The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

P.F. Chang’s Menu Items Labeled “Vegetarian” Are Free of Animal Ingredients Including Eggs and Dairy

Posted on June 17, 2013 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

An online reader commented on our website that a P.F. Chang’s chef in Pennsylvania had told her “‘We can’t guarantee that any of our dishes are vegan because we use egg wash in our sauces.’” Since this was contradictory to what P.F. Chang’s had told us in the past, we contacted the restaurant chain to see if there had been a change in menu ingredients or preparation methods.

The Marketing Coordinator at P.F. Chang’s told us that he had consulted with the nutritional team who responded in May 2013:

I am guessing the chef mixed his line of thought as all the proteins contain egg in the marinades and the majority of the sauces contain chicken broth and ‘whey” protein (milk). Also, regarding “vegan” due to the use of sugar, and depending on the level of “vegan” the customer is…it would be the sugar that would limit the rest of the menu items after we sort out all of the chicken broth and dairy.” Our Guest Service is another avenue for these types of inquires. They can be reached at GuestServices@pfcb.com.

The VRG asked P.F. Chang’s to clarify whether this response applies to their vegetarian-labeled dishes. We received this reply:

The only dishes that do not contain animal products (animal protein, eggs & dairy) are the menu items noted on the menu as vegetarian: Coconut Curry Vegetables, Buddha’s Feast, Ma Po Tofu, Stir Fried Eggplant and Vegetarian Fried Rice…[The sauces in these entrées] would still contain sugar and thus we would not refer to them as “vegan” …[but] only “vegetarian” due to the way in which sugar is processed. Each dish is made to order with clean equipment and while the possibility of cross contamination in all restaurants is possible due to the presence of all ingredients/allergens our vegetarian recipes would not be altered and thus would not contain animal proteins/broths, egg- or dairy-based ingredients.

On P.F. Chang’s menu, viewed online in June 2013, several appetizers and side dishes as well as the entrées listed above were labeled “vegetarian” with a special icon:

Vegetarian Appetizers at P.F. Chang’s:

  • Chang’s Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
  • Spring Rolls
  • Edamame

Vegetarian Side Dishes at P.F. Chang’s:

  • Spicy Green Beans
  • Shanghai Cucumbers
  • Spinach Stir-Fried with Garlic
  • Garlic Snap Peas
  • Sichuan-Style Asparagus
  • Asian Tomato-Cucumber Salad

P.F. Chang’s provides nutritional information on its website: http://www.pfchangs.com/images/Nutritional%20Info/ChangsNutritional.pdf.
The vegetarian icon appears in the nutrition chart next to all vegetarian item listings making it very easy for nutrition-conscious vegetarians to use.

Other recent VRG articles about P.F. Chang’s:

The contents of this article, our website, and our other publications, including the Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company employees or company statements. Information does change and mistakes are always possible. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. Further research or confirmation may be warranted.

For the latest news on fast food and quick service chains, visit http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.php

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