Ever have one of those days when all you can think about is sinking your teeth into that juicy Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken, but alas, it’s out of reach? Yeah, me too. Let’s face it, the craving for this star of the Panda Express menu can hit us anytime.
The solution? Say hello to your delicious dish – an easy and foolproof copycat Panda Express teriyaki chicken recipe that you can make at home.
Why This Recipe Works
You might ask, “Why this recipe?” Well, here are a few reasons:
- Homemade Teriyaki Sauce: This recipe introduces a homemade Teriyaki sauce that’s not just mouthwatering but also incredibly easy to make using common household ingredients. This sauce really ties the dish together.
- Better Than Original: Yes, you read that right. While we all love the original, this recipe brings something extra to the table – a dash of love and home cooking that elevates it a notch higher.
- Quick and Easy: The best part? It’s a quick fix! The sauce thickens up super quick, and before you know it, you have a meal that’s restaurant-worthy.
This Panda Express copycat recipe lets you enjoy a savory teriyaki sauce that oozes into the juicy, delicious grilled teriyaki chicken, making every bite a delight.
Behind the Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken
Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken holds a special place on the Panda Express fast food restaurant chain menu. Its unique blend of sweet and tangy flavors sets it apart from your regular teriyaki chicken dishes. But what if you could capture that uniqueness in your own kitchen? That’s exactly what we aim to do with this recipe.
Got your apron on? Great! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chicken thighs or chicken breasts: Your pick, but the thigh-lovers club always has room for one more! Use boneless, skinless chicken.
- Cooking oil: Go for something neutral, like vegetable oil. Your taste buds will thank you.
- Salt & pepper: A sprinkle of each for the seasoned chef – pun intended!
- Sugar: It’s the sweet secret to a truly tantalizing teriyaki.
- Soy sauce: Feel free to use low-sodium sauce if you prefer. We’re keeping the flavor high and the sodium low.
- Lemon juice: Pucker up!
- Garlic powder: Trust me, it’s better than fighting off vampires.
- Ground ginger or freshly grated ginger: Take a walk on the wild side with fresh ginger!
- Water:H2O, the unsung hero of cooking.
- Cornstarch: The magic dust that thickens our sauce!
Every chef, no matter how young or old, needs their tools. Here’s what you should have on hand:
- A Grill pan or skillet: It’s about to get hot in here!
- Mixing bowl: Your trusty companion for blending ingredients.
- Meat thermometer: No one likes guessing games when it comes to chicken’s internal temperature.
Here’s how we get the ball rolling:
- Prep the chicken: Pat the chicken dry and season it well with salt and pepper. If you want to, you can cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- The sauce: In your mixing bowl, combine the sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, ginger, and water to create a savory teriyaki sauce. Stir it like a potion until the sugar is fully dissolved.
And now, for the main event:
- Lighting the Fire: Heat your grill pan or skillet over medium heat, then drizzle the oil.
- The Great Sear: Add your chicken to the pan. Now, patience is key. Let the chicken cook undisturbed for about 5-7 minutes until it’s golden brown. Then flip it over and repeat.
- Simmering the Elixir: Simultaneously, bring your sauce to a boil in a separate pan, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Thickening Plot: Now for the cornstarch. Mix it with a splash of cold water to make a slurry, then whisk it into the simmering sauce. Stir continuously until it thickens to a syrup-like consistency.
- Chicken Check: Now back to the chicken. Without a thermometer, you’ll need to cut into the thickest part to check. If it’s no longer pink, it’s ready. With a thermometer, aim for an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Final Touch: Once your chicken-teriyaki is cooked through, pour the thickened savory teriyaki sauce over it. Make sure every piece gets a generous coating of that delicious sauce.
Now stand back, admire your work, and prepare for the standing ovation. You, my friend, have just made Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken in your own kitchen!
A complete meal is served! Your chicken teriyaki pairs well with either white or brown rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to add that extra flavor.
- The Red-Carpet Serving: Pair your juicy teriyaki chicken with white, brown, or even cauliflower rice for that glamorous touch. A complete meal is served!
- Star-Studded Sides: Add some veggies sautéed to perfection or sprinkle some sesame seeds for that extra bit of pizzazz. It gives an extra flavor that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
- Seasonal Twists: Depending on the time of year, seasonal ingredient differences can add unique twists to the taste. Think about adding some grilled asparagus in the spring or roasted butternut squash in the fall.
- Achieving the Perfect Sear: Resist the urge to move the chicken around in the pan. Let it sear until it’s golden brown and easy to flip.
- Cornstarch Slurry Secrets: Always mix the cornstarch with a little cold water before adding it to the sauce. It prevents lumps and ensures a smooth, thick sauce.
- Fresh Ginger Twist: Substitute the ground ginger with freshly grated ginger for a more robust flavor.
- Keto Conversion: If you’re following a keto diet, use a sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol in place of regular sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?
Absolutely! Just remember, breasts cook a little quicker, so keep an eye on that internal temperature.
Is this a healthy food choice?
Let’s address the biggest questions about this Panda Express teriyaki chicken recipe: Is it a healthy option? Absolutely! With the use of low sodium soy sauce, lean chicken and the control over the serving size, it’s a much healthier alternative to the fast-food version. But remember, moderation is key!
Store any leftovers in an airtight container to keep it fresh. When reheating, you can add a bit more soy sauce or water if necessary.
And there you have it! You’ve now got a surefire way to curb those Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken cravings right in the comfort of your own kitchen. This dish is not just a good source of protein, but it’s also a fun and delicious adventure for the whole family.
Remember, this is just one of the many favorite recipes you can find on our blog. So, why stop here? Explore our other Panda Express copycat recipes like orange chicken or Panda Express Mandarin teriyaki chicken, and bring the whole fast-food chain right into your home! Now go on, master chef, the kitchen awaits!
Best Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken: Easy Copycat Recipe
- 1 Grill Pan
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- 1 Whisk
- 1 Kitchen Thermometer (optional)
- 2 lbs chicken breasts (4 pieces of breasts or chicken thighs. Use boneless, skinless.)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp Salt & pepper (to taste)
- ½ cup soy sauce (low sodium if preferred)
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger (or freshly grated ginger)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Prepare Your Chicken: Rinse chicken (thighs or breasts) under cold water, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the Pan: Warm vegetable oil over medium heat on your grill pan.
- Cook the Chicken: Place chicken pieces in the pan and cook on both sides until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 °F (approximately 5-7 minutes on each side).
Making the Sauce
- Combine Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, and ground ginger until well combined.
- Make a Slurry: In a separate smaller bowl, make a cornstarch slurry by combining cornstarch with water.
- Mix in Slurry: Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the soy sauce mixture until thoroughly combined.
Finishing the Dish
- Coat the Chicken: Pour the teriyaki sauce over the cooked chicken, allowing it to simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens and the chicken is well coated.
- Serve and Enjoy: Serve the delicious teriyaki chicken over white or brown rice, garnish with scallions or sesame seeds if you like, and enjoy!
- Feel free to substitute ground ginger with fresh ginger for a bolder flavor.
- For a healthier option, serve over brown rice or cauliflower rice.
- To store leftovers, place in an airtight container and refrigerate – it tastes just as great the next day!