Happy Donabe Life

Steamed Meat-Topped Tofu with Sesame Sauce

This tasty dish is a simple steamed tofu, topped with ginger-flavor ground pork. It’s easy to prepare and brings such comfort to my heart and stomach always. I like to finish with the rich sesame sauce. This sauce is also quite versatile and I like to pour over steamed vegetables, seafood, chicken, dim sum, etc. You can substitute the pork with ground chicken if you like. 


Mushi Nabe (Large)


3 - 4 as part of a course meal



  • 5 oz (150 g) ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon very finely grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons raw brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons katakuriko (potato starch)
  • 2 teaspoons sake
  • 2 teaspoons beaten egg

(Sesame Sauce)


  • 1 package (14 oz/ 400 g) medium-firm tofu, drained and cut into 8 pieces
  • Extra amount of katakuriko (potato starch)
  • La-yu (hot sesame oil)


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the meat balls in a bowl. Knead well until the mixture is shiny. Cover tightly and keep refrigerated for 15 – 30 minutes.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the sesame sauce in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Get the donabe steamer ready.
  4. Divide the pork mixture into 8 and shape each into a ball.
  5. Lay the tofu pieces, wider side up, on a tray. Use a tea strainer to sprinkle a small amount of katakuriko over the upper surface of each piece. Mound a meat ball on each tofu piece. 
  6. Arrange the pork-tofu pieces on the steam grate. Cover and steam over upper medium-high heat until the pork is just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes.
  7. Divide into small plates and pour some sesame sauce to enjoy. Drizzle some la-yu, if you like.

A recipe video is also available on my YouTube Channel, Happy Donabe Life!


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