Few things are more comforting in life than a steamy bowl of mapo tofu. This classic Sichuan dish has a warm and addictive heat that will leave your heart and your stomach buzzing with happiness.
For the first time ever, those flavors are coming to Panda Express, as the American Chinese chain is adding the Chengdu signature to its ranks as part of a new plant-based partnership with Beyond Meat.
This dish marks the second ever tofu dish to be served at Panda Express, the first being their hallmark Eggplant Tofu. Here, they’re incorporating tofu and chunks of Beyond Beef in a Sichuan Garlic sauce.
Traditionally, mapo tofu is made with pork or beef, although there are plenty of plant-based versions you can find on the internet. Some of these use finely chopped mushrooms or a ground pork substitute, but Beyond Meat is also a common option.
Panda Express has begun serving the Mapo Tofu with Beyond Beef at their innovation kitchen location in Pasadena. It’ll be there until February 23rd alongside a String Beans with Beyond Beef dish, and if both perform well, there’s definitely potential for the dishes to launch on a broader scale.