Dinner/ Lunch/ Recipes

Japanese Mapo Tofu Udon Bowls

26/01/2016 (Last Updated: 11/05/2018)

Imagine a world of sweet salty complexity, soft tofu and those moreish udon noodles. Hellllooooo Japanese Mapo Tofu Udon Bowls! Easy to make and ready to satisfy in minutes.

Japanese Mabo Tofu Udon Noodle Bowls - Imagine a world of salty perplexity, melt-in-your-mouth tofu and those moreish udon noodles. This is what dreams are made of, ready to satisfy in minutes. | wandercooks.com

So this week we decided to get a lil’ creative in the kitchen and experiment with some of our favourite ingredients and flavours to see what we could come up with.

World, meet our brand new spicy noodle bowl creation, Japanese Mapo Tofu Udon Noodle Bowls!

On a normal day we just can’t get enough of Mapo Tofu and Udon Noodles, but then we started wondering…

What would happen if we put them together?

Well guys. Let me just say: Magic happened.

And it only took 8 minutes.

Yep the resulting dish was so quick and easy to make it was a surprise even for us.

I can eat it now? Sarah’s nod of approval and the steaming bowl in front of me said yes.

Japanese Mabo Tofu Udon Noodle Bowls - Imagine a world of salty perplexity, melt-in-your-mouth tofu and those moreish udon noodles. This is what dreams are made of, ready to satisfy in minutes. | wandercooks.com

We started off with Mapo Tofu, a super delicious delicacy with origins going back to the Szechuan province of China. A tasty concoction of beef or pork mince and chunks of satisfying tofu in an intense sweet and salty sauce, This dish has become insanely popular in Japan too.

Our favourite part of Mabo Tofu is its spicy savoury kick. It’s an awesome way to work up a sweat on a chilly winter’s day.

Udon noodles dressed up in funky mapo flavours takes things to a whole new level. Click To Tweet

 

Our all-time, number-one FAVOURTE restaurant in Osaka (Mi Wa Tei) dishes up Mapo Tofu as a side dish to its other Chinese-Japanese fusion creations. This little bowl of goodness is so good it’s on our ‘must-order’ list – and if we can coax the chef to fess up to a few recipes you can be sure we’ll share them with you.

Dished up the traditional way, Mapo Tofu has such a strong flavour that it’s best served as a side dish.

So we decided to give it a bit of Wandercooks flair by adding in one of our favourite Japanese ingredients – udon noodles.

Japanese Mabo Tofu Udon Noodle Bowls - Imagine a world of salty perplexity, melt-in-your-mouth tofu and those moreish udon noodles. This is what dreams are made of, ready to satisfy in minutes. | wandercooks.com

Oh yes.

I’m literally addicted to udon noodles – I can’t get enough of them – and now I’ve managed to bring Sarah over to the dark side (aka udon noodle heaven) too.

And it’s not just because they are ridiculously fun to make… with your feet?!

I love how chewy they are, how much they soak up all the flavours, and how awesome they are no matter how you serve them. Hot or cold?

Plain or soaked in a tasty dipping sauce? I don’t care, let me at them!

(Hint hint: the most amazing udon noodle dipping sauce in the world is super easy: soy sauce + shredded daikon + toasted sesame powder + chilli + spring onion. You’re welcome).

Japanese Mabo Tofu Udon Noodle Bowls - Imagine a world of salty perplexity, melt-in-your-mouth tofu and those moreish udon noodles. This is what dreams are made of, ready to satisfy in minutes. | wandercooks.com

But, when dressed up in funky mapo flavours these udon noodles reach a whole other level.

They were so good we made Japanese Mapo Tofu with Udon Noodles three times this week alone.

Um, did I mention we’re addicted?

Even our Japanese friend Rieko went back for seconds.

So we’ve decided to share it with the world.

Let the addiction spread!

Japanese Mabo Tofu Udon Noodle Bowls - Imagine a world of salty perplexity, melt-in-your-mouth tofu and those moreish udon noodles. This is what dreams are made of, ready to satisfy in minutes. | wandercooks.com

Do you love Asian food? So do we! So much that we made a cookbook about it. Vietnam: Discover. Cook. Eat. is a collection of our favourite recipes discovered on a wandering month long tour through Vietnam. Plus, it’s FREE. Check it out. 🙂

Japanese Mabo Tofu Udon Noodle Bowls - Imagine a world of salty perplexity, melt-in-your-mouth tofu and those moreish udon noodles. This is what dreams are made of, ready to satisfy in minutes. | wandercooks.com

Japanese Mapo Tofu Udon Bowls

Imagine a world of sweet salty complexity, soft tofu and those moreish udon noodles. Hellllooooo Japanese Mapo Tofu Udon Bowls! Easy to make and ready to satisfy in minutes.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 2
Author: Wandercooks

Ingredients

  • 300 g pork mince
  • 100 g pack firm tofu cubed
  • 1 packet fresh udon noodles not frozen
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 cm ginger finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chinese black bean sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp white miso
  • 2 tbsp mirin sweet rice wine
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sliced spring onion garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan or wok over a high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant (about 1 min).
  • Add the pork and fry until browned.
  • Add soy sauce, mirin, miso, black bean sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Mix until combined. Mix corn starch and water in a separate bowl, then add to pork mixture and stir through until sauce thickens.
  • Add tofu and udon noodles. Mix carefully to avoid breaking the tofu. Once noodles have softened (after around 30 seconds) transfer to serving bowls. Garnish with green onion.
  • Alternatively, you can cook the udon noodles in bowling water separately for a minute then add to the bowl first and place the mapo tofu mixture on top.

Notes

White miso (aka shiro miso) is sweeter than yellow or red miso and has a more subtle flavour. This helps to balance the salty black bean and soy sauce without subtracting from the awesome flavour.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago
    16/02/2016 at 4:21 am

    I love Udon noodles too, and noodles bowls are such a great option for a quick meal. I cannot believe you can make this one in 10 minutes!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      16/02/2016 at 7:43 pm

      Yep, it helps when you can find the fresh udon at the Asian grocer which is precooked – it only needs a couple of minutes in the pan to soften up and you’re good to go. Of course, you could always make your own udon noodles and keep them in the freezer for recipes like this!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Accidental Happy Baker
    15/02/2016 at 9:25 am

    Amazing meal in under 10 minutes? What’s not to love! I have a cold right now and I can tell you that a big bowl of these noodles sounds like just the ticket to perk me back up. Yum.

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake
    15/02/2016 at 3:35 am

    I can’t believe this takes less than 10 minutes to make, it looks soooo amazing!
    I love Japanese food, but never made it at home – this is going to the top of the “to make” list!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/02/2016 at 1:47 pm

      Super quick hey, we love making this for a weekend lunch, or quick weeknight meal. This would be a great recipe to start with at home as it has all the basic Japanese ingredients to get your pantry stocked ready for the next recipe! 🙂

  • Reply
    Noel
    15/02/2016 at 2:07 am

    Isn’t it wonderful how some noodles will soak up the sauce and become some kind of food that is close to heaven?

    yummed!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/02/2016 at 1:45 pm

      We’re still wondering why they aren’t served with halos. 😛

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    14/02/2016 at 10:52 pm

    I could quite easily faceplant myself in this right now.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/02/2016 at 11:09 pm

      Bahaha! You’re a crack up. Also. We’re totally with you on that. These bowls are sickeningly moreish. 😛

  • Reply
    Hannah
    27/01/2016 at 12:40 pm

    Salty and noodle-y always wins me over! I’ve never seen fresh udon at my grocery store though – do you think cooking the dry type then adding to the other ingredients would work?

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