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Watch: Chinese People Eat Panda Express for the First Time


The menu ranges from somewhat accurate to nonexistent in traditional Chinese cooking

“This better suits Americans,” said one gentle reviewer.

BuzzFeed puts mall food court-staple Panda Express to the test in a new video, “Chinese People Try Panda Express for the First Time.”

It’s an area of mystery that has been pondered by many, and BuzzFeed found a pretty diverse sample size of first-time Panda Express samplers to work it out for us.

The team tries a variety of items from the Panda Express menu, including egg rolls, chow mein, fried rice, hot and sour soup, and orange chicken.

Some of it has at least a familiar counterpart in traditional Chinese cuisine, and some things are entirely American. The comments ranged from “It’s okay” and “I don’t know what’s in here” to “This is tasty Chinese food that Chinese people would accept.” The general consensus, though, is summed up neatly by one reviewer: “You can’t expect it to be the same as our traditional Chinese food.”

Watch the full video below:


Panda Express Items You Should Absolutely Never Order

Ah, Panda Express, the Chinese fast food joint we all have a love/hate relationship with. On one hand, Panda Express serves up incredibly fast, delicious, and sometimes addictive (we're looking at you, orange chicken), food. But on the other hand, we can't help but think that what we're eating must be some sort of chemically engineered recipe to make us want to eat more and more, packing on the calories as we indulge. And since the early '80s, Panda Express has only continued to grow in popularity, serving up their authentic Chinese-American food in thousands of restaurants.

But just exactly how good are some of the dishes being served up at Panda Express? Some may not be a wise choice for those with severe allergies, while others may fill your calorie counter for the entire day. And some just aren't as good as you might hope. To really know, we took a deep dive to learn more about these menu items. These are the items you should absolutely never order at Panda Express.


11 Things You Should Know Before Eating at Panda Express

We realize that Panda Express isn't exactly serving up authentic Chinese cuisine, but once you get past that, there's no denying that the food is insanely tasty. We're all guilty of dropping by the mall just to get some of their irresistibly tangy Orange Chicken from the food court, and flight delays would be way more miserable if we couldn't drown our sorrows in egg rolls and fried rice. There's lots you don't know about the American Chinese chain&mdashgrab your chopsticks and dig in.

1. The founders were college sweethearts.

Peggy and Andrew Cherng both came from humble beginnings as immigrants from Burma and China. They met during their college days at Baker University in Kansas and later moved to the Los Angeles area, where the couple first got into the restaurant business.

2. It all started with a sit-down restaurant.

Before creating the food court staple we all love, the Cherngs opened their first restaurant in 1973. Panda Inn, a sit-down spot in Pasadena, is a full-service restaurant serving dishes inspired by the flavors of Mandarin and Sichuan cuisine. The original spot led to several more locations in California.

3. Panda Express didn't open until 10 years later.

Panda Inn's first fast-casual offshoot opened in 1983 at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, CA, luring shopping mall customers with the tantalizing smell of their Americanized Chinese food.

4. It's part of the largest Chinese-restaurant group in the U.S.

Panda Restaurant Group Inc., which includes Panda Inn, Panda Express and Hibachi-San (a Japanese teppanyaki grill and sushi restaurant), has a huge presence in the United States. Panda Express has more than 1,900 locations across the country, as well as in Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada, Mexico, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Korea, and they're raking in the dough&mdashU.S. sales are more than double that of competitors like P.F. Chang's, Noodles & Co, Pei Wei and Benihana.

5. You don't have to go to the mall to get it.

There's nothing better than working up an appetite shopping and chowing down on some Panda Express, but the chain actually has more freestanding restaurants than food-court spots! Find locations at airports, stadiums, college campuses, theme parks and more&mdashmany have big dining room, flatscreen TVs and even drive-thru windows.

6. Orange Chicken is the top seller . by far.

Former Panda Express executive chef, Andy Kao, created the chain's secret Orange Chicken recipe in 1987, and it's been the most popular menu item since. The restaurants serve over 70 million pounds of it per year! Customers also love grilled teriyaki chicken and broccoli beef, but nothing comes close to those sauce-coated nuggets of bliss.

