Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken Copycat is a delicious medley of sweet, tangy and spicy that tastes just like the original, if not better. It’s so easy to make and cheaper than eating out!
One of the things I find so much fun about food blogging as a living is putting myself up to the challenge of recreating restaurant favorites at home. Although often involving a series of trial and error, it’s very rewarding to come up with a homemade version that’s pretty close to, if not better, than the original.
If I may, ahem, say so myself, I’ve had quite a few successes with copycatting recipes. Here are a few of my favorites if you’d like to check them out:
- Salt and Pepper Pork Chops-tender meat, crisp coating, full flavor, these salt and pepper pork chops are just like what you’d get from a Chinese restaurant!
- Baked Cheese Shrimp-these shrimps are what I beeline for every time I go to the all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant, Hokkaido, in Long Beach and I am glad I no longer have to make the trip to enjoy their cheesy, gooey awesomeness.
- Fried Chicken a la Max’s Restaurant-although it takes a bit of work, this delicious-to-the-bones fried chicken gives the iconic Filipino restaurant a run for its money.
- Ginataang Gulay-the Magic Wok restaurant which inspired this recipe is just a hole-in-a-wall type of place in Cerritos but, in my humble opinion, serves the best Filipino food this side of California so I was pretty stoked that I was able to re-create one of the most popular dishes on their menu at home.
- Panda Express Firecracker Chicken Copycat-this popular Chinese restaurant chain was one of our favorite take-out places before G and I decided to be more sensible with our cents and refrain from eating out. I am glad I can now enjoy the big, bold flavors of their firecracker chicken for less.
- Green Bean Chicken and Black Pepper Chicken-ever wonder why the meat in Chinese stir-fries always comes out super moist and tender? If you’ve followed Kawaling Pinoy for awhile, you know if there’s one cooking technique I highly recommend, it’s velveting!
And now, the latest on the list, Panda Express sweet fire chicken copycat!
How do I even begin to describe the sweet, tangy and slightly spicy deliciousness of this delectable dish? Imagine the flavors of your classic sweet and sour but with a gentle heat brought by the addition of sweet chili sauce. Imagine crisp bell peppers, juicy pineapples, and lightly-battered chicken morsels over heaps of steamed rice to serve it with. Oh, la, la! Heaven piled on a plate!
Speaking of the batter, we’ve all had our fair share of overly battered Chinese dishes wherein the doughy breading is too thick, the meat underneath is almost non-existent. This copycat, my peeps, has the lightest and barest of breading which coats the chicken just enough to be golden and crisp. Give this Sweet Fire Chicken Panda Express copycat a try for dinner tonight and let me know what you think. As always, your comments are a pleasure to read.
Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken Copycat is a delicious medley of sweet, tangy and spicy that tastes just like the original, if not better. It's so easy to make and cheaper than eating out!
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch thick and 1-inch length
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 small onion, peeled and cubed
- 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2/3 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- salt to taste
In a bowl, combine egg white and cornstarch, and whisk until well-blended and frothy. Add chicken and let stand for about 8 to 10 minutes.
In a skillet over medium heat, heat about 2-inches deep of oil to about 350 F. Add chicken pieces and stir gently to separate. Deep-fry for about 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
Remove excess oil from pan except for about 1 tablespoon. Increase heat to medium-high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until tender yet crisp.
Add pineapples and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. With a slotted spoon, remove from pan and keep warm.
In a bowl, combine pineapple juice, sweet chili sauce, and cornstarch. Stir until well-blended. Add to pan and allow to boil for about 1 to 2 minutes until bubbly and thickened. Season with salt to taste.
Add chicken, bell peppers, onions and pineapples back into the pan. Gently toss to fully coat with sauce.
Transfer onto a serving platter and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve hot.