Panda Express Eggplant Tofu Recipe

Eggplant Tofu is a famous entrée in the Panda Express restaurant made only by demand. So, if you’ve been dying to try this eggplant tofu recipe but haven’t found it on your local Panda Express menu, this is your sign to make it home.

This is a combo, all at the same time dish: savory, sweet, spicy, and packed with layers of flavor. This Eggplant Tofu Panda Express recipe makes for a perfect weeknight dinner you can whip up in about 30 minutes.

Let’s skim this Panda Express Eggplant Tofu recipe from top to bottom without further ado.

How to Make Panda Express Eggplant Tofu 

This copycat recipe features crispy tofu, red bell pepper, fried eggplant, and sticky sweet and spicy sauce. You can find most of the ingredients at your local grocery store and keep all of them in the pantry.

Moreover, none of the ingredients is expensive. So, feel free to stock up beforehand and put together the Eggplant Tofu whenever the mood for something vegan and gluten-free strikes.

Now let’s see what makes this Eggplant Tofu dish so unique.

Ingredients:

(4 servings)

For the stir fry:

  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound eggplant
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp green onion

For the sauce:

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

Instructions:

A common misconception is that vegan recipes are bland and devoid of flavors. However, this Panda Express Eggplant Tofu recipe proves it otherwise. Not only is it super easy to make, but it also doesn’t require much of your time.

All you have to do is prepare all the ingredients ahead, chopping everything to make the process smoother. Apart from that, it is essential not to overcook the veggies.

And finally, you have to press the tofu 1-2 days in advance. That makes the tofu chewy, so it’s a crucial step in this vegan Panda Express Eggplant Tofu. You can also take it to the next level and deep fry your tofu to make it crispier.

However, we’ll cover the rest of the peculiarities in the process.

Step 1:

Start by making the sauce. Whisk in all sauce ingredients, except cornstarch, in a bowl or a measuring cup.

Step 2:

Drain the tofu and cut it into cubes. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Then add the tofu and fry until golden. It’s important to drain your tofu on a paper towel-lined plate.

Step 3:

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and add the eggplant cut into chunks. Stir fry until softened for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. As the fat tends to soak quickly, add more if needed.

Drain the eggplant on the paper towel-lined plate as well.

Step 4:

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry the red bell peppers for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Then drain them on the plate.

Step 5:

Heat ½ tablespoon of oil and add ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir fry the mixture for about 30 seconds and set aside.

Step 6:

Mix water with the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until there are no lumps. Add the mix to the sauce and whisk till combined. You should end up with 1 cup of sauce.

Pour the sauce into the empty wok and cook until it thickens.

Step 7:

Mix the garlic mixture with the sauce and add the vegetables and tofu. Gently stir the mixture until it’s well coated in the sauce.

Serve while warm and garnish with some sesame seeds or green onion. Your vegan Eggplant Tofu is ready to be tasted!

Ingredient Substitution

This Panda Express Eggplant Tofu is already super healthy. However, you can still make some changes to the recipe.

You can go for some low-sodium soy sauce or opt for some teriyaki sauce, cooking wine, or avocado oil. Opportunities are limitless.

We’ve got a few suggestions for you.

Avocado oil

Olive oil is a healthy oil we use daily for different purposes. However, avocado oil is becoming more popular among the younger generation. Besides, it offers outstanding health benefits since it’s rich in oleic acid.

The smoke point for avocado oils is very high, making it perfect for stir-frying our veggies for this spicy Asian Eggplant Tofu recipe. At the same time, the buttery taste makes it even more flavorful than olive oil. So, try it out.

Mushroom broth

The mushrooms impart so much flavor that it is no surprise you can easily substitute vegetable broth with mushroom broth. Mushrooms have an umami flavor that will make the broth bold and meaty, similar to beef.

This is precisely what makes it perfect for this spicy Eggplant Tofu. Plus, you need a minimal amount of mushrooms to make the mushroom broth, which is cheap. Replace the vegetable broth with the mushroom broth in a 1:1 ratio.

What to Serve with Panda Express Eggplant Tofu 

As spicy and savory as this Panda Express Eggplant Tofu is, you won’t be able to get enough of it, especially when trying it for the first time. And to amp up the rich flavors of the dish, you can serve it with something else on the side.

