Categories
Fast Food

Panda Express x Anti Social Social Club Apparel Is Dropping REAL SOON

Photo Courtesy of Panda Express

Fans of streetwear and orange chicken will have a pretty big reason to be excited this weekend.

Panda Express has announced its first-ever collaboration with popular streetwear brand Anti Social Social Club.

Photo Courtesy of Panda Express

The apparel will feature both brands’ logo joined together with Panda Express’ most popular menu item: Orange Chicken. Items include hoodies, hats, and t-shirts.

Photo Courtesy of Panda Express

Anyone wanting to cop some of this exclusive merch will need to visit Antisocialsocialclub.com on Saturday, July 11 at 8:00am PST, where the collaboration sale will go live and remain until supplies last. With how prolific both brands are, we can’t imagine that being for more than 5 minutes, to be honest. Better set those alarms, folks.

Categories
News Restaurants What's New

Panda Express Introduces ‘Best Sellers Only’ Menu in Effort to Support Store Associates

Photo: Panda Express

Businesses aren’t pulling any stops in their efforts to adjust to a post-coronavirus world. While most are observing stay-at-home orders, service workers and others on the front line are doing what they can to keep economies from falling into a state of total chaos. This includes restaurants, grocery stores, post offices and public transportation. Despite the clear risk involved, if there’s a positive take away from all of this, it’s that the corona pandemic is bringing humanity together. 

For well known eatery Panda Express, that togetherness comes in the form of a truncated menu which consists only of their bestsellers. The goal is to lower the risk of spreading the virus to employees and customers by limiting the number of options offered.

Food preparation plays a large role in Panda Express’ decision and with a rise in take-out orders, a simpler menu will help employees working long hours. The temporary menu change will look something like this:

  • Original Orange Chicken® 
  • Broccoli Beef 
  • Grilled Teriyaki Chicken 
  • Kung Pao Chicken 
  • Mushroom Chicken 
  • Honey Walnut Shrimp 
  • Sweetfire Chicken Breast 
  • Firecracker Shrimp  
  • New Black Pepper Angus Steak 

These changes went into effect on Monday, April 6th at all nationwide locations and remain in effect until further notice. To further increase the safety of Panda Express employees and customers, contactless service will be rolled out at all locations. Each Panda Express will have designated areas for walk-up ordering and separate designated areas for pick-up.

As we collectively push through this trying time, it’s not only important to maintain a healthy outlook, but also a healthy appetite. You can order Panda Express’ famous orange chicken here.

Categories
Fast Food Restaurants

Panda Express Is Testing Out Pastrami Bao Buns At Their Innovation Kitchen

It seems Panda Express has been tinkering more and more with fusing flavors of Eastern dishes with Western comfort foods as of late. A few months back, the chain introduced a new protein that combined the traditional flavors of Sichuan peppercorns with the Southern heat of Nashville Hot Chicken.

In what appears to be a delicious trend, Panda Express has announced another new flavor combination that’s hitting their Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, CA. Feast your eyes on the Pastrami Bao Buns.

The new item combines the popular Taiwanese street food of Pork Belly Bao Buns with the classic American deli staple the Pastrami Sandwich. Pork Belly is slow cooked, Hickory liquid smoked, blended with pastrami spices, and topped with pickled cucumbers before going inside an airy bao bun. Finally, the dish is slathered with a sweet and savory sauce to bring it all together.

Be still my pastrami-loving belly.

You can find this item only at the Panda Express Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, CA. If popular enough, we can expect to see the Pastrami Bao Buns arrive at restaurants on a national scale. Until then, I’ll need to find some time on my calendar to drive out and try the new dish.

Categories
Culture Fast Food Restaurants

Panda Express Debuting Sichuan Hot Chicken Nationwide

Both Sichuan and Nashville Hot chicken have been iconic dishes in their own cultures respectively. Boasting a sweet and fiery heat with each bite, the flavors from two different corners of the world have always stood apart, especially in the world of fast food. Though it looks like that time’s come to an end.

