Mapo Eggplant (Mabo Nasu)

🍆 Get ready to spice up your dinner routine with Mabo Nasu! This Japanese twist on Mapo Tofu features tender eggplant, savory pork, and a bold, spicy sauce that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds. Who’s hungry? #JapaneseCuisine 🌶️ Discover the delicious fusion of flavours in Mabo Nasu, a Japanese twist on the classic Mapo Tofu. With tender eggplant, savory pork, and a bold, spicy sauce, it’s a stir-fry sensation that’s perfect for busy weeknights!

You’ve probably heard or even tried Mapo Tofu, but have you tried its Japanese cousin, Mabo Nasu? This delectable dish swaps out tofu for eggplant, resulting in a slightly spicy and incredibly flavourful experience that’s hard to resist.

Mabo Nasu, or Mapo Eggplant, is a beloved Japanese dish inspired by the iconic Mapo Tofu. With tender eggplant, savory ground pork, and a bold, spicy sauce, it’s a stir-fry sensation that’s sure to please your palate. While it may not be as fiery as its Sichuanese counterpart, Mabo Nasu offers its own unique twist on the classic, capturing the essence of Japanese cuisine with every bite.

In the 1980s, the introduction of vacuum-packaged Chinese sauces by Marumiya Food Industry and Ajinomoto revolutionized Japanese households’ approach to Chinese cooking. Among these convenient options, Mapo Tofu and Mapo Eggplant quickly rose to popularity, making it easier than ever for home cooks to recreate authentic flavours without the hassle of sourcing specialty ingredients. Thanks to these innovative sauces, Japanese-style Chinese cuisine became accessible to all, paving the way for dishes like Mabo Nasu to become weeknight staples.

While Mabo Nasu may not win any beauty contests, its flavour more than makes up for its appearance. With a classic mapo sauce that’s both savory and spicy, this dish is a true one-bowl wonder, perfect for a quick and satisfying weeknight meal. Whether served over steamed rice or noodles, Mabo Nasu is guaranteed to hit the spot and leave you craving seconds.

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Mapo Eggplant (Mabo Nasu)

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Description

Discover the delicious fusion of flavours in Mabo Nasu, a Japanese twist on the classic Mapo Tofu. With tender eggplant, savory pork, and a bold, spicy sauce, it’s a stir-fry sensation that’s perfect for busy weeknights!

 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Eggplant and Pork

  • 3 pcs Japanese eggplants, trimmed and sliced
  • 150 g minced pork (30% fat)
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 stalks spring onions, chopped (white and green sections separated)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • oil
  • toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Sauce


Instructions

  1. Pat dry the eggplant slices with a paper towel and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Ensure they are evenly coated.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant slices in a single layer and pan-fry until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Using the same pan, add toasted sesame oil over medium heat. Sauté the minced garlic, minced ginger, and Sichuan peppercorns until fragrant.
  4. Add the minced pork to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Pour in 1 tablespoon of sake and stir.
  6. Add the white part of the spring onions, doubanjiang, and chilli oil. Stir well to combine.
  7. Pour in the chicken stock, then add sugar, miso, and soy sauce. Bring it to a simmer.
  8. Add the cooked eggplant to the pan and gently mix to coat it with the sauce.
  9. Prepare the slurry mixture by combining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a measuring cup. Slowly drizzle it into the pan while stirring to combine with the sauce.
  10. Let it simmer until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Adjust the thickness by either letting the moisture evaporate or adding a small amount of water if too thick.
  11. Drizzle rice vinegar over the sauce, then turn off the heat.
  12. Garnish with the green parts of the spring onion and toasted sesame seeds.
  13. Serve!

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5 Responses

  1. LOoks so good! I like that you made the sauce from the scratch.

  2. Nope, I don’t think I’ve heard of Mapo Tofu – nor this twist with eggplant. And I can tell you that this dish looks absolutely stunning! The sauce seems to be too spicy to my liking, but I’d definitely give it a try. Beautiful presentation, too!

  3. Beautiful, Raymund. I love mapo tofu and eggplant is a favorite vegetable — this is perfect for us. Just need to source a couple of ingredients.

  4. Michelle says:

    Ooh I have to try this variation of mapo tofu with eggplant! Looks so delicious and saucy!






  5. This looks so yummy, Raymund! I make classic mapo tofu on a weekly basis—can’t get enough of the stuff!—but I haven’t yet tried my hand at mapo anything else. This looks like a wonderful way to start branching out.

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