7. One location serves some amazing off-menu items.

The Panda Express Innovation Kitchen is a special restaurant in Pasadena where the chain experiments with new dishes, design and décor ideas. Customers can build their own salads and scallion pancake wraps with favorites like honey-walnut shrimp and Beijing beef, paired with tasty sauces and crunchy add-ons like pickled cucumbers, green papaya slaw and crispy wontons. Online ordering through the mobile app is also available&mdashseems worth the trip to us!

8. Panda Express is breaking into bubble tea.

Select restaurant locations offer Asian-inspired drinks at the Panda Tea Bar. Sip on teas, coffees, shakes, smoothies and milk tea. You can even add boba, jelly, aloe vera, pudding or chia seeds to your beverage.

9. And expanding into the pizza and salad business.

Panda Restaurant Group Inc. has stepped outside of the American-Asian food category and invested in small restaurant companies like Pieology Pizzeria and Just Salad. If they're as successful with those ventures, we can expect plenty of greens and pepperoni pies to be within reach soon!

10. They give out 282 million fortune cookies per year.

The crunchy cookies with messages folded inside are our favorite way to end a meal at Panda Express, and the chain's new #ShareGoodFortune campaign makes the experience even more pleasant. The iconic cookies have been renamed "Fortunate Cookies" and now contain themed messages like "Fortunate that you believe in me" to inspire generosity among guests, staff and beyond.

11. You can eat there without blowing your calorie count.

If you're watching your waistline, there are plenty of Wok Smart entree options on the menu, which have 300 calories or less, plus 8 grams of protein. You should still keep an eye on the sodium level though&mdashor just whip up our recipe for Skinny Panda Express Chow Mein to hold you over 'til your next trip to the mall.


I'm going to Panda Express for first time in my life.

. you heard that right. The very first time in my life. What should I get? What should I avoid?

[quote] What should I avoid?

It doesn't matter. Even if it says "chicken", it's panda. It's all panda.

Don't let them guilt you into adding an extra dollar for charity.

Oh, relax R1. I've spent most of my life in NY, SF, LA and London and been to lots of authentic Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan restaurants. I know that this will be totally Americanized, probably overly sweet "Chinese".

R3 - I sure as shit won't. I've seen that South Park episode.

[quote]Don't let them guilt you into adding an extra dollar for charity.

There's a South Park episode?

so, what's his name, how'd you meet him? and how come you're such a cheap date?

So just imagine the delicious meal you could have bought had you not spent $18 here to start this moronic thread.

Ha ha, R7. Actually, I'm getting dinner with an old friend. No benefits. We're BOTH being cheap because I don't have my next consulting gig until January and he's an actor.

R6 - there's a recent episode in which Randy (the main "dad") starts a social movement to take on and resist the Whole Foods cashiers who guilt customers into donating $ to charity at the check-out. However, it's part of a pretty intricately woven season-long arc. Much of it, I'm afraid, with a strong libertarian bent, but that's Matt & Trey for you. It's best to start with the first ep of this season, but in case you can't be fucked, it's this ep.

Congrats OP on having over fried protein caked in a sugary sweet sauce. I'm doing just fine with a salad.

Thanks, R12! What kinda salad? I guess it's Pan Asian day at my place. I made a Thai green papaya salad this afternoon myself.

Just avoid the whole place. it's junk "chinese" food.

R14 - please see R4. So I, somewhat jokingly, posted this on FB as well. Already got 15 responses all of which say "Orange Chicken", so I guess that's entree #1 settled.

[quote]What should I get? What should I avoid?

GET - laid by the cute cashier

AVOID - putting anything in your mouth (with the exception of the cute cashier's dick)

My friend's here. Thank you so much for the great advice guys. Now I know exactly what (and what not) to put in my pie hole tonight. I feel like a proper American now. Post-dinner reviews to follow.

I, for one, can't wait (serious no sarcasm.) I've never been to one, even though I lived in SF over 20 years.

[quote]We're BOTH being cheap because I don't have my next consulting gig until January and he's an actor.

And yet you spent $18 to start this moronic thread.

for Asian fast food chains you must find Doc Chey's.

[R12] im having a wedge salad. Yum

Get: the Ptomaine. Avoid: the cockroaches.

