Is Orange Chicken from Panda Express Real Chicken?

Beyond's signature The Original Orange Chicken is made from plant-based proteins instead of traditional animal meat. The dish is cooked with wok in Panda Express's exclusive sweet, spicy and sour orange sauce and reportedly has a crunchy texture. It is a combination of crispy chicken mixed with wok in a sweet and spicy orange sauce. The chicken itself is made with dark meat that is lightly battered and then fried. Before creating orange chicken as we know it, Panda Express restaurants in Hawaii served a similar dish with bone-in meat.

The founder of Kao and Panda Express, Andrew Cherng, decided to make it more convenient by removing the bones and turning it into fried chicken. More than 50 percent of all orders placed on Panda Express are orange chicken, although chef Jimmy Wang says the company is always striving to develop new recipes in its innovative kitchen located in Pasadena, California. Many grocery stores also sell bottled orange chicken sauce, but nothing compares to buying it at home from your local Panda. Panda Express recently brought back a plant-based option under the trademark Beyond The Original Orange Chicken by Beyond Meat. Panda Express co-founder and CEO Andrew Cherng says Kao developed the dish at one of the company's locations in Hawaii, modifying a bone-in chicken dish that was popular.

Former executive chef Andy Kao is said to have created the dish for Panda in 1987 when he opened a branch in Hawaii. Andrew Cherng, co-founder of Panda Express, says the chef who created Orange Chicken was inspired by the flavors of the Chinese province of Hunan. Chef Andy Kao claims to have developed the original recipe for Chinese-American orange chicken at a Panda Express in Hawaii in 1987. Orange chicken is the star dish of the American fast food chain Panda Express, which sells more than 100 million pounds every year. Panda Express has not published its ingredients on the dish, but almost all of the recipes imitating the dish use ginger, which means that, most likely, it is also in the original. And the orange chicken you can order at any of the 2000 red, white and black quick-service restaurants adorned with a playful, plump panda known as the Panda Express is anything but authentic.

According to the network, Panda Express chefs cooked more than 1,300 pounds of Beyond The Original Orange Chicken on the first day of its menu. Over the years, the chefs at Panda Express have experimented with different amounts of garlic and ginger, but overall, they have kept their recipe consistent, says Wang. It's definitely here to stay! Panda Express reports that Beyond The Original Orange Chicken was highly sought after and sold out in several places within two weeks of its launch. The Panda Express corporate brief states that the brand has more than 2,400 stores and is considered to be the largest Asian food concept in the United States. Crunchy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside - it's no wonder why it's the main ingredient in orange chicken sold at Panda Express.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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