Panda Management Company, Inc. (PMC), based in Southern California, has grown dynamically ever since 1983 when it opened its first Panda Express, its most successful operation. As that name suggests, Panda Express units are fast-service Chinese restaurants, now found in over 34 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Japan. Altogether, PMC manages over 300 Panda Express Restaurants, six Panda Inn Restaurants, eight Hibachi-San Restaurants, and seven Panda Panda locations. Panda Inns, the first of which opened in 1973, are all located in Southern California, as are the Panda Pandas, upscale, gourmet Chinese food restaurants. The Hibachi-San Restaurants, featuring Japanese cuisine, are located in shopping mall food courts, about half of which are at select sites outside California. The much more ubiquitous Panda Express Restaurants are located in five basic operating environments: mall food courts; supermarkets and retail chains; shopping centers and key intersections; university and college campuses; and airports, casinos, and sports arenas.
Panda Express Eggplant Tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (12 oz) package of firm tofu, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 medium size yellow or white onion, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, cut into chunks
2 or 3 small eggplants, stem removed, cut into 1/2-inch by 1-inch slices, with peel
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
a pinch of white pepper, or to taste
1 tsp granulated sugar
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet or wok, fry and stir tofu until golden brown on all sides, remove from pan and set aside until needed. Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil, saute onion, garlic and red bell pepper until fragrant.Add the oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, white pepper, sugar and eggplant.Mix well and cover. Cook until eggplant is tender.Add back to pan the browned tofu, mix and let it warm through for another minute, uncovered. Serve while warm.
NOTES: Pictured above are white rice, chow mein, eggplant tofu and orange chicken.