I always find myself craving the bold flavors of Chinese food, and among the many options I come across, the string bean chicken recipe from Panda Express never fails to satisfy my taste buds. This dish, a standout item on the Panda Express menu, skillfully combines tender chicken with crisp string beans, all tossed in a savory sauce. The allure of this popular fast food item lies in its perfect balance of protein and vegetables, making it a healthier choice for those looking to curb their calorie intake without sacrificing taste.
The beauty of the string bean chicken recipe from Panda Express lies in its simplicity and the ease with which it can be recreated at home. I appreciate that upon breaking down the recipe, I find it to be less intimidating than other Chinese dishes I’ve attempted. The key is in the marinade and the cooking technique, both of which are straightforward yet crucial in achieving that authentic taste and texture one expects from a Panda Express-inspired meal. Achieving that restaurant-quality flavor in my own kitchen allows me to enjoy my favorite fast food dish anytime, with the added bonus of being able to control the quality of ingredients used.
Creating a flavorful Panda Express String Bean Chicken at home involves a balance of proteins, vegetables, and a blend of sauces and seasonings. Each component contributes to the dish’s signature taste and texture. Let’s explore the specifics of what goes into this popular dish.
For a tender chicken breast, marinating is key. I prefer to use a mixture of marinade ingredients that often include low sodium soy sauce and a touch of brown sugar to enhance the umami and sweetness. You can also add a small bit of chicken breast that’s been velveted—a technique involving marinade ingredients such as cornstarch and vegetable oil—to ensure each chicken piece is perfectly tender.
Green beans are the star vegetable in this dish. They should be fresh and crisp, with white onions offering a subtle sweetness when stir-fried. The green beans stir fry quickly, maintaining their crisp green beans texture, which is pivotal for contrast against the softness of the chicken.
Sauces and Seasonings
The sauce ties the dish together with its rich flavor profile. I always include low sodium soy sauce and oyster sauce for depth. Sesame oil adds a nutty aroma, while a bit of rice vinegar lends a slight acidity. To achieve the complex flavors of new recipes or to add my own favorite additions, I might introduce a hint of black bean paste or a dash of white pepper for heat. Sauce ingredients should be adjusted to personal preference, and for those who like a bit more sizzle, a drizzle of peanut oil can provide additional flavor.
Preparing the Chicken
To recreate the Panda Express String Bean Chicken at home, careful attention begins with selecting and preparing the chicken. This sets the foundation for an authentic take on a beloved dish.
Choosing the Cut
In choosing the cut for this dish, I always opt for skinless chicken breast. It’s lean, healthy, and its mild flavor carries the sauce beautifully. Some prefer the juiciness of chicken thigh, but for this recipe, I recommend the breast for its classic texture and white meat appeal. I ensure that the chicken pieces are cut uniformly, typically into bite-sized pieces, to ensure even cooking.
A good chicken marinade is key to locking in flavor. I use about 2 tbsp hoisin sauce mixed with chicken stock to give the chicken depth of flavor. Then I add corn starch to thicken the marinade, which also helps in creating that appealing glaze when cooked. I marinate the chicken in an airtight container for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat, ensuring that each piece is coated evenly.
When it comes to cooking, I start with a medium high heat on my stove. It’s important to get the pan hot enough so that the chicken sears, locking in the juices and creating a slight crust. I stir-fry the chicken until it’s golden brown and cooked through. This is a crucial step—it’s all about building layers of flavor while ensuring the chicken stays tender and succulent.
panda Express String Bean Chicken recipe Cooking Guide
Creating an exceptional copycat string bean chicken dish that rivals the one from Panda Express starts with understanding the basics of stir-frying and combining the ingredients properly. By following these steps, I ensure a meal that is both flavorful and has that sought-after Asian-inspired flair. Now, let’s get into the specifics.
To achieve the crisp green beans that are a hallmark of this dish, I always start by preheating my large skillet over medium-high heat. The beans need to be stir-fried for about 1-2 minutes to retain their vibrant color and crisp texture. Stirring frequently is important to prevent any burning and to cook them evenly.
Once the vegetables have reached their optimum crispness, I lower the heat to medium and add in the chicken breast pieces. It’s important to cook the chicken until it’s no longer pink, which typically takes a few minutes on each side. To thicken the sauce and wrap the flavors around the chicken and beans, I prepare a cornstarch slurry. Stirring this into the skillet, I ensure everything is coated evenly before serving the dish with a flavorful side of rice. The stir-fry doesn’t require long—just enough time to meld the flavors and heat through, usually a couple of additional minutes.
Serving and Presentation
When I present my string bean chicken, inspired by the popular Panda Express dish, I focus on enhancing the overall dining experience. It’s crucial not only to have a great recipe but also to serve it in a way that appeals to the senses.
For a balanced and satisfying meal, I typically serve my string bean chicken with a side of rice. I provide options for both white rice and brown rice, knowing that some guests prefer the subtle, nutty flavor and firmer texture of brown rice, which can add a wholesome element to the dish. For those in the family looking for a low carb alternative, I prepare a simple cauliflower rice seasoned to complement the flavors of the chicken and beans.
On occasion, I also pair the string bean chicken with other Panda Express favorites that I craft myself, such as my version of orange chicken or black pepper chicken, to offer a variety for guests who enjoy a wider array of flavors.