The latest original recipe from Panda Express, Sichuan Hot Chicken draws from classic Sichuan-style spices paired with one of the United States’ favorite comfort dishes: Nashville Hot Chicken.

What results is a flavorful marriage of heat and heartiness in the form of a crispy breaded white meat chicken strip.

Head of Culinary Innovation, Chef Jimmy Wang, helped bring forth this culinary union after a trip to Chengdu, China, bringing back the aromatic flavors of tingling Sichuan peppercorns to combine with the spice blends that make up the fundamental identity of Nashville Hot Chicken.

Our boys in the field Richard Guinto and Constantine Spyrou were some of the first ever to try this new fusion of flavors, even having it served in burrito form:

Panda Express’ Sichuan Hot Chicken debuts at all restaurant locations nationwide on July 17, and will run for about 10 weeks or while supplies last.

Note: The pickles featured in our imagery can only be found at Panda Express + Tea Bar locations. The Sichuan Hot Chicken will be served without them at the majority of their locations. 

Categories
Fast Food Opinion

The Top 10 Fast Food Seafood Items Across The USA, Ranked

Fast food seafood has gotten a bad rap over the years, and it’s easy to understand why. Nobody ever put respect on fish’s name, leaving their sole pescatarian option to be overcooked, mushy, and not too pleasant.

Times have changed, though, and with that, the quality of the industry’s fishy fare has shot up. Whether it be whole fish filets or irresistible pieces of shrimp, there’s a lot more being offered than before. The fish sandwich may still dominate, but it’s gone from being overlooked to getting a ton of attention.

These are the best of what fast food seafood has to offer, from timeless fish sandwiches to seafood staples that could dominate for years to come.

When making this list, only items from major fast food chains were looked at and ranked on quality, popularity, and flavor. There will be some big names not on this list (sorry, Ronald), but that’s just indicative of how some newer chains have risen to the challenge and created seafood items that are just… well, better.

10) Tuna Pie, Jollibee

 

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The fried chicken icon of the Philippines is no one-trick pony, as its entire menu is straight fire. When it comes to seafood, it’s a little harder to find at the Bee, but this Lenten LTO is the best they have to offer. While the fact that it’s basically canned tuna in a cream sauce makes it less appealing, you have to appreciate its zesty, peppery flavor, and flaky pastry crust.

9) North Atlantic Cod Sandwich, Culver’s

 

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To make it on this list as a standard fish sandwich, you need to get some basics right: a crispy exterior, intriguing fillings, and a well-cooked piece of fish. Culver’s hits on all of those marks, with the mixture of shredded cheese and lettuce and a light amount of tartar sauce (McDonald’s, take note) accentuating the flavors of the cod. It does need a bit more seasoning, however.

8) Fish Slider, White Castle

 

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The phrase “simple is better” definitely applies to White Castle’s Contribution to the fast food fish game. They don’t church theirs up with tartar sauce or lettuce, using just a slice of American cheese to top their Alaskan pollock. While the fish choice itself is “meh,” given how ubiquitous and overcooked pollock tends to be, their flavor is extraordinary given the slider’s size.

7) Cajun Fish Sandwich, Arby’s

 

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Arby’s would be a lot higher on this list, to be honest, if they had decided to bring back the Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich from the LTO grave. That version had a ton of kick and was a tasty contribution to the fast food game. Sure, the Cajun remoulade on this version has some zest and punch, and gives the massive filet of pollock an extra hit of flavor. It’s no Nashville Hot, though.

6) Shrimp Po’ Boy, Popeyes

Popeyes knows how to do fried shrimp proper. They’re coated with the same seasoning as Popeyes’ top-notch fried chicken, elevating the crustaceans to a new level of flavor. Add in the fact that you get a pretty generous amount per baguette-sized sandwich, and you have a satiating meal of seafood that does more than most fish sandwiches in the game even attempt to do.