If you like breaded, fried rich food, the orange chicken and Beijing beef is good. The mandarin chicken is just grilled chicken breast they slice up for you - sauce on top or on the side. The chicken with string beans is hit or miss.

One absolute: make sure there's a bathroom nearby when you're finished. Panda is a guaranteed laxative.

Haven't been there in at least 10 years, but I used to get the black pepper chicken, Mongolian beef, & chow mein combo as a cheap lunch

I've never been to one either.

Sweet and sour soup, orange chicken, and chow mein isn't bad at all.

Stay away from the fried rice - it's way bland and salty.

The real question is whether or not you masturbated in your car in the parking lot?

Remember Jon Stewart's joke about Dick Cheney loving to eat Endangered Species candy bars, & his favorite flavor was panda?

OP here. It's been nearly 8 hours since I first ingested Panda Express for the first time in my life. Some of this whirlwind experience is just a blur, but I'll do my best to quickly recap the highlights, in no particular order:

1. My friend, who is of Chinese ancestry, BTW (I know, the shame), picked me up, drove me straight to the nearest Panda Express and then made me sit in the car with him for 15 minutes while we waited for a long line to form in the restaurant before getting out. Why, you might ask? Apparently, he's discovered that the best way to get maximum Orange Chicken satisfaction is to wait until a long line of customers has finished off the old Orange Chicken sitting in the steam trays so that we could be one of the first people to get a freshly wok'd batch. His plan almost worked. When it was our turn to order there was still a small amount of old orange chicken left. My friend panicked. I called upon my improv skills from my SCETA (So Calif Educational Theatre Assoc) award-winning high school improv team experience and told the large family behind us that we were still deciding and offered to let them go ahead of us. It worked and when it was our turn, we got fresh Orange Chicken.

2. I did not take one poster's recommendation to initiate sexual contact with the cute cashier/server. Our cashier was, indeed, cute, but I'm not into post-menopausal Latinas. But Gloria, the cutie, did, well, the cutest thing. In heavily accented, slightly broken English, this delightful personification of a Salvadoran empanada would greet every customer who came in with the phrase "Hello! Thank you for being a panda today!" I doubt that was the exact line she was trained to say, but I like her version better. Per another poster's warning, she DID ask me if I'd like to round up our order and donate the change to some children's charity. Our order was $16.94, so I said yes and generously made some poor child's Christmas dreams come true with my .06 donation.

3. For our non-romantic quick service dinner we shared a small bowl of hot & sour soup (better than the Knorr packets of hot & sour soup mix you can buy in the grocery store, but nowhere near as good as any regular hot & sour soup you can get at any decent Chinese take out). We got two 2-entree plates and, unlike that bitch in that Arby's thread, we shared our food, like good Asian boys would. I'm Indian, he's Chinese. We couldn't finish it. I let my friend take the left-overs home.

I have to admit, the Orange Chicken (fresh batch) really was quite good - wonderful crisp coating, nice balance of spicy and sweet (but not cloyingly sweet like sweet & sour) and surprisingly large, juicy pieces of chicken underneath the breading. I can imagine the dish being really unsatisfactory if it's stale and soggy, though.

The Eggplant Tofu was surprisingly flavorful - too sweet for what I think should be a savory dish, but the eggplant was very good quality and the tofu was prepared well.

The Kung Pao Chicken was decent, but could use a bit more pungency (oyster sauce?) and heat. The best part was the blackened chili peppers which were fully edible and deliciously crisped. Eating the whole chilis greatly improved the flavor of the dish. White people, you may not want to eat those peppers, though.

Beef & Broccoli was decent. Compared to the other savory dish (Kung Pao), this sauce had a more distinctive flavor. Beef was moderately decent quality, broccoli was very fresh and not overly steamed. Still, I would double the amount of garlic they're using to dial up the flavor.

Fried rice was, you called it guys, bland and required lots of soy sauce and sriracha to flavor it. And no egg in your fried rice? Come oooon. Chow mein was marginally better than than the rice. But, honestly, if I were ever to do this again, I'd stick with steamed rice.

There was no jacking off or grab ass in the car. If you have any additional questions about my experience, please feel free to ask below.

You should have tried the Honey Walnut Shrimp. It really is their best item.

I also like the Beijing Beef.

