Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken Copycat

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 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 a number of successes with copycatting recipes. Below are a few of my favorites if you’d like to check them out.

How do I even begin to describe this delectable dish?  First, there’s the sauce. It has the delicious flavors of your classic sweet and sour, but with a kick of heat from the addition of sweet chili sauce.  Sweet, tangy,  slightly spicy. and soo good, you can eat it with a spoon!

Sauce ingredients

  • pineapple juice-for fruity and tangy tastes
  • sweet chili sauce-adds sweetness and spice
  • cornstarch-thickens the consistencyAnd then there’s the tender-crisp bell peppers and onions, juicy pineapples, and crunchy chicken morsels.  Smothered in the sweet fire sauce, they’re pure heaven piled high on steamed rice!

    Battered chicken for stir-fry

    • The cornstarch and egg white batter does two things. It gives the chicken a crispy yet light coating as well as keeps it moist and tender through the velveting process.
    • The recipe calls for chicken breast, but boneless dark Cut the chicken in uniform, bite-size pieces to ensure even and fast cooking.
    • For best results, use enough and the right kind of oil for deep-frying such as safflower, peanut, grapeseed, or canola oil.
    • Maintain the optimal temperature of 350 F to 375 F when deep-frying. Do not overcrowd the pan and cook in batches as needed to allow enough space to move the chicken freely and to keep the oil temperature from plummeting.

      Ingredients

      • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch thick and 1-inch length
      • 1 egg white
      • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
      • oil
      • 1/2 small onion, peeled and cubed
      • 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
      • 1 cup pineapple chunks (packed in juice)
      • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
      • 2/3 cup sweet chili sauce
      • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
      • salt to taste

        Instructions

          • 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 bowl, combine pineapple juice, sweet chili sauce, and cornstarch. Stir until well-blended. Set aside.
          • 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 the 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.
        • Stir the sweet chili sauce mixture to redistribute and add to the pan. 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.

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