5) North Pacific Cod Sandwich, Wendy’s

Who does the generic fish sandwich the best? That answer, as said by several others in the past, has to be Wendy’s. It’s something about the punchiness of their tartar sauce, how the cod is cooked decently, and how the fish has the right crunch. It’s more of a quality thing than a “we put other stuff on it” that makes their variant as good as it is. Of course, it is just your standard fish sandwich, and while it’s a damn good version of it, there’s other things out there that showcase seafood better.

4) Jumbo Shrimp Tacos, Del Taco

 

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Del Taco’s take on the Baja-style seafood taco is surprisingly solid. The shrimp are coated with just the right amount of seasoning, and the crisp lettuce and tomato offset it perfectly in terms of contrasting textures. The white sauce and fresh lime on top elevate this option into the top 5, because they provide the acidic punch and creamy consistency of tartar sauce with just a fraction of its heaviness. This is my personal go-to option for a seafood snack during the Lent season.

3) 2 Cod, 6 Shrimp Platter, Long John Silver’s

 

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Those looking to treat themselves to a seafood feast need to track this down. Being one of two fast food seafood specialists in the country, Long John Silver’s knows how to give cod the appropriate TLC, keeping it crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. The seasoning is a little too close to KFC’s, but few can compete with their batter, or the size of this platter.

2) Giant Fish Sandwich, Captain D’s

 

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In the duel of the fast food seafood specialists, Captain D’s is the people’s choice. Folks regard it as better because of its taste, and this Giant Fish Sandwich shows it off best. The fish pieces themselves are massive in terms of both length and flavor, and an appropriate amount of tartar sauce helps make this one of the most decadent sandwiches you can get in fast food. It’s better than its fishy rival and arguably the best fast food seafood item out there… save for one that honestly, nobody even comes close to touching.

1) Honey Walnut Shrimp, Panda Express

 

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Cue the Thanos snap. Seriously, watching the rest of the fast food seafood game compare to Panda’s signature shrimp is like watching the Avengers trying to KO Marvel’s Mad Titan at the end of Infinity War. How can one compete with its sweet, savory flavor, balanced with the crunch and slight bitterness of walnuts? Nobody has been able to create something within reach yet, so until the fast food seafood universe gets its own Captain Marvel, Honey Walnut Shrimp will tower over anything else that tries to one-up it.

Categories
Fast Food Health Plant-Based

Panda Express Changes Chow Mein And Eggplant Tofu To Be Plant-Based Friendly

To be completely honest, I was about today years old when I learned that Panda Express’s plant-based options aren’t 100% vegetarian. Turns out that in the past, their chow mein and eggplant tofu, amongst other items, have included chicken broth or chicken-based seasonings inside of them, meaning while they may look meat-free at a glance, they’re not.

Moving forward, though, that won’t be the case, as Panda Express has been making changes to their menu to ensure that those items are free from animal products.

For the past few years, according to a Panda Express representative, they’ve working to eliminate animal byproducts from several of their dishes while keeping taste and quality the same. These include the chow mein, Super Greens mixed veggies, eggplant tofu, and steamed brown and white rice. Panda has been able to scale these changes to a national level, and began rolling out the new recipes in late 2018. They’ll be in all restaurants nationwide by the end of this year.

While these dishes are suited for those who live a plant-based lifestyle, Panda Express will still avoid calling them “vegan” or “vegetarian.” Since all of the dishes are cooked on the same kitchen equipment, potential exists for leftover bits of meat and animal products to intermix with the meat-free dishes.

So, while the items are technically plant-based friendly, there is no guarantee that there won’t be meat inside them. Nonetheless, it’s a huge step forward for Panda Express to begin renovating their menu to accommodate vegetarian and vegan guests better. In the future, perhaps they will be able to prevent that cross-contamination as well.

