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Aug 1, 2019

Review: Panda Express - Sichuan Hot Chicken

Panda Express' Sichuan Hot Chicken features extra crispy chicken breast strips tossed in a Sichuan peppercorn oil-based glaze and sprinkled with a propriety spice blend.

I got it as part of a two-entree plate for $8.10. It's  $4.40 if you want just the entree (three strips).

They were out of the chicken when I arrived so I had to wait a little bit for them to fry up a batch. Freshly-fried, the Sichuan Hot Chicken was tender and juicy inside with a light and crispy shell. The crispiness held up quite well against the oil-based glaze as it was still crispy two hours later,

The flavor reminded me of five-spice (of which Sichuan peppercornss are normally a component) with a comfortable, medium heat from some chili peppers. The amount of Sichuan peppercorns did not seem all that much to me as it never got to the level where my tongue started to tingle or go numb. Instead, my lips got just a bit of that burning sensation from the chili peppers.

The seasoning was spiced and savory rather than sweet or tangy.

Overall, Panda Express' Sichaun Hot Chicken turned out rather nicely. The chicken was nice and crispy, while the seasoning was enjoyable and distinct from Nashville hot chicken while staying in the same ballpark. However, I did find myself wishing they upped the Sichuan peppercorn dosage a bit more for that unique numbing effect (my guess is their product testing revealed that at least some of their customers did not care for the effect).

Nutritional Info - Panda Express Sichuan Hot Chicken (4.25 oz)
Calories - 400 (from Fat - 235)
Fat - 26g (Saturated Fat - 4.5g)
Sodium - 910mg
Carbs - 22g (Sugar - 1g)
Protein - 19g


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