Monthly Recipe: Spicy Quorn & Tofu Rice Bowl (Vegetarian Mabo Don)

This month’s recipe is my own version of the Japan Centre’s “Spicy Beef & Tofu Rice Bowl (Mabo Don)” which was on their website recently. As I don’t eat meat, I decided to make a veggie version using Quorn (if you don’t have Quorn, you can use any other kind of meat substitute in the style of minced beef).

Quoting from the Japan Centre’s website:

Mabo Don belongs to the donburi family, donburi being a type of dish consisting of a bowl of rice with various toppings. Spicy minced beef and tofu tops the rice this time, an adaptation of the Chinese dish ‘Mabo’ originating from the Sichuan province, world famous for its hot and spicy cuisine.

As you can see, this recipe has a Chinese origin, but it’s very popular in Japan and you can buy mabo tofu (also written “mapo doufu“) sauce in all supermarkets and even 100 Yen stores.

Spicy Quorn & Tofu Rice Bowl (Vegetarian Mabo Don)

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 150g frozen Quorn mince (use straight from freezer)
  • 1 packet of mabo tofu stir-fry sauce, like this (comes in different strengths of spice – choose what you fancy!)
  • 1 packet of firm tofu
  • 4 spring onions
  • 4 servings of rice (ideally Japanese white sticky rice)

Cooking: Spicy Quorn & Tofu Rice Bowl (Vegetarian Mabo Don)


Get some rice cooking, either in a rice cooker or in a pan. While the rice is cooking, prepare the mabo tofu topping.

First, cut the tofu into bite-size cubes.

Cooking: Spicy Quorn & Tofu Rice Bowl (Vegetarian Mabo Don)

In a pan, cook the frozen Quorn mince using a little oil or low calorie cooking spray.

Cooking: Spicy Quorn & Tofu Rice Bowl (Vegetarian Mabo Don)

Once the Quorn is soft, add the mabo tofu sauce straight from the packet.

Cooking: Spicy Quorn & Tofu Rice Bowl (Vegetarian Mabo Don)

Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce starts to bubble a little bit. Add the tofu cubes and stir gently into the sauce. Simmer a bit more.

Cooking: Spicy Quorn & Tofu Rice Bowl (Vegetarian Mabo Don)

Pour mixture over a bowl of rice or, if like me you can’t find a suitable bowl at the time, simply serve on a plate on top of or next to the rice (I don’t think it really matters and certainly tastes the same!). Garnish with chopped spring onions.

Cooking: Spicy Quorn & Tofu Rice Bowl (Vegetarian Mabo Don)

This is a really quick and yummy dish, and you can also pop it in a lunch box and reheat it the next day if you want to. You probably won’t be able to find mabo tofu sauce in your regular supermarket, but it should be available from any Asian food store. If you’re living in Japan, this dish is a great quick dish that you can cook in a small kitchen (I used to make it all the time!). The sauce I used was “medium” strength spice, but I found it quite mild. Next time I think I’ll go for the hot one!

I would highly recommend using Quorn instead of meat, even if you’re not a veggie, as it’s much healthier and I think it’s lower in fat. There are lots of vegetarian recipes available on the Quorn website which I’m planning to check out at some point.

As always, I’ll be back sometime next month (July) with another recipe. If you have any suggestions, or perhaps you would like me to try one of your recipes from a book or website, please leave a comment below or get in touch!

4 thoughts on “Monthly Recipe: Spicy Quorn & Tofu Rice Bowl (Vegetarian Mabo Don)

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