by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director
A VRG member from Minnesota recently told us about an experience she had at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro in Edina, MN in September 2010. She was told that the sauce in their entrees listed as “vegetarian,” including Buddha Feast; Coconut Curry Vegetables; Stir-Fried Eggplant; Vegetarian Ma Po Tofu; and Vegetable Chow Fun, contained milk. The reader asked The VRG to look into this because we had reported in 2008 that P.F. Chang’s “vegetarian” entrees contain no animal products.
The VRG contacted P.F. Chang’s about this issue. Stephanie in Customer Relations at P.F. Chang’s assured us that all of their vegetarian plates are dairy-free. These include the following: Buddha’s Feast: Steamed (vegetable medley with five-spice tofu served steamed); Buddha’s Feast: Stir-fried (vegetable medley with five-spice tofu served stir-fried); Coconut Curry Vegetables (stir-fried mixed vegetables, crispy silken tofu and peanuts in a vegetarian coconut curry sauce); Ma Po Tofu (sichuan’s famous dish of crispy silken tofu in a vegetarian sauce with steamed broccoli); Stir-Fried Eggplant (tossed with scallions in a savory chili pepper sauce); Vegetarian Fried Rice (fried rice in a savory vegetarian sauce); and Vegetable Chow Fun (soft, wide rice noodles and vegetables in a vegetarian sauce).
Stephanie told The VRG: “I am unsure where your source received their information and maybe they were confusing the coconut milk we use in the Coconut Curry Vegetables but I can assure you there is no milk in our vegetarian recipes.”
Because some coconut milk powder may contain casein or other dairy product, we confirmed with PF Chang’s and they said there was no casein in their dish.
When The VRG asked Stephanie if there were any eggs, egg products, or honey in the vegetarian dishes, she stated that “We do not use eggs, egg products or honey in the dishes listed.”