Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken

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Introduction: Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken

After our weekly drive to see my 93-year-old mother-in-law, who lives more than 75 miles away, we usually stopped at Panda Express to get our favorite Asian meal, Sweet Fire Chicken. Since we have been unable to visit her for a couple of months, our Panda Express stops have ended as well.

We have really been missing this dish for several weeks now, so I finally decided to try to recreate it, only to find out it was quite easy! I didn’t have a fresh pineapple or red bell pepper so I substituted the canned and jarred varieties which worked quite well. When we are able to visit her again, we might not be stopping by Panda Express quite as often, now that I can make Sweet Fire Chicken in my own kitchen. You can too!

Ingredients needed:

For Chicken:

2 medium (about 6 oz. each) boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced to about ½-inch thick and cut into 1 1-1/2 inch pieces

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons milk

2 cups canola oil

For Sauce:

2/3 cup Asian sweet chili sauce

2 tablespoons pineapple juice (from the 20 oz. can pineapple chunks used in Stir Fry below)

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

For Stir Fry:

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 of a medium white onion, cut into 1-inch chunks then separated into pieces

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ cup jarred roasted red bell pepper strips, well drained

1 ¼ cups (from a 20 oz. can) pineapple chunks

Garnish:

2 tablespoons sliced green onions, green parts only

Supplies

Supplies and tools needed:

Sharp knife

3 medium bowls

2 large spoons

whisk

2-quart deep heavy bottom pan or skillet

Slotted spoon

Large fork

Paper-towel lined pie plate

Large non-stick skillet

Wooden spoon

Serving dish

Step 1: For the Chicken:

2 medium (about 6 oz. each) boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced to about ½-inch thick and cut into 1 1-1/2 inch pieces

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons milk

2 cups canola oil

Place chicken in a medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl, stir together flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, ginger, salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of flour mixture to chicken and toss to evenly coat. In a third medium bowl, whisk together egg and milk. Heat oil in a deep 2-quart heavy bottom pan or skillet over medium high heat. Dip half of coated chicken into egg mixture, stirring gently. Use a slotted spoon to remove chicken, allowing excess egg mixture to drip back into bowl then place chicken in remaining flour mixture, tossing to completely coat. Add chicken pieces to oil and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown, turning once. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat steps for remaining chicken pieces. (For a baked version, heat oven to 375 degrees and spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread coated chicken pieces on baking sheet. Spray tops with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn chicken pieces over. Spray again with cooking spray. Bake an additional 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.)

Step 2: For the Stir Fry:

2/3 cup Asian sweet chili sauce

2 tablespoons pineapple juice (from the 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks below)

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 of a medium white onion, cut into 1-inch chunks then separated into pieces

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ cup jarred roasted red bell pepper strips, well drained

1 ¼ cups (from a 20 oz. can) pineapple chunks

In a small bowl, stir together sweet chili sauce, pineapple juice and sugar. Set aside. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes just until onion softens, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Stir in pepper strips, pineapple, and sauce. Cook for 1 minute.

Step 3: To Finish:

Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken. Stir until chicken is evenly coated with sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes more or until heated through.

Step 4: To Serve:

Pour into serving dish. Garnish with 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions. Serve with rice or noodles if desired. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Step 5:

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    4 Comments

    0
    swmech
    swmech

    Question 1 year ago on Step 2

    In the stir-fry section, "add the sauce" is listed twice, once before cooking for a minute and once after. When you make it, when do you add the sauce to the stir fry? I suspect AFTER the 1-minute of final cooking, but before might work too.

    This looks delicious, I'll be making it soon. Thank you!

    0
    mary.shivers.7
    mary.shivers.7

    Answer 1 year ago

    Sorry I added that twice. lol
    I add it before the 1-minute of final cooking, but I think either way would be fine.

    0
    Syncubus
    Syncubus

    1 year ago

    Step 1: "Add chicken to flour mixture, toss until well coated." is basically typed twice.
    Also, double-frying your chicken adds considerable crispiness. to help stand up to the sauce.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    0
    mary.shivers.7
    mary.shivers.7

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you so much for catching that. I just edited.