together gently, until the sauce thickens.

Mapo Tofu {Mapa Dubu}

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons regular Miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 chicken bullions, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1-inch gingerroot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (about 7% fat)
  • 1 lb firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 seeded red chili pepper, sliced thinly (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 green onion, chopped (optional)
  • Cooked rice

  1. Mix water, Miso paste, sake, salt and bullion in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in pan and saute onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.
  3. Add the lean ground beef to the pan and cook until browned. Add the prepared tofu and stir gently. Add the prepared sauce and stir. Add sliced red chili pepper to the pan.
  4. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the pan, stirring carefully. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the pan. Stir until the sauce thickens.
  5. Sprinkle with green onions if desired and serve with steamed rice.


5 Responses to “Mapo Tofu {Mapa Dubu}”

  1. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — August 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    How did you know that mapo tofu is one of my most FAVORITE tofu dishes?!

  2. #
    Belinda @zomppa — August 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    This is one of my favorite dishes!! Your version looks absolutely perfect.

  3. #
    Belinda @zomppa — August 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    That is a dangerously awesome pairing!!

  4. #
    Mark Wiens — August 17, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I’m a big fan of mapa dubu, the combination makes it such a comforting dish!

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