Categories
Fast Food Recipes

Here’s How To Make Panda Express Orange Chicken At Home

Photo: Panda Express

In honor of Panda Express’ 35th anniversary, learn how to make the brand’s famous Orange Chicken at home!

When you’re at the mall, few things are as enticing as the spicy-sweet aroma of Panda Express. The chain restaurant, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2018, is known for quick, casual and delicious Chinese food. One dish, in particular, is most sought after: Panda Express Orange Chicken.

How do you make Orange Chicken at home?

Here at Taste of Home, we know a thing or two about copycat recipes. (You can check out our best-ever copycats here.) Our renditions are oftentimes just as good—if not better!—than the restaurant counterparts. That’s why when Panda Express reached out with their original Orange Chicken recipe, we knew we had to share the goodness with our readers.

This copycat recipe for Panda Express Orange Chicken makes it easy to re-create your favorite dish at home. Plus, the recipe is surprisingly simple! You don’t need any tools or special ingredients—just a trip to your grocery store’s Asian aisle to find soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

Find more Panda Express copycat recipes here.

Panda Express

The Real Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe

What You Need:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine (or rice wine)
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. orange marmalade
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp. sesame oil

Step 1: Marinate Chicken

Start by cutting the chicken into small, bite-size pieces—about 1 to 1-1/2 inches long. Then, whisk together two tablespoons of soy sauce, wine, ginger and garlic in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir until the pieces are well coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 25 minutes.

Bonus: You need these tips for making a delicious homemade marinade. 

Step 2: Toss to Coat

Once time is up, use a large slotted spoon to move the chicken cubes out of the marinade and into a new bowl. Discard the marinade mixture. Then, sprinkle 1/4 cup of cornstarch over the chicken. Toss lightly to coat.

Step 3: Brown Chicken

Next, heat up the oil to fry the chicken pieces in a large pot—between 1/4- and 1/3-inch of oil will be enough. Then, working in batches, add a single layer of marinated chicken pieces to the hot oil. Fry, turning occasionally until the chicken is well-browned and cooked through. Each batch should take about four minutes, total. When cooked through, move the chicken pieces out of the fryer and onto a paper towel-lined plate so the excess oil can drain away.

Editor’s Tip: At this point, the chicken will be delicious on its own. Sample a piece or two, but resist the urge to eat them all. The end result is much better. Trust us.

Step 4: Make Sauce

Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining soy sauce, honey, orange juice, marmalade, rice vinegar, chili flakes and sesame oil. Stir to combine. Then, in a small bowl, mix together the remaining cornstarch and two tablespoons water. This mixture is called a slurry. Bring the orange sauce to a low boil, and add the slurry—one spoonful at a time—while whisking. Keep adding the slurry until the sauce is thickened.

Step 5: Toss Together

Combine the chicken pieces and the sauce in a large bowl. Serve with cooked rice and broccoli. Enjoy!

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Article by Katie Bandurski for Taste of Home. View the original article here.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Restaurants

Cheesecake Cream Teas Exist And Panda Express Is Serving Them At These Exclusive Locations

It’s been a minute since we saw something pop up from Panda Express, but delicious things come to those who wait. And for those who have been clock watching, Panda’s latest addition to their summer menu is what they’re calling Cheesecake Cream Tea.

Cheese Tea is already a widely popular trend in countries like China and Thailand, and select tea houses in the United States have begun offering the rich beverage.

However, this will be the first time a major chain like Panda Express puts their own spin on it. If it’s anything like the original beverage, Panda’s Cheesecake Cream Tea will have some sort of thick whipping cream made from milk and some variety of cheese. The company describes that it will have a sweet, velvety taste.

Tea flavors include your choice of cheesecake foam over Milk Tea, Green Tea, or Black Tea.

The Cheesecake Cream Teas will be available now through Aug. 27 exclusively at Panda + Tea and the chain’s Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, CA. While you’re there, I highly recommend pairing it with a bing wrap filled with Orange Chicken. It’s essentially an Orange Chicken Burrito.