This Orange Chicken Is Practically Legendary and Here's Why
What makes Panda Express extra interesting?
Fans of Panda Express should be glad to know that the Chinese-inspired, California-based fast food chain will soon be docking on Philippine shores, opening its highly anticipated first store in SM Megamall.
Raise your hand if you are one of those people who can’t wait to try Panda Express’ famous Orange Chicken—generous chunks of crispy battered chicken drizzled with the perfect spicy, sweet, and tangy sauce, a combination we Filipinos just can’t seem to resist.
It’s the dish that people say put the family-owned fast food chain on the map; at the very least, it should take credit for the chain’s soaring popularity. It’s estimated that 285,000 people order it every day in the U.S. That figure is bound to grow as the highly popular chain continues to expand—since opening its first outlet in 1983, Panda Express has sprouted in more than 2,200 locations around the world. It’s about time we had a taste, don’t you think?
Today it’s difficult to think of a time when it didn’t exist, but it was only in 1987 that Panda Express put Orange Chicken on the menu. It was invented by the chain’s former executive chef, Andy Kao, as a fusion of tastes and cultures, pairing American fried chicken with an authentic Chinese sauce. For the Cherngs, the family behind Panda Express, it celebrated their Chinese heritage and their new home, the United States. (Trivia: Co-founder Andrew Cherng was born in China and immigrated to the U.S. in 1966.)
Aside from their legendary Orange Chicken, Panda Express has more to offer, like the Broccoli Beef, Mushroom Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Beijing Beef, and Eggplant Tofu, with sides and appetizers like the Cream Cheese Rangoon, Chow Mein, and Veggie Spring Roll. But of course, one must also take part in a Chinese-American restaurant tradition when ending a meal: learning one’s future breaking apart a sweet and crisp Fortune Cookie.
What do we see in our future? Lots of get-togethers that we’ll be having with our friends, loved ones, and families, going through the entire menu, picking our favorite dishes and experimenting with new ones, and having a blast reading each other’s fortunes.
With the anticipation surrounding the giant franchise opening in Manila, even media personalities like Laureen Uy, Aaron Atayde, Graham Caygill, Janina Manipol, and Patricia Prieto are rolling up their sleeves, ready and eager to finally give in to their Panda Express craving.
We can’t wait!
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