Mabo Harusame

Shihoko Ura | Chopstick Chronicles

Mabo harusame is an easy, flavorful dish you’ll love! It’s great for busy weeknights or even lunchtime.

Mabo Harusame Photo

Mabo tofu is a popular dish in Japan, although it is originally a Chinese dish. However, Japanese people love it and eat it a lot. Mabo harusame is the same as mabo tofu, but uses rice noodles instead of tofu. There is also mabo nasu, which uses eggplant instead of tofu. It’s great for adding some extra vegetables to the meal.

Japanese people love making their own Chinese food, so you can easily buy ‘toubanjyan’ nowadays in the supermarket to make various Chinese dishes. Toubanjyan is a Chinese chili pepper paste. It adds a little spice to any dish, which makes it very tasty.

Mabo harusame can be very spicy or less spicy depending on how much toubanjyan you add. I prefer to add just a little bit, so the spice is not too overpowering.

Mabo Harusame Picture

This is an easy and quick dish to make, so I usually will make this for a weekday dinner when I am busy or tired from work. You can make a big batch and save some for other days when you don't have as much time to cook.

Mabo Harusame Image

It is a healthy dish with a high amount of protein. You can add your favourite vegetables to this dish, like bok choy or whatever else you prefer. I like to eat this with white rice because it makes it even more delicious, but this does add some a lot of extra carbs and calories into the meal so you may want to eat it as it is. It will be super delicious.

Mabo Harusame Pic

I use beef mince, but you could also use turkey mince, pork mince, or chicken mince. The dish usually uses pork mince, but I prefer beef so I use that. It is completely up to you.

File 1 Mabo Harusame

Enjoy this recipe that is perfect for a quick weekday meal! 

Mabo Harusame Recipe

    4 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 5 ounces Ground Beef, about 150 grams
  • 1/4 Onion, diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Green Onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon Toubanjyan
  • 2 tablespoons Sake, or sherry
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 ounces Pad Thai Rice Noodles, about 60 grams
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil


  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with the oil
  2. Add the mince to the pan and cook.
  3. Once the mince has cooked and crumbled apart, add onion, garlic, and shallots and fry briefly.
  4. Add the toubanjyan and sake and cook for a couple of minutes
  5. Pour 1 cup of water into the frying pan and bring to boil.
  6. Add the sugar and soy sauce.
  7. Put the lid on, turn the heat down to low, and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add the harusame (rice) noodles and stir then simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Add the sesame seed oil and stir.
  10. Turn off the heat and serve.


  • Toubanjyan has various spellings, and can be found as Chili Bean Sauce under the Lee Kum Kee brand.


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