Guest Blogger: Copy Cat Panda …

Hello!  My name is Amber and I am beyond excited to be a guest blogger here at Chef in Training!  Nikki is one of the bloggers I follow constantly.  She is amazing to post so often and has lots of diverse recipes!  Love her!  My blog is Dessert Now, Dinner Later!  Which I think rings true to a lot of people who have a sweet tooth!  I started my blog only a short 4 months ago, but am going strong with over 50 recipes.  I am a culinary graduate and a stay-at-home mom.  

Aside from my blog, I love to do a wedding or birthday cake on the side every now & then.  

Once my kids are grown up a bit, I eventually want to get back in, or dare I say own, a bakery, since sweets are my passion.

Some of my most favorite posts include: Caramel Pretzel Magic BarsBlack Tie Mousse CakeShredded Pork Wonton TacosChocolate Roulade with Whipped Peanut Butter Filling, & Brazilian Lemonade.  

Today I will be sharing a savory dish, that is sweet and spicy!  (The best of both worlds.)

I don’t go to Panda Express very often, even though I LOVE it, so when I do splurge & get Chinese, I always get their sweet fire chicken.  It is my favorite as well as the beijing beef.  For some reason I like the spicy dishes there, even though I don’t “handle the heat” very well.  Anyway, I found this copy cat recipe & it is darn near an exact replica of the real deal.  I don’t think I will ever need to go to Panda Express to get this chicken ever again.  Delicious!
Sweet Fire Chicken
Recipe altered from by: Amber (Dessert Now, Dinner Later!)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2-3 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • canola oil, for frying
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp COLD water

  • 1 (20oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, small diced
  • 1/2 white onion, julienned
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  1. For the chicken: Season cut up chicken with salt and pepper.  Set up your breading station: zip-top bag with flour, plate with beaten eggs, and zip-top bag with cornstarch.  Dredge chicken in flour, then coat with egg, then shake in cornstarch.  Repeat until all chicken is finished.
  2. Start your sauce: combine red pepper flakes, garlic, sugar, water, vinegar and salt in a small saucepan.  Heat until boiling.  Make a slurry with your cornstarch and water and whisk into boiling sauce until thickened.  Hold sauce on low temperature.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat.  Carefully lay chicken strips into the oil.  Do half the mixture at a time, so you don’t overcrowd your chicken.  Cook until golden brown & no longer pink in the middle.  Let rest on a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Repeat with other half of chicken.  Wash pan.In the large skillet, that is now clean, pour sauce and let it come to a boil.  Add warm chicken.In a separate saute pan, saute red bell pepper and onions for 3 minutes.  Add pineapples and then combine with the chicken in the sauce.  Toss up everything together until well coated and heated through.  Serve on top of your choice of rice. 

Thank you so much Amber for being here!  I LOVE Panda Express’s Sweet Fire Chicken and can’t wait to give this recipe a try!  It looks and sounds DELISH!

Be sure and check out Dessert Now, Dinner Later! if you haven’t already!  She has got some fabulous recipes!


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  1. Nice to meet you Amber. I do the occasional wedding and special occasion cake too – love making big cakes. I've never heard of Panda Express, but this dish sounds delish! Thanks so much for sharing it.Heading over to your blog now – can't wait to see what else you have to offer.:)ButterYum

  2. Destuny Dooley

    thank you so much for this. I actually purchased the already mix they sale for the sweet fire chicken. It is sweet chili. AH MAZING!! I also followed someone else suggestion with the corn starch & it turned out amazing. I am beyond impressed.

  3. Mariya

    I just made this and it is so yummy!!!! Tastes totally like panda express its our new favorite and I can’t wait for my husband to taste it:) thank you so much! It’s totally becoming a regular. I’m so excited:)