Today you’ll learn how to make one of the most popular side dishes served at the Asian American fast food chain, which is their Panda Express Fried Rice. Sounds familiar? It’s a salty and savory dish that’s extremely versatile. You can combine it with different meals and enjoy it every single time. The best part is that it’s super easy to make it at home and totally inexpensive.
It’s a budget-friendly meal you can adjust it however you like it. Isn’t that great? By switching one or two ingredients in the recipe you can get a totally new version of this Panda Express fried rice. Still, it’s a simple recipe so there’s no need to make it too complicated.
The food served in this popular food chain is non-traditional Chinese food that’s popular across the western world but still related to the original Chinese cuisine. So, you can say this fried rice is one of the New Age Asian foods.
Nevertheless, once you try it and see how easy it is to make it, you’ll be obsessed with it and everyone will want some more.
How to Make Panda Express Fried Rice
The main ingredient in this Panda Express recipe is rice, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing the right rice. In fact, the trick to make the perfect Panda Express fried rice is using rice that doesn’t fall apart or clump when fried.
So, choose medium to long grain rice such as Basmati instead of short grain rice like glutinous or sushi/sweet rice as the latter is softer and tends to stick together.
Another great tip when it comes to this ingredient is to use day-old leftover rice that’s chilled in the fridge. In this way, it’ll separate more easily, thus reducing the risk of getting all mushy.
If you don’t have leftover or previously chilled rice, boil your fresh rice in 1/3 less water than usual or undercook it so that it doesn’t stick to the pan and get all wet and mushy.
You can cook the rice and store it in the fridge for the next day. It’s best to refrigerate it within two hours of cooking. If you want your refrigerated rice to last for longer so that you can use it whenever you want, store it in an airtight container.
Properly stored cooked rice should last for 5 to 7 days in the fridge. If you store it in the freezer, it can last for about six months.
You can use brown rice if you want to make the dish healthier, but the taste will be different than the original.
The rest of the ingredients are different types of vegetables you can easily find in your local grocery stores, such as carrots and green peas. But, to make things even more simpler, you can use frozen peas and carrot mix.
The great thing about making your own Panda Express fried rice is that you can add as much of the ingredients as you like, or reduce the amount. This can mean adding more vegetables and less rice, or vice versa. You can even add different vegetables. It’s up to you.
It’s best to use a wok and the spatula or spoon that comes with the set. Wok retains and distributes even heat and that makes it perfect for this side dish. But, if you don’t have one, use a large nonstick skillet or pan.
Here’s how to make six servings of homemade Panda Express fried rice that takes 5 minutes to prepare, and 15 minutes to cook. Overall, you’ll need 20 minutes to make this recipe.
One serving of your homemade Panda Express fried rice contains 312 calories, 47 g carbs, 7 g protein, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 54 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium, 141 mg potassium, 1 g fiber, 1.1 g iron, 32 g calcium, 2.6 g vitamin C, and 2295 g vitamin A.
How to Serve Your Panda Express Fried Rice?
This recipe is a side dish, so you can combine it with other panda express meals like String Bean Chicken Breast or Orange Chicken. You can also eat it with some wok stir fry such as chicken cabbage stir fry.
For vegetarians, this can be the perfect dinner meal if you eat it without adding anything else.
What’s better than Panda Express fried rice? A homemade version that’s even healthier and more delicious. This recipe is a great way to clean up your fridge and use any leftover rice you’ve been keeping it for days.
Besides cold, leftover rice, you should use a mix of fresh or frozen vegetables. If you want to reduce the time of preparing it, it’s best to use frozen peas and carrot mix. If you’re using fresh vegetables, you can add green onion bulbs for an even better taste.
Once you make your mixture of rice and vegetables, serve it with some chicken or any other meat. You can also enjoy it plain if you’re too busy to cook anything else, or if you prefer a vegetarian version. Enjoy it while hot.