I burnt myself out on the Orange Chicken and Black Pepper Chicken years ago.


How much fast food is okay for kidney disease?

When going to the drive thru, it’s important to know what fast food is good for kidney disease. Planning makes progress!

As stated, moderation will always be the name of the game. If you are able to keep it to about one meal per week, and keep to healthier choices, you are more likely to not experience significant changes in your renal function.

Serving sizes of the foods are essential in this situation. By selecting a smaller, or even “junior” meal, you are better limiting the problematic items listed above. Choosing to eat out once per week but indulging in an entire pizza is not considered “one meal.”

Fluids can also play an important role in kidney disease and kidney health. Choose the smallest size available, which is oftentimes a 10-12 ounce cup already, to prevent excessive bloating, swelling, and fluid overload.


Order This, Not That: Panda Express

This Chinese food chain has been around since 1983, when it first opened in a mall in Glendale, California. Chinese fast food isn't known for being healthy, and Panda Express is no exception. However, the next time you order Chinese fast food, keep these better-for-you choices in mind.

This dish (available regionally) consists of wonton wrappers filled with cream cheese and served with sweet and sour sauce. The calories are reasonable for an appetizer, and it's the only one in the bunch that isn't fried or pan-fried.

Nutrition Info (per serving): Calories 190 Fat 8 g (Saturated 5 g) Sodium 180 mg Carbohydrate 24 g Protein 5 g

Shrimp is a very low-calorie protein, but breading and frying it defeats the purpose. The sodium is also pretty out of control for such a small app, coming in at 35 percent of your daily recommended max. (Note: this dish is only available regionally)

Nutrition Info (per serving): Calories 260 Fat 13 g (Saturated 2 g) Sodium 800 mg Carbohydrate 26 g Protein 9 g

This dish is labelled as "wok smart," indicating that it's one of Panda Express's healthier choices. It's made from a combo of chicken, mushrooms and zucchini tossed in a light ginger-soy sauce.

Nutrition Info (per serving): Calories 170 Fat 9 g (Saturated 2 g) Sodium 750 mg Carbohydrate 11 g Protein 12 g

This fried beef option is coated in a sweet-tangy sauce with peppers and onions. With so many wok-friendly options, there is no need to order anything fried.

Nutrition Info (per serving): Calories 470 Fat 27 g (Saturated 5 g) Sodium 660 mg Carbohydrate 46 g Protein 21 g

According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, 80 percent of Americans don't meet their daily recommended amount of vegetables. Unlike many other fast-food joints, Panda Express offers steamed veggies as a side, making it easier to meet your daily vegetable goals.

Nutrition Info (per serving): Calories 80 Fat 0.5 g (Saturated 0 g) Sodium 540 mg Carbohydrate 16 g Protein 4 g

Although fried rice is a Chinese restaurant favorite, it actually tops the list of the highest-calorie side dishes on the menu. Further, the sodium for this side alone is 37 percent of the daily recommended maximum.

Nutrition Info (per serving): Calories 520 Fat 4 g (Saturated 1 g) Sodium 850 mg Carbohydrate 85 g Protein 11 g

The only dessert offered is fortune cookies, and this Americanized tradition is worth the 32 calories per cookie!

Nutrition Info (1 cookie): Calories 32 Fat 0 g (Saturated 0 g) Sodium 8 mg Carbohydrate 7 g Protein 1 g

Photos courtesy of Panda Express

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day .


This is a copycat recipe for Panda Express Mushroom Chicken stir fry.. Quick, easy and better than Chinese take out.. Few ingredients and you can have this awesome Chinese mushroom chicken ready in 30 minutes. Enjoy.

#pandaexpress #pandaexpresschicken #pandaexpressrecipes #mushroomchicken #chickenstirfry #chinesechicken #chinesestirfry #recipes #cooking #tesscooks4u

PAYPAL donations are greatly appreciated at E-mail - [email protected]

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Copycat Panda Express MUSHROOM CHICKEN Zucchini Stir Fry Restaurant Recipe

INGREDIENTS:
1 to 1 1/2 pounds cubed boneless chicken thighs
1 package button mushrooms - cleaned and quartered
1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. minced ginger
slurry - 1 tbsp. cornstarch and 2 tbsp. water

Chicken marinade:
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. cornstarch
*Mix with chicken and let marinate for 30 minutes

Sauce:
1/2 cup chicken broth or water - I added 1/4 tsp. Better Than Bouillon Chicken to 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine or rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar

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This is a copycat recipe for Panda Express Mushroom Chicken stir fry.. Quick, easy and better than Chinese take out.. Few ingredients and you can have this awesome Chinese mushroom chicken ready in 30 minutes. Enjoy.