Garnishes should never be an afterthought, as they add both flavor and visual appeal to the dish. I garnish my string bean chicken with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, which provides a subtle crunch and a hint of nuttiness. When I’m preparing this dish as part of a quick weeknight meal, I make sure to garnish with ingredients that already complement the ginger and soy flavors in the recipe, ensuring a coherent taste profile.
Additionally, a light drizzle of regular soy sauce can enhance the color and deepen the umami character if the dish needs a little boost right before serving. With high-quality ingredients, even a simple copycat recipe of fresh ingredients can turn into a delicious meal that rivals the original and pleases the whole family.
Storing and Leftovers
When it comes to storing leftovers of the Panda Express String Bean Chicken, I ensure to use an airtight container to maintain freshness. It’s crucial to not leave the chicken at room temperature for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth.
Here’s how I store it:
- Refrigerate: Place the string bean chicken in the airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It usually keeps well for up to 3-4 days.
- Freeze: For longer storage, I pack the leftovers in freezer-safe bags or containers. They can last for about 1-2 months.
- Microwave: Reheat portions for about 1-2 minutes on high, or until heated thoroughly.
- Stove: Warm it over medium heat, adding a little olive oil or water to prevent drying out.
Safety note: Always check that the reheated chicken has reached 165°F internally to ensure it’s safe to eat.
I sometimes take a bit of liberty with leftover string bean chicken by changing it up a bit. I might toss it into a salad or wrap for a quick meal. A splash of apple cider vinegar can brighten up the flavors when repurposing the chicken this way.
Remember, when handling leftovers, be sure to practice safe food storage and reheating methods to enjoy your meal without any food safety concerns.
Health and Dietary Information
When preparing the String Bean Chicken Panda Express style, I pay close attention to the nutritional content and how it can be modified to meet various dietary needs. This dish, when made with an awareness of the ingredients and portion sizes, can be both flavorful and nutritionally balanced.
The classic String Bean Chicken from Panda Express typically includes chicken breast, green beans, ginger, garlic, and a sauce made with soy sauce and brown sugar. Here is a basic breakdown of the nutritional content for a standard serving size:
- Calories: Approximately 190
- Proteins: 14g
- Carbohydrates: 13g (Sugars: 4g)
- Fats: 9g
- Sodium: 590mg
|Amount per Serving
Using low sodium soy sauce can effectively reduce the sodium content in the dish.
Customizing for Dietary Needs
For those looking to customize the dish to fit their dietary preferences or restrictions, I offer the following options:
- Low Sodium: Opt for a low sodium soy sauce to reduce overall sodium intake.
- High-Quality Ingredients: Choose organic or free-range chicken and fresh green beans to ensure the best quality.
- Low Carb: Substitute brown sugar with a low-carb sweetener and thicken the sauce with xanthan gum instead of starches.
- Gluten-Free: Use tamari or a certified gluten-free soy sauce to make this dish gluten-free.
By actively choosing ingredients that align with these dietary considerations, one can enjoy a homemade String Bean Chicken that is both tasty and aligns with their health goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, I’ll address some common queries regarding the recreating of Panda Express’s String Bean Chicken at home.
What are the ingredients required to make String Bean Chicken similar to Panda Express?
To prepare String Bean Chicken like the one offered at Panda Express, you’ll need chicken breast, string beans, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and oyster sauce, among other ingredients for the sauce and stir-fry. Precision in ingredients ensures a dish that closely mimics the taste of the restaurant version.
How can I make a baked version of String Bean Chicken akin to the one at Panda Express?
Although the traditional preparation is a stir-fry, a baked version involves marinating the chicken in a similar sauce, then baking it with the string beans until cooked through. The result is a dish that maintains the flavors but with a different texture from the original version.
Could you provide the recipe for the sauce used in Panda Express String Bean Chicken?
The sauce for Panda Express String Bean Chicken typically contains soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chicken stock, and cornstarch to thicken. The precise combination and preparation of these ingredients create the signature robust flavor.
What is the nutritional value, particularly the calorie content, of a String Bean Chicken bowl from Panda Express?
A typical String Bean Chicken bowl from Panda Express contains around 190 calories per serving. This varies based on portion sizes and any additional ingredients or customization.
Is the string bean chicken from Panda Express considered a healthy dish?
The String Bean Chicken from Panda Express can be considered a healthier option as it contains lean protein from the chicken, is rich in fiber from the greens, and is stir-fried, which can be lower in fat compared to deep-frying.
Does the Panda Express String Bean Chicken contain any gluten?
Yes, Panda Express String Bean Chicken contains gluten, as the sauce typically includes soy sauce, which is made from wheat. Those with gluten sensitivities should be cautious and may need to modify the recipe for their dietary needs.
String Bean Chicken Panda Express CopycatCourse: DinnerCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy
Tender, juicy chicken with a sweet and savory ginger soy sauce and fresh, crisp green beans! A delicious and easy week night dinner!
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound fresh string beans, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked white rice, for serving
- In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the string beans and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until they are tender-crisp.
- Add the minced garlic and ginger to the skillet with the string beans and stir-fry for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Return the cooked chicken to the skillet with the string beans.
- Pour the chicken broth into the skillet and stir to combine.
- Add the sauce mixture to the skillet and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken and string beans.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the string bean chicken over cooked white rice.