Mabo Nasu (Japanese Style Eggplant Stir Fry)

mapo nasu - mabo nasu

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This is a vegetarian recipe for Japanese mabo nasu. The eggplant is tossed in a gooey savory, earthy, and nutty sauce, perfect for pouring over rice. It’s delicious!


  • 1 oz TVP (textured vegetable protein), should equal about 1/4 pound, rehydrated
  • 4 oz bamboo shoots, chopped
  • 2 medium size Japanese or Chinese eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced rangiri style or about 1-inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon tobanjan (doubanjiang)
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine, or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (for vegan: omit oyster sauce and add an additional tablespoon soy sauce instead)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken stock (for vegan: use mushroom broth or low sodium vegetable broth)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon plain rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped (optional)


  1. Put the TVP in a bowl and add ¼ cup boiling hot water. Let the TVP rehydrate for about 10 minutes.
  2. Soak the eggplant in a bowl of water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  3. Place the sliced eggplant in a large deep skillet and turn the heat to medium. Toss the eggplant for 1 minute and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. 
  4. Toss the eggplant until all the pieces are evenly coated with the oil and cook the eggplant for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of oil by drizzling it over the eggplant and cook for 3 minutes. The eggplant should be slightly tender but not cooked enough so it’s ready to eat yet.
  6. Transfer the eggplant to a plate and set aside. Do not turn the heat off.
  7. Use the same skillet and add the TVP and bamboo with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Cook for 3 minutes while stirring constantly, until the TVP is golden. 
  8. Stir in the tobanjan, shaoxing wine, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Keep stirring until the ingredients are well combined.
  9. Add the chicken stock, onion, cooked eggplant, and stir. 
  10. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to low (bubbling simmer). Cover and cook for 6 minutes.
  11. Stir the potato starch and water mixture and slowly add it to the pan, stirring constantly. Cook for 30 seconds, or until the sauce thickens and stir in the salt and rice vinegar. 
  12. Turn the heat off, stir in the sesame oil, and transfer the mapo eggplant to a serving bowl. Top with scallions and serve with Japanese rice.


Keep the leftover mabo nasu in an airtight storage container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Keywords: mapo nasu, mapo eggplant,

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