PANDA EXPRESS’S | Orange Chicken

Tender, juicy pieces of crispy chicken in a slightly sweet & tangy glaze

by RRR
Crispy fried chicken pieces coated in a shiny orange glaze, topped with slivered scallions, served in a traditional Asian bowl with chopsticks on the side.

A Whirlwind Romance with Orange Chicken:

The Unbelievable Journey of Panda Express

Oh, Panda Express, how do we love thee? Let me count the ways… or better yet, let’s dive into the saucy, sizzling history of America’s beloved fast-food sweetheart. Born in 1983, in sunny California, Panda Express began its journey not as a roaring dragon, but as a humble cub, eager to introduce the American palate to the joys of Chinese cuisine.

Imagine the scene: Andrew Cherng, our culinary hero, and his father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng, decided to take the bold step of bringing flavors from the East to the bustling food courts of the West. Their secret weapon? A little dish known as Orange Chicken. This sticky, sweet, and tangy masterpiece quickly became the Beyoncé of the menu, stealing hearts and tantalizing taste buds across the nation.

But Panda Express didn’t stop there. Oh no, they were just getting started. With a dash of innovation and a sprinkle of ambition, they expanded their menu to include a variety of dishes that spoke to both the adventurous and the comfort-seeking souls. From the spicy Kung Pao Chicken to the comforting embrace of Chow Mein, Panda Express turned into a culinary mosaic, painting the American fast-food scene with bold strokes of flavor and culture.

Fast forward to today, and Panda Express is more than just a restaurant; it’s a cultural phenomenon, with over 2,000 locations worldwide, each serving as a beacon of deliciousness. They’ve not only managed to make Chinese cuisine an integral part of the American fast-food tapestry but also created a space where everyone is welcome to feast and enjoy.

Orange You Glad You Can Make Panda Express Orange Chicken at Home?

So, you’ve got a craving that only Panda Express Orange Chicken can satisfy, but the couch is too comfy to leave? Fear not, my fellow food enthusiast! I’ve got a recipe that’ll bring the Panda right to your kitchen. No need to change out of those pajamas—let’s turn your kitchen into the next best thing to standing in line at Panda Express.

Imagine the scene: You, in your kitchen, channeling the spirit of a master chef, ready to embark on a flavor journey that ends with a plateful of homemade Orange Chicken so good, it might just make you dance a little. The process is a delightful mix of frying up some tender chicken to golden perfection and then bathing it in a glossy, citrus-infused sauce that’s the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

This isn’t just cooking; it’s an act of culinary magic, where you transform simple ingredients into a dish that’s packed with so much flavor, it whispers tales of distant lands and secret recipes. The beauty of making Panda Express Orange Chicken at home is the freedom to tweak it to your heart’s content. Want it spicier? Go ahead, add those chili flakes! Prefer it sweeter? A little extra sugar won’t hurt.

But the real secret to nailing this dish lies not in the ingredients but in the love and care you put into preparing it. It’s about enjoying the sizzle of the chicken as it fries, the aromatic waft of the sauce as it simmers, and finally, the joy of sharing a meal that you’ve created with your own hands.

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to dazzle your taste buds. Your kitchen is about to witness the creation of something truly spectacular. Who needs a takeout menu when you can make magic happen with your own two hands?

Crispy fried chicken pieces coated in a shiny orange glaze, topped with slivered scallions, served in a traditional Asian bowl with chopsticks on the side.

Panda Express Orange Chicken

Serves: 3-4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 740 calories 34 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 10 TBL white vinegar
  • 6 TBL orange marmalade
  • 2 TBL rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 ½ TBL fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flake
  • 1/2 cup + 1 TBL corn starch
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 oz. water
  • Canola oil for frying


On a med-low heat, in a small saucepan, add water, soy sauce, white vinegar, marmalade, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer. Add 1 TBL corn starch, whisking quickly to remove clumps. Make sure glaze is smooth, lower heat and reduce the glaze by 1/2.

Place chicken, egg, salt and cracked pepper in a mixing bowl and toss thoroughly. Put chicken into a large zip-lock bag, knocking off any excess egg mixture. Add the flour and ½ cup of cornstarch. Zip the bag and shake well until the chicken is completely dredged.

Stir-Fry Instructions:

In a very hot wok or sauté pan (extra-large), add 1 ½” of the canola oil. Once the oil reaches 365 degrees, add the chicken in small batches, about 4 in total (do not overcrowd the wok). Stir-fry the chicken until completely cooked, about 3 minutes per batch. Once cooked, remove chicken to a drainage rack to drain. Do not use paper towel as the chicken will stick to the paper towel. Continue working the chicken in this exact manner until all chicken is cooked.

Discard the fry oil reserving only 2 TBL in the wok. To the wok, add the ginger, garlic and chili flake and stir-fry until the garlic is translucent. Pour the orange glaze into the wok and return the fried chicken. Toss the chicken in the glaze until well coated.

Serve with Pei Wei’s Thai Blazing Noodles and Benihana’s Ginger Salad and Enjoy!


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