Steamed broccoli

Steamed broccoli adds a gorgeous pop of color to the already colorful Eggplant Tofu. It is also healthy and rich in flavors, the perfect pairing to kick off a vegan dinner.

Besides, broccoli is super easy to cook. If you haven’t tried it before, it is the best way to fall in love with veggies. Just sprinkle it with your favorite seasoning and add some garlic. Simple, yet utterly delicious, trust us.

Steak and shrimp pasta

Pasta is the obvious pairing for various dishes, the Eggplant Tofu Express Pasta being no exception. However, if you make the famous steak and shrimp pasta, you’ll be surprised how it works with the stir-fried veggies coated in a rich sauce.

It is an exquisite combination worth trying for your next gathering. It is not vegan, though. So, if you want to stick with the vegan option, go for spaghetti squash pasta.

Onion soup

You’ll love making this soup du jour as much as we do since it is simple and quick to make. And you won’t need to worry about what to serve it with, as the Eggplant Tofu works perfectly well.

We know not everyone loves onions in their soup, but believe us, the rich flavors of the creamy onion soup will be all worth it.

How to Reheat Panda Express Eggplant Tofu 

Apart from being so complex in flavor and yet so simple to make, Eggplant Tofu is also super simple to reheat. Reheating it requires little to no effort, and you get it to taste as if it was just cooked.

Reheat Panda Express Eggplant Tofu in a Microwave

Place the eggplant tofu in a microwave-safe dish (but not a plastic container), sprinkle with some oil, and reheat for 90-seconds intervals, checking whether it’s been heated through.

Reheat Panda Express Eggplant Tofu on a Stove

A stove is ideal for reheating your eggplant tofu. Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil into a pan and reheat over medium heat until it’s warmed throughout. It usually requires 4-5 minutes to reheat this way.

How to Store Panda Express Eggplant Tofu 

If you’ve made a large Panda Express Eggplant Tofu batch, there is only one way to store it, so it tastes perfect for a couple of days.

Store Panda Express Eggplant Tofu in the Fridge

The fridge is the best option to keep the flavors and texture of this savory dish. Just place the leftover eggplant tofu in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for about 4-5 days.

Store Panda Express Eggplant Tofu in the Freezer

Freezing is not an option since neither the tofu nor the eggplant freeze too well. After thawing, you’ll just end up with a mushy mixture that looks nothing like the fresh eggplant tofu dish.

So, it’s better to whip up a new batch from scratch.

eggplant tofu panda express recipe

Panda Express Eggplant Tofu Recipe

This combination of veggies coated in a savory sauce is packed with sweet and spicy flavors. It is a perfect vegan and gluten-free recipe that tastes well with a variety of pairings. Try this one at home and you’ll never have to wait in line at Panda Express again.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 247 kcal
Equipment
  • Wok
  • bowl
  • Plate
Ingredients
  
For the stir fry:
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound eggplant
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp green onion
For the sauce:
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Sambal Oelek
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
Instructions
 
  • Start by making the sauce. Whisk in all of the sauce ingredients, except for the cornstarch, in a bowl or a measuring cup.
  • Drain the tofu and cut it into cubes. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Then add the tofu and fry until golden. It’s important to drain your tofu on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and add the eggplant cut into chunks. Stir fry until softened for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. As the oil tends to soak quickly, add more if needed. Drain the eggplant on the paper towel-lined plate as well.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry the red bell peppers for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Then drain them on the plate.
  • Heat ½ tablespoon of oil and add ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir fry the mixture for about 30 seconds and set aside.
  • Mix water with the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until there are no lumps. Add the mix to the sauce and whisk till combined. You should end up with 1 cup of sauce. Pour the sauce into the empty wok and cook until it thickens.
  • Mix the garlic mixture with the sauce and add the vegetables and tofu. Gently stir the mixture until it’s well coated in the sauce.
    Serve while warm and garnish with some sesame seeds or green onion. Your vegan Eggplant Tofu is ready to be tasted!
Nutrition
Calories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 7gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gSodium: 577mgPotassium: 364mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1167IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
DMCA.com Protection Status
error: Content is protected !!