This Vegan Mapo Tofu is a Japanese-style mapo tofu made with a light and gentle blend of seasonings that creates an appetizing flavor. You won't find anything too spicy, but the dish still has enough heat to create a satisfying meal for everyone in your family!
Mapo tofu is a popular Chinese dish from the Sichuan Province. It is also a well-liked home-cooked dish here in Japan (we call it mabo dofu). It's one of our favorite dishes because it has nice flavors and goes really well with noodles or steamed rice.
It's usually cooked with ground meat (ground pork or beef), but I decided to make a vegan version of the original recipe.
- This recipe is for you if:
- you love tofu and Japanese recipes.
- you are looking for a mabo dofu recipe.
- you want to make Japanese mabo dofu.
- you are looking for a vegan/vegetarian tofu recipe.
I will show you how to make this vegan dish. If you want to check the recipe, please jump to the recipe card. Let's get cooking!
About This Recipe
- Mapo tofu with Japanese seasonings
- Use dashi (soup stock) to add umami
- Mild spicy flavor
- Vegan recipe
Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).
- Firm Tofu: We use firm tofu (momen) as this recipe has the best texture. There is no need to press tofu, but if you prefer extra-firm tofu, please see my "How to Press Tofu" recipe.
- Vegetables: Ginger, garlic cloves, and scallions (green onions).
- Doubanjiang: This is a Chinese spicy bean paste and a key ingredient for the mapo tofu sauce. You should be able to find it at your local Asian grocery store. In the recipe, add a little so that small children can eat it. If you like spicy food, please add more as you like.
- Dashi Soup: Dried shiitake mushrooms, Mirin, Soy Sauce, Miso, and Potato starch. Dashi is a Japanese soup stock. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms (1 hour or more) and mix with seasonings to make the soup.
- Sesame Oil
I will show you how to make it step by step. You can also watch this video.
- Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in water to make dashi.
- Chop ginger and garlic finely.
- Chop the shiitake mushrooms finely.
- Cut tofu in half (One half is cut into bite-size pieces, and the other remains uncut).
- Mix seasonings in a small bowl.
- Mix 1 and 5 to make dashi soup.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to your frying pan, lower the heat, and cook vegetables until fragrant.
- Add chopped mushrooms and half of the tofu (the one that is not cut). Break the tofu into small tofu cubes.
- Cook over medium heat and scramble tofu.
- Add the other half of the tofu and dashi soup.
- Simmer on low.
- Add chopped scallions.
Here you go! A delicious tofu dish that can be enjoyed by itself or over steamed white rice (my favorite)! Japanese mabo dofu is the ultimate comfort food!
This recipe includes just enough spiciness for little kids' delicate taste buds. However, if you're into spicy food, go ahead and add more chili bean paste!
You can store leftovers in your fridge for up to 3 days after cooking this delicious meal.
🥗 Side Dishes
What dish goes well with Mabo dofu? Here are some ideas:
- Japanese Pickled Napa Cabbage
- Eggplant Teriyaki
- Kiriboshi Daikon Salad
- Simmered Daikon and Atsuage
- Cucumber with Shiokombu
Thanks for Stopping By!
I hope you and your family will enjoy this Japanese-style vegan mapo tofu recipe! It's an easy-to-make, healthy dinner with a lot of mouthwatering flavors.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡. If you’ve tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!
Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!
More Tofu Recipes You Might Like
- Vegan Tofu Nuggets
- Vegetarian Tofu Hambagu
- Teriyaki Tofu and Mushrooms
- Teriyaki Atsuage Recipe
- Japanse Tofu and Seaweed Salad
Watch How To Make It
Easy Japanese-Style Vegan Mapo Tofu RecipePrint Pin Save Saved!
- Frying pan 26 cm (10 inches)
- 3 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
- 200 ml Water
- Make dashi: Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in water for more than one hour.
- Cut vegetables: Chop scallions, ginger, and garlic finely. Squeeze the dried shiitake mushrooms, remove the stems, and chop them finely.
- Cut tofu: Cut tofu in half, cut one half into bite-size pieces, and leave the other half as it is.
- Dashi soup: Put all seasonings into a small bowl, mix, and add dashi to make a dashi soup.
- Cook vegetables: Put sesame oil in a frying pan, heat on low heat, add garlic, ginger, doubanjiang and cook until fragrant.
- Add shiitake and tofu: Add tofu (the one not cut), chopped shiitake, and stir fry scrambling tofu over medium heat for 2-3 mins.
- Simmer: Put the dashi soup and the rest of the tofu, bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for about 3 mins.
- Finish: Add chopped scallions and stir lightly.
- Storage: 3 days in the fridge.
- We use firm tofu (momen) for this recipe. There is no need to press tofu, but if you prefer extra-firm tofu, please see my "How to Press Tofu" recipe.
- If you have time, I recommend soaking dried shiitake mushrooms in water overnight in the fridge.
- The amount of doubanjiang is modest so even small children can eat it, but if you like spicy food, add as much as you like.
- Cooking time doesn't include the time for soaking shiitake mushrooms.