CuisineChinesePanda Express Eggplant Tofu (Copycat)

Panda Express Eggplant Tofu (Copycat)

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David Larsenhttps://betony-nyc.com
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Panda Express eggplant tofu is made based on local demand only and is only available in selected regional stores and selected local stores in the US.

As one of the only five vegan options in Panda Express, it has easily become of the most loved entrees in the menu and combo dish for chow mein and meat dishes. In this post, we will talk about everything about eggplant tofu along with a recipe that you can recreate. 

What is Panda Express eggplant tofu?

This savory dish from Panda Express is a Panda Express entrée. It is made with stir fry eggplant and tofu. It is mixed with red bell pepper, and coated with rich, thick, brown, sweet and spicy sauce made of ginger and garlic, among others. 

Ingredients & substitute

Ever wondered what goes into the eggplant tofu? Here are the ingredients that make up this flavorful dish: 

  • Eggplant
  • Tofu
  • Red bell pepper
  • Green onions
  • Crushed garlic
  • Minced ginger
  • Vegetable oil
  • Chili paste
  • Rice wine
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetable broth
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Cornstarch

For some health considerations, you can switch to low-sodium soy sauce or Kikkoman and hoisin sauce for those on gluten-free diet. For the rice wine, you can opt of for the Shaoxing cooking wine and olive oil or avocado oil. You may also use stevia in place for sugar and arrowroot as thickener instead of cornstarch. 

Panda Express eggplant tofu calories & nutrition

Based on the website of Panda Express, this dish contains 340 calories with 220kcal coming from fat. It has a total fat of 24g, saturated fat of 3.5g, sodium at 520mg, carbs would be at 23g and dietary fiber at 3g. Protein is 7g and sugar is at 17g. This dish is cholesterol-free. 

Tools used in the recipe

In recreation eggplant tofu, you need to have the following tools: 

  • Wok/cast iron skillet
  • Mixing bowls
  • Mixing spoons
  • Spatula
  • Flipper
  • Drainer 

How to make Panda Express eggplant tofu

In making this, you must first drain and press the tofu before slicing. Fry the tofu in a wok until it is golden brown. Drain the tofu and set aside. Add more oil to soften the eggplant. Drain and set aside too. Whisk in the liquids and spices for the sauce. Toss the tofu and eggplant on the wok and add red bell pepper. Pour the sauce and let cook for a few minutes and then serve. 

  1. Whisk in the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch and water. 
  2. Drain and press the tofu for 30mins to make sure that they are dry and firm when fried. 
  3. Heat the wok and pour in olive oil. Fry the tofu in medium heat until golden brown. Toss in the drainer to remove excess oil. You can also use paper towel for draining. Set aside. 
  4. Next, add more olive oil and cook the eggplant for 4mins or until it is soft. Toss in a paper towel to drain. Set aside.
  5. Add 1tbsp of olive oil to the wok and stir fry the red bell peppers for 2mins. Drain and set aside.
  6. Next, saute garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes for 30secs. Set aside.
  7. Now whisk in the water and cornstarch in the sauce. Stir until there are no lumps. Cook in the wok until it is thickened. 
  8. Pour in all the stir fry ingredients. Make sure that everything is coated with the sauce. 
  9. Serve and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

More Panda Express copycat recipes

Variations on Panda Express eggplant tofu

If you want this dish enhanced or for it to suit your preferences, here are the following variations to eggplant tofu that you can follow: 

  • Gluten-free: switch to arrowroot in place of cornstarch and use liquid aminos and vegetable stock and oil. 
  • Proteins: add shirataki mushrooms, chicken, beef, or pork
  • Garnish: scallions or sesame seeds
  • Spicy flavor: use red pepper flakes or incorporate chili paste

How to store Panda Express eggplant tofu

For leftover eggplant tofu, just tuck it in the fridge in an airtight container. You can consume it in three days. 

FAQs

Can you freeze Panda Express eggplant tofu?

Yes. But just be wary when it is thawed. It will be watery. Never reheat it in high heat immediately too, as the tofu will be mashed. 

What does Panda Express eggplant tofu taste like?

You will love the fusion of sweet, savory, and spicy taste of eggplant tofu. The crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside texture of the tofu is also satisfying to eat. Everything just blends well. 

What to serve with Panda Express eggplant tofu?

Since it is sold as entrée, the best partners for eggplant tofu in the Panda Express menu would be super greens, and chow mein noodles. But since it could also work as a side dish, it is the best side for teriyaki chicken, sweet fire chicken, and orange chicken. 

Is Panda Express eggplant tofu healthy?

Yes. Because it is plant-based, it is packed with dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals that are essential to the body. Tofu is also a good source of protein so you can count on this meal as a healthy dish. 

Is Panda Express eggplant tofu keto friendly?

Yes! Tofu is one of the suggested keto proteins for those who are on keto diet because it is sugar-free and essentially carb-free. You can use liquid aminos instead of soy sauce to make the dish a keto dish. 

Is Panda Express eggplant tofu gluten-free?

No, but you can always change glutenous ingredients to gluten-free versions. This includes changing soy sauce to liquid aminos and changing cornstarch with arrowroot flour. 

Is Panda Express eggplant tofu dairy-free?

Yes. It is completely plant-based and is also dairy-free. It is totally safe for people with dairy allergies or are lactose intolerant. 

Is Panda Express eggplant tofu vegan?

Yes. As a matter of fact, it is one of the only five dishes in Panda Express that is considered vegan. The other four would be chow mein, rice, super greens, and vegetable spring roll. Unfortunately, it is only available in selected local stores.

Panda Express Eggplant Tofu Recipe {Copycat}

Panda Express Eggplant Tofu Recipe {Copycat}

Yield: 7
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Panda Express eggplant tofu is made based on local demand only and is only available in selected regional stores and selected local stores in the US. Here is an easy whip eggplant tofu recipe.

Ingredients

For the stir fry

  • 1lb extra firm tofu
  • 1lb eggplant (peeled and sliced in chunks)
  • 2 red bell peppers (cut in chunks)
  • 3tbsps green onion
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1tbsp minced ginger
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

For the sauce

  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1tbsp sesame oil
  • 1tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2tbsp water
  • 1tbsp cornstarch
  • 1tbsp sambal paste
  • 2tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. Whisk in the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch and water. 
  2. Drain and press the tofu for 30mins to make sure that they are dry and firm when fried. 
  3. Heat the wok and pour in olive oil. Fry the tofu in medium heat until golden brown. Toss in the drainer to remove excess oil. You can also use paper towel for draining. Set aside. 
  4. Next, add more olive oil and cook the eggplant for 4mins or until it is soft. Toss in a paper towel to drain. Set aside.
  5. Add 1tbsp of olive oil to the wok and stir fry the red bell peppers for 2mins. Drain and set aside.
  6. Next, saute garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes for 30secs. Set aside.
  7. Now whisk in the water and cornstarch in the sauce. Stir until there are no lumps. Cook in the wok until it is thickened. 
  8. Pour in all the stir fry ingredients. Make sure that everything is coated with the sauce. 
  9. Serve and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 281Total Fat 23.1gSodium 331.5mgCarbohydrates 13.7gFiber 3.4gSugar 8.4gProtein 7.4g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Conclusion

The eggplant tofu dish from Panda Express is one of the healthiest food finds that you can get. It is rich in flavor, packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and low in carbohydrates.

Although it is only available in selected stores or cooked through local demand, you can easily recreate it with the many copycat recipes available in the internet.

 

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