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bowl of Panda Express eggplant tofu with bowls of garnishes
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4.18 from 46 votes

Panda Express Eggplant Tofu Copycat Recipe

This copycat recipe for Panda Express eggplant tofu has a homemade sweet and spicy sauce that is totally amazing.  Plus, the crispy tofu and flavorful eggplant will make you a lifetime fan.  It's perfect for vegans, and is gluten free friendly.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: copycat recipe, Eggplant Tofu, panda express
Servings: 7 cups
Calories: 247kcal
Author: Brooke


For the Stir Fry

  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil 125g
  • 1 pound eggplant cut in chunks with peel (453g)
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu cubed (400g)
  • 2 red bell peppers cut in chunks (190g)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons green onion chopped (optional)

For the Sauce


  • Whisk all the sauce ingredients (except the cornstarch and water for the slurry) in a bowl or a measuring cup.
  • Drain the tofu.  We used super firm, which doesn't need to be pressed.  If you're using extra firm, press the tofu for 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Cut the tofu into cubes.  Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a wok over medium high heat, then add the tofu.  Fry in oil until golden, then drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Heat up 3 tablespoons of oil, add the eggplant and stir fry until softened, roughly 4 minutes.  Stir constantly, adding more oil when needed, as it soaks up the oil quickly.  Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil, stir fry the red bell peppers for 2 minutes while stirring, then drain on a plate.
  • Heat up ½ tablespoon of oil, add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and stir fry for 30 seconds.  Set aside.
  • Add the water to the cornstarch or arrowroot and whisk so there is no lumps.  Add the slurry to the sauce and whisk until combined.  There should be one cup of sauce.  Pour the sauce into the empty wok and cook for a minute until it thickens.
  • Add the garlic mixture and mix it with the sauce, then add the vegetables and tofu.  Gently stir until  well coated with the sauce.
  • Serve while still warm, and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.


  • To make this go smoothly, have everything ready before starting the cooking.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry just before using the stir fry sauce.
  • To absorb the extra oil, drain the tofu and vegetables on paper towel-lined plates.
  • The reason there is so much oil in the ingredients list is because the eggplant absorbs a lot of it during the cooking process.
  • Bake or air fry the eggplant to reduce the oil, but it will change the texture.


Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 577mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1167IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg