Last Updated on October 28, 2022 by Jim Edwards
From an isolated restaurant in a mall in California to 2000+ locations throughout the United States, Panda Express has come helped make fast chinese food more popular in America. Peggy and Andrew Cherng, a married couple and co-CEOs of the franchise, started the company to offer Chinese food, cafeteria-style. Now, the Chinese fast-food chain is the best one in the country and is known for its versatile menu that serves American Chinese cuisine.
The Cherngs have degrees in Engineering and Mathematics, but restaurants are their heritage. That’s why the two started a sit-down eatery called Panda Inn back in 1973. It was successful enough to give the Glendale Galleria developer an idea to start a Chinese fast-food chain with the Cherngs. They agreed to the offer, and the rest is history!
Panda Express is famous for its Orange Chicken and Chow Mein. The former sells for more than 90 million pounds per year! While the Orange Chicken is the best Panda Express has to serve, there are other delicious items on the Panda Express Menu that you should not miss!
Let’s have a look at some of our favorite items.
Best Panda Express Menu Items
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Did we mention that Orange Chicken is the best item on the Panda Express Menu? Well, it is. Even those who do not like Chinese fast food know that Orange Chicken is Panda Express’s best yet. The chicken pieces are covered in crispy breading that does not go soft with time because it is prepared as soon as it is ordered. If you order it at a Panda Express restaurant, you will surely get the freshly-prepared item with a crispy coating.
As for the orange sauce, it is tangy and slightly acidic to maintain an edgy taste. The dish is served with just the chicken, no vegetables. Even though some would say a dish with meat should have vegetables, Orange Chicken does not need the greens to balance the taste of the tangy chicken. It is the main protein dish that you can eat with any side dish on the Panda Express menu. There’s brown rice, Chow Mein, and Super Greens that go best with the Orange Chicken.
This was predictable as well, wasn’t it? Even though Chow Mein is Panda Express’s side dish, it is one of the most famous dishes on the menu. As Chinese food lovers, we try Chow Mein from various restaurants to determine the quality of Chinese food. If it’s good, we give that restaurant another chance. If not, we are skeptical about the other dishes too.
For Panda Express’s Chow Mein, we do not have to worry about anything. Like the best American Chinese fast-food chain, it offers the best Chow Mein! And not just once or twice; each time you eat at the fast-food joint or order their Chow Mein, it never disappoints. The noodles are not too long or slimy. They are short enough to stay on the fork and leave no room for embarrassment when you eat them. The ingredients also have a subtle taste, without a struggle to overpower your tastebuds!
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When a Chinese restaurant tries to make a dish with beef, it has a hard time impressing the patrons of Chinese food. However, Panda Express has no such trouble! They prepare beef as well as they prepare their chicken items! Beijing Beef is a dish that stands out among other Panda Express menu items.
The battered beef is covered in red sauce, which is a perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Unlike the Orange Chicken, Beijing Beef has vegetables accompanying the meat. Onions and red bell peppers enhance the flavor of the sauce but do not overtake the taste of the battered beef.
It does not have the crispiness of the Orange Chicken either. The beef is coated in bread, which is not super crispy. It’s better than other Chinese fast-food chains, which is why it’s on this list. One serving of Beijing Beef has 470 calories, so if that is something you do not want to eat for lunch, try the other items on the menu. You can also pain the dish with Super Greens to balance out the nutritional intake.
Wok Seared Steak and Shrimp
Since Panda Express has created the best menu items with chicken and beef, it’s time to add seafood to the list! Wok Seared Steak and Shrimp is one of Panda Express’s better-than-most offerings. With two different types of proteins paired with four vegetables, the dish is wholesome. The vegetables added to the serving are onions, red bell peppers, snap peas, and potatoes. Yes, potatoes!
For those who are picky about potatoes, it may come as a surprise to find them in a shrimp and steak dish on a Chinese fast-food menu. Even so, it does not take the attention away from the sweet and savory flavor of the meat! The shrimp and steak combo pairs well with the sauce and takes the attention away from the vegetables.
You may even forget about the potatoes that may or may not have been served. Regardless, the Wok Seared Steak and Shrimp is a flavorful addition to the Panda Express menu card. It’s something we can enjoy if we want to take a break from the old items on the menu!
A Chinese fast-food fan would be okay eating the rest of the dishes on this list with little to no vegetables; this one is famous among those who watch their calories. With a 150-calorie serving of broccoli and beef, this meal paired with brown rice is sustainable for lunch or dinner.
If you want to order from Panda Express without any regrets after indulging in Chinese fast food, use Broccoli Beef as your excuse. You will be able to enjoy the food from one of the top restaurants in the US while keeping your conscience clear.
The beef portion of the dish is lean and tender meat that pairs well with the crispy broccoli. There is more broccoli than beef per serving, so it can be a matter of preference who likes this item on the Panda Express menu and who doesn’t. If you love all things broccoli, this dish is the perfect choice for you! If not, try the other items so that you do not associate the taste of only this dish with Panda Express. There are better options available so find the one that suits your palate.
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Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
In a classic Panda Express style, Grilled Teriyaki Chicken does not have vegetables. On top of that, it does not have any sauce covering the chicken or breading to add crispiness. It’s a simple dish with chicken pieces. Yet, it’s one of the best Panda Express menu items! Even though there are no additional items adding to the flavor of Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, the taste of the prepared dish is enough to call it one of the best!
Panda Express prepares this dish with the authentic teriyaki flavor, grilling it while keeping the moistness of the meat intact. Most Chinese fast-food chains would add sauces and flavorful vegetables to distract a customer from the original taste of the meat. However, Panda Express refrains from using this tactic! They show their accurate cooking skills by keeping just the chicken on the menu and letting the customers decide how good it is.
Keith Eats Everything at Panda Express
Keith tastes everything on the Panda Express menu in this video. Don’t worry; he didn’t waste any food at all. He made The Food Babies employees eat the leftovers and filmed the entire thing for Patreon. Watch the video to learn about the food items you haven’t tried yet on the Panda Express menu!
Asian fast food is front and center when it comes to fast food joints in the United States, and leading this group is Panda Express. With flavorful dishes and the courage to add a new Panda Express menu item to keep customers happy, they’re doing everything right so far! Among the other, older fast food joints, they know just how to keep up with the changing trends and not let close-mindedness affect business.
Panda Express Menu: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Panda Express owned by McDonald’s?
Panda Express is part of the Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. It is a fast-food restaurant chain that was started by Andrew Cherng, Peggy Cherng, and Ming Tsai in 1973. Panda Express is not owned by McDonald’s, as it is a Cherng family-owned business.
Is Panda Express owned by the Chinese?
Panda Express is owned by two Chinese-Americans, Andrew and Peggy Cherng. They started with a fast-food mall restaurant in 1983, later expanding it to various locations within the US and across borders. The Cherngs call it a “Chinese-American company.”
What is the most popular item at Panda Express?
Orange Chicken is the most popular item on the Panda Express menu. It is crispy when served hot and does not go soft easily. Following Orange Chicken, other popular Panda Express food items are Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, Chow Mein, Wok Seared Steak and Shrimp, etc.
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“Panda Express” by David Cornwell is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
I’m Jim Edwards and I started this website to share my love of Junk Food. We cover new junk food, desserts, snack foods, fast food secret menus, candy (of course!) and other related news. We love trying “secret menus” at restaurants. And we love trying new products too. So, we are trying to have some fun with our hobby and share some useful information with you, our community. Please feel to send us your suggestions and feedback through the contact form. And if you have products you would like us to try, let us know…!