Panda Express Debuts 'Hot' New Twist On Classic Menu Item

By Logan DeLoye

May 29, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Just when you thought the food at Panda Express couldn't get any better, they added a brand new menu item!

According to a press release, the chain's new "Hot Orange Chicken" pays homage to a classic, while offering a spicy twist. Complete with a whopping "6 scoops of crushed chilis and a ladle full of dried chilis," the fiery new dish is available now at select locations across the U.S.

While the entire nature of this new dish remains unique for most customers, Panda Express super fans might be able to detect a similarity. While Hot Orange Chicken has almost all of the same ingredients as The Original Orange Chicken, there is one addition that draws it closer in relation to another menu item.

The chilis used to make the Hot Orange Chicken...well...hot... are also used in Panda’s Kung Pao Chicken dish! The popular fast-food chain shared a video tutorial to Instagram that depicted one of their chefs preparing the delicious new dish.

"First thing I would do is add our chilis from our Kung Pao Chicken. Nice big red chilis that get toasty in the wok. Normally our orange chicken recipe has one teaspoon of crushed chili, but we're going to amp it up today by adding six."

The chef concludes by detailing exactly how the Hot Orange Chicken is made, describing the dish as "sweet," "tangy," and "spicy," all in one!

Chef Adrian Lok, Senior Culinary Innovation Manager at Panda Restaurant Group, also praised the new dish for its one-of-a-kind taste profile.

“Leveraging our expertise as the creators of The Original Orange Chicken®, we have a deep understanding of American Chinese fried chicken. This limited time dish is a spicy twist on our iconic entrée with the same beloved flavors but kicking up the heat with six scoops of crushed chili oil and a ladle of toasted dried chilis from our Kung Pao Chicken. We're seeing our guests fired up around spicy dishes, and Hot Orange Chicken is our way to offer a flavorful and unique option that perfectly balances the swicy (sweet and spicy) taste profile." 

So, what are you waiting for?

Hot Orange Chicken will be available for purchase at participating Panda Express locations across the country through June 23rd, "or while supplies last."

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