#pandaexpress #pandaexpresschicken #pandaexpressrecipes #mushroomchicken #chickenstirfry #chinesechicken #chinesestirfry #recipes #cooking #tesscooks4u

PAYPAL donations are greatly appreciated at E-mail – [email protected]

OTHER RECIPE VIDEOS YOU MAY LIKE TO SEE

How to Make The Best Chinese Lo Mein

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qtmz1FDww0

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https://youtu.be/4LURlFHrClc

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https://youtu.be/LZeNiMUbHCQ

How to Make the Best Chicken and Broccoli Chinese Stir Fry Recipe

Healthy Chinese Cooking
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRadAJLsrmc

How to Make Chinese Chicken Vermicelli Stir Fry

Vermicelli Noodle Recipe
https://youtu.be/7KkIQTtCU6g

Asian Recipes by Tess Cooks4u
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YIctSJa850&list=PLTnT2NPigV6xzO8GQFDCe3CqMzi75y9XZ

Copycat Panda Express MUSHROOM CHICKEN Zucchini Stir Fry Restaurant Recipe

INGREDIENTS:
1 to 1 1/2 pounds cubed boneless chicken thighs
1 package button mushrooms – cleaned and quartered
1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. minced ginger
slurry – 1 tbsp. cornstarch and 2 tbsp. water

Chicken marinade:
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. cornstarch
*Mix with chicken and let marinate for 30 minutes

Sauce:
1/2 cup chicken broth or water – I added 1/4 tsp. Better Than Bouillon Chicken to 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine or rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar


Panda's Beijing Beef is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated entrees on the menu. With marinated beef strips and fresh bell peppers and onions, you can't go wrong ordering this delectable dish. Pair it with a side of rice or chow mein for a complete meal.

Adding cream cheese rangoons to your meal is never a bad idea. Another of Panda's delicious appetizers, these wonton wrappers are filled with cream cheese and served with a side of sweet and sour sauce. I always order a rangoon (or two. or three) if I want to have an added bonus to my meal.


14 Avoid: Dairy Queen

If you are pregnant in the summer than nothing is more satisfying than ice cream. Dairy Queen is the queen of the ice cream, but it also may be the queen of sugar and things too sweet. They are known for their soft serve, sundaes, and blizzards. There has been some concern on how healthy this product is, even though it is marketed as a great source of calcium.

There has even been some concern about the possibility of contracting listeria from it. There is worry that they are not cleaning the machines as properly as they should be. When it comes to this sweet shop, it is best to proceed with caution.


'Chork' Panda Express' answer for those who can't use chopsticks

Hold on to your spork, the latest cutlery creation combines the efficiency of a fork and the far east tradition of the chopstick.

It's called a " chork" and the red plastic flatware features a four-tined fork on one end and a pair of chopsticks attached at the other.

Chinese fast food purveyor Panda Express is considering offering the inventive flatware.

"(It's) the perfect way to illustrate the mashup of American and Chinese cultures," Panda Express said in a statement to First We Feast .

Inventor Brown Innovation Group indicates the food conveyance is a three-in-one tool. The chopsticks can be separated from the fork or kept attached and used like training wheels. They debuted the product at the 2010 National Restaurant Association trade show and started selling them the next year, according to Nation's Restaurant News .

While the restaurant is considering offering chorks, there are no plans to roll them out yet, according to Nation's Restaurant News .

"Chorks are a unique utensil that elevate the way people experience their food," Panda Express told First We Feast . "While Chorks are not currently available at Panda Express locations, there is a possibility that they will make their way into stores in the future."

Still, what better way to eat Panda Express' chow mein - than with a chork?


Watch the video: Burger Mukbang! Hardees New Garlic Bread Thick Burger!! (December 2021).