Panda Express Brings Fried Chicken Sandwich Wars to A New Level with Orange Chicken Sandwich Bao

It’s a "quintessential American Chinese mashup."

March 17, 2022

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Panda Express

Photo courtesy of Panda Express

The fried chicken battle has been hot and heavy the last few years, with everything from the Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich to the Wendy’s spicy nuggets taking center stage. But every time we begin to think this trend has run its course, someone goes and ups the ante!

Panda Express is throwing its proverbial hat into the ring of the endless chicken sandwich wars with a very modern, spicy spin on their classic orange chicken dish.

The chain will be testing the Orange Chicken Sandwich Bao through April 14 exclusively at the Panda Express innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, California.

This isn’t the first time that Panda Kitchen has offered a new variation on orange chicken. It launched an orange chicken sandwich just last year. But the new Orange Chicken Sandwich Bao will include a crispy chicken strip coated in Panda Kitchen’s signature Orange Chicken sauce inside a toasted sandwich bao. The chicken is then covered with sliced pickles and a drizzle of sriracha aioli for a punch of flavor.

“The Orange Chicken Sandwich Bao is inspired by a Chinese handheld street food item, also known as the ‘bao.’ Our version is a similar size and format, with a star protein, an acidic element, and sauce,” said Chef Jimmy, Executive Director of Culinary Innovation at Panda Express, in an email. “Traditionally, the bao is white, fluffy in the eating experience, and steamed. In our Orange Chicken Sandwich Bao, we toast the flatbread bao, which gives the overall dish more texture and hold, as well as a hint of sweetness. Add in the star protein, our Orange Chicken, and American-style pickles, and you have a quintessential American Chinese mashup.”

Here’s to hoping this test run goes well so the rest of us can give the new Orange Chicken Sandwich Bao a try. It sounds delicious.

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