Panda Express : Eggplant Tofu – My Version

I’m sure for those of you who’ve eaten @ Panda Express know and enjoy the Sweet & Spicy taste of the Eggplant Tofu dish. It’s a favorite of both me and my Mom whenever we ate at Panda Express. I don’t know if my Mom even eaten at Panda Express anymore but I know when I do I order my usual combo which is the Honey Walnut Shrimp and the Eggplant Tofu. I wanted to recreate the Eggplant Tofu recipe at home and being still a noob to the culinary skill this was gonna be another one of my kitchen experiments.

I had most of the ingredients already but I needed to think how I’d recreate the sauce. So keep in mind the recipe may not be exactly like Panda Express but my interpretation or tweak to the recipe. So hope you’ll give it a try and inspire you to try and recreate your own Fast Food favorites. There are websites like TopSecretRecipes.com that work hard to remaking Fast Food recipes. That’s where I learned to make my favorite Avocado Salsa sauce from El Pollo Loco and the Garlic Spread from Zankou Chicken. So without further ado … Bon Appetit ! (n_n)

Ingredients …

[] Pack of Fried Tofu – Normally can be found in Asian markets like Seafood City Supermarket

[] 3-4 Eggplant – This depends on what type of Eggplant you get. I had the bulbous egg ostrich shaped eggplants

[] 1 small bottle of Mae Ploy Thai Sweet Chili sauce

[] 1 jar of Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic Sauce

[] 3-4 Bell Peppers – I used green but if you wanna use a different color or mixed … go for it !

[] 4 cloves of Garlic

[] 1 Medium Onion – I used a brown onion but white will work too.

[] 1 small nub of Ginger Root – If you can’t find fresh ginger root … I suppose ground ginger would work too.

[] Salt and Pepper

***Below is a Picture of the Thai Sweet Chili sauce and the Black Bean Garlic Sauce for visual reference purposes***

Prep Work …

The Onion : Just chop the onion into cubed slices

The Garlic : Just thinly slice or mince *I just sliced it*

The Eggplant : Depending on the size of your Eggplant … since mine was the large bulbous one I just sliced then cut into quarters

The Bell Pepper : Just chop into like 1/2 inch cubes

The Ginger : Just slice that into julienne slices

The Tofu : I bought a pack that were small cubes but if you bought the large rectangle block just cut into triangles or cubes.

Ok, now let’s get cooking ….

First, heat a large pot with about 2-3 tablespoons of oil – add the Chopped Onion, Garlic, and Ginger – Saute them for a few minutes til a little translucent and starting to brown – Toss in the Eggplant – Stir so the oil, onion, garlic coats the outside – Cover and let it cook til Eggplant is soft – Before you cover you can sprinkle in about a teaspoon of salt and pepper – After say 5  minutes add 3-4 tablespoons of the Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic sauce – Give it a stir to coat everything – Let it cook for 2-3 minutes to meld the flavors in – Now add the Mae Ploy Sweet Thai Chili sauce *Depending how spicy you want it add more or less to your taste* But to get it to Panda Express flavor you’ll need to use up almost the entire bottle. I had like 1/4 of the bottle left – Stir and let that coat everything – Then lower the heat and cover – Let it cook up for another 5-10 minutes … TADA ! You’ve made the Panda Express Eggplant Tofu version.

Scoop yourself a nice bowl of rice and enjoy. If you can’t eat it without the fried rice instead of with steamed. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for my fried rice.

[] Leftover rice – [] 1/2 cup of Frozen Mixed Vegetables – [] 2 Garlic Cloves – [] 1 stalk of Green Onion – [] 1 small Onion – [] Soy Sauce

Heat oil in a frying pan – Toss in the sliced garlic and chopped onion – give it a stir and let it brown a little – Toss in the Leftover rice

Toss to coat in the oil – sprinkle in about 1/2 a cup of the Frozen Mixed Veggie – Stir – Toss in half the chopped green onion – sprinkle it a dash of salt & pepper – Add about a Tablespoon or so of Soy Sauce – Stir it all up to mix evenly – and DONE !! Now take the remaining chopped green onion and sprinkle on top for garnish and freshness. Enjoy !!

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