Panda Management Company, Inc. (PMC), based in Southern California, has grown dynamically ever since 1983 when it opened its first Panda Express, its most successful operation. As that name suggests, Panda Express units are fast-service Chinese restaurants, now found in over 34 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Japan. Altogether, PMC manages over 300 Panda Express Restaurants, six Panda Inn Restaurants, eight Hibachi-San Restaurants, and seven Panda Panda locations. Panda Inns, the first of which opened in 1973, are all located in Southern California, as are the Panda Pandas, upscale, gourmet Chinese food restaurants. The Hibachi-San Restaurants, featuring Japanese cuisine, are located in shopping mall food courts, about half of which are at select sites outside California. The much more ubiquitous Panda Express Restaurants are located in five basic operating environments: mall food courts; supermarkets and retail chains; shopping centers and key intersections; university and college campuses; and airports, casinos, and sports arenas.

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Pei Wei Bangkok Peanut Noodles


BANGKOK PEANUT NOODLES

Pei Wei Restaurant Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

SAUCE
6 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

STIR FRY
1 (6 ounce) package dried chow mein noodles
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups sliced Swiss chard or bok choy


Big Bowl Spring Chicken Stir Fry

SPRING CHICKEN STIR FRY
Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe

8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup peanut oil
3 small fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon Chinese salted black beans
2 teaspoons fresh red chile pepper, julienne cut
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut on the bias into 2 inch lengths
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed into 2 tablespoons water

Mix the chicken with the cornstarch and sesame oil. Set aside.

Combine the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and chicken stock. Set aside.

Heat 1 cup of oil in a wok or skillet to hot and add the chicken. Cook, stirring, just until the chicken turns color. Remove to drain. Reserve the oil.

Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. When hot, add 3 tablespoons of the reserved oil. Add the mushroom slices and cook, stirring, until browned lightly and soft. Add the black beans, chile pepper, ginger, and garlic, add cook while stirring. Add the asparagus and toss until well coated with the seasonings.

Add the oyster sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Re-add the chicken and cook, tossing, until it heats. When the sauce boils, restir the cornstarch mixture and add.  Cook over high heat until the sauce thickens slightly and clears.  Remove to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame oil. Serve with plain rice.  Makes 2 servings.

Big Bowl Summer Chicken Stir Fry

SUMMER CHICKEN STIR FRY
Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe

2-3 ears fresh sweet corn
1/2 pound fresh peas in the shell
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup chicken stock
6 ounces boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cups peanut or vegetable oil
3-4 fresh shiitake, oyster or other mushroom, sliced
1 fresh red chile pepper, seeded and sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons rice wine
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Husk and, with a knife, cut the corn kernel off the cob into a mixing bowl. Shell the peas into the bowl. Set aside.

Mix the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the chicken stock. Set aside.

Mix the chicken breast with 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Set aside. Mix the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.

Heat 2 cups of peanut oil in a wok or skillet until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and stir, separating the pieces, just until the chicken changes color.  Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon to drain.

Remove all the oil from the wok or skillet and reserve. Wipe the pan and reheat over high heat. When hot, add 4 tablespoons of the reserved oil. Turn the heat to medium and add the mushrooms and chile pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mushrooms are softened. Add the garlic and stir briefly. Add the corn and peas, and cook, stirring, over high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the chicken stock mixture, bring to a boil, turn the heat to medium, and simmer until the corn and peas are cooked, about 2 minutes. Re-add the chicken.

Turn the heat to high. Re-stir the cornstarch and water mixture and add. Stir over high heat until the sauce thickens and clears. Splash in the wine and continue to stir briefly. Spoon into a serving bowl or platter and serve sprinled with sesame oil and the black pepper.  Makes 2 to 4 servings.



Big Bowl Fall Chicken Stir Fry

FALL CHICKEN STIR FRY
Big Bowl Restaurant Recipe

5 ounces Chinese broccoli, sliced on the bias into 3 inch sections
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chicken stock
6 ounces boneless chicken breast, sliced
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cups peanut or vegetable oil
3-4 fresh shiitake, oyster or other fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped ginger
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons cornstarch blended with 2 tablespoons water
freshly ground black pepper for garnish

Heat a pot of water to boiling and blanch the Chinese broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes. Run under cold water and drain.

Mix the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, wine, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the chicken stock. Set aside.

Mix the chicken with 1 teaspoon cornstarch, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.

Heat 2 cups peanut oil in a wok or skillet until hot but not smoking. When hot add the chicken and stir, separating the pieces, just until the chicken changes color. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon to drain.

Remove all the oil from the wok or skillet and reserve. Wipe the pan and reheat over high heat. When hot, add 3 tablespoons of the reserved oil. Turn the heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes, until the mushrooms are softened. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir until fragrant. Add the broccoli, stir briefly, and re-add the chicken.

Turn the heat to high, add the sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Stir the cornstarch and water mixture and add. Stir until the sauce thickens and clears. Put on a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame oil and black pepper. Serve with white rice. Makes 2 to 4 servings.