asian · Chicken · Squash September

Copycat Panda Express Mushroom Chicken

We don’t eat a lot of fast food anymore. The older your get, the less appealing drive-through fast food is. I remember being in college and devouring a plate of nachos bell grande at 2 in the morning. If I did that now, it would not end well.

The only “fast food” I partake in—albeit in a very rare manner—is Panda Express. I feel like it’s healthier (they use fresh veggies and post calorie counts plainly on their boards) and it’s tastier than a bland McDouble.

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When I’m in a rush and I don’t have anything to eat at home, I’ll swing by Panda Express. I always get a bowl with either brown rice or steamed vegetables, with their mushroom chicken on top. It’s one of their most healthy dishes on the menu—and it’s delicious to boot.

I decided I’d try to make a copycat version of their Mushroom Chicken myself. I scoured the internet for versions and breakdowns, and pooled all the ideas to come up with this. I think it’s pretty true to the original, but the sauce could be thicker. I guess adding a cornstarch slurry would help that?

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I topped mine, as you can see, with a metric ton of Sriracha. I can’t get enough of that sweet, spicy nectar of the gods. I chose to serve mine on top of brown rice with a touch of sesame seeds for crunch. Delicious!

Now that I know how to make my own Mushroom Chicken, I guess I can mark off the last fast food restaurant on our list. Ah, to break the chains of unhealthy commercialism!

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Copycat Panda Express Mushroom Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

An at-home version of the Panda Express classic, made with chicken, mushrooms and zucchini.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. chicken breast, thinly sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 3 TBS. cornstarch
  • 1 TBS. olive oil
  • 1TBS. sesame oil
  • 1 lb. baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 medium zucchini, cut in half and then sliced (into semi-circles)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 TBS. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • Cooked brown rice, for serving
  • sesame seeds, Sriracha for topping

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and sesame oil together in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add mushrooms and zucchini to skillet, adding more sesame oil if needed. Cook until veggies start to brown, but are still crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and ginger to the skillet and stir.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar. Add sauce and chicken to the skillet, stir, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from skillet from heat. Top a bowl of brown rice with mushroom chicken mixture. Top with sesame seeds and Sriracha.

Step-By-Step Instructions

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In a large bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and sesame oil together in a large skillet over medium high heat.

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Add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate.

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Add mushrooms and zucchini to skillet, adding more sesame oil if needed. Cook until veggies start to brown, but are still crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes.

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In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar. Add sauce and chicken to the skillet, stir, and cook for 1-2 minutes.

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Remove from skillet from heat. Top a bowl of brown rice with mushroom chicken mixture. Top with sesame seeds and Sriracha.

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signature

 

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