Food and Drinks

Mabodofu Don (Spicy Tofu and Pork over Rice) by Sylvan Mishima Brackett

In the realm of Japanese cuisine, there exists a treasure trove of flavors, textures, and culinary traditions that capture the essence of the nation’s rich cultural heritage. Among these delights is Mabodofu Don, a dish that seamlessly blends the delicate subtleties of tofu with the bold, fiery notes of pork and spices. This fusion of ingredients results in a symphony of flavors that dance tantalizingly on the palate, making it a favorite among food enthusiasts worldwide.

Today, we delve into the art of crafting Mabodofu Don, guided by the expertise of renowned chef Sylvan Mishima Brackett. With his deep understanding of Japanese culinary techniques and a penchant for innovative twists, Brackett elevates this classic dish to new heights, offering a recipe that promises to delight the senses and satisfy even the most discerning of palates.

Understanding Mabodofu Don

Before we embark on our culinary journey, it’s essential to understand the components that makeup Mabodofu Don. At its core, this dish consists of three key elements: tofu, ground pork, and a rich, savory sauce infused with spicy flavors. These components are then served over a bed of steamed rice, creating a wholesome and satisfying meal that strikes the perfect balance between heat, sweetness, and umami.

Sylvan Mishima Brackett: A Master of Japanese Cuisine

Sylvan Mishima Brackett is a chef, author, and culinary visionary known for his deep-rooted passion for Japanese cuisine. As the founder of the beloved eatery Rintaro in San Francisco, Brackett has garnered acclaim for his dedication to preserving traditional Japanese cooking techniques while infusing them with a contemporary flair.

Brackett’s approach to Mabodofu Don reflects his reverence for tradition coupled with a willingness to experiment with flavors and textures. By carefully selecting high-quality ingredients and employing precise cooking methods, Brackett transforms this humble dish into a culinary masterpiece that pays homage to its Japanese origins while appealing to modern sensibilities.

Recipe: Mabodofu Don by Sylvan Mishima Brackett


  • One block (14 oz) of firm tofu, drained and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • Two cloves garlic, minced
  • One tablespoon ginger, grated
  • Two green onions, thinly sliced
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Two tablespoons doubanjiang (fermented chili bean paste)
  • Two tablespoons of soy sauce
  • One tablespoon mirin
  • One tablespoon sake
  • One teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • One teaspoon of sesame oil
  • Steamed rice for serving
  • Sesame seeds and additional sliced green onions for garnish


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic, grated ginger, and sliced green onions, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add ground pork to the skillet, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned and cooked through about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in doubanjiang (fermented chili bean paste), soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar, and cook for an additional 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  4. Add the cubed tofu to the skillet, gently stirring to coat it with the sauce. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Allow it to cook for 5-7 minutes or until the tofu is heated through and has absorbed some of the flavors.
  5. Drizzle sesame oil over the mixture and stir it until it is incorporated.
  6. To serve, spoon the spicy tofu and pork mixture over bowls of steamed rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and additional sliced green onions for added flavor and visual appeal.
  7. Enjoy your homemade Mabodofu Don hot, savoring the delicious interplay of spicy, savory, and sweet flavors with each bite.

In the realm of Japanese cuisine, Mabodofu Don stands out as a testament to the art of culinary fusion, seamlessly blending traditional ingredients and techniques with innovative twists. Under the guidance of Sylvan Mishima Brackett, this beloved dish transcends its humble origins, emerging as a culinary masterpiece that delights the senses and captivates the imagination.

Whether enjoyed as a comforting weeknight meal or showcased as the centerpiece of a festive gathering, Mabodofu Don offers a tantalizing glimpse into the rich tapestry of Japanese flavors and traditions. With Brackett’s expert guidance and a willingness to experiment in the kitchen, anyone can master the art of crafting this iconic dish, inviting friends and family to savor its irresistible charms together.

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