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.
GLAZED LEMON CHICKEN
Panda Express Glazed Lemon Chicken
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use + vegetable oil for deep frying
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, divided use
1/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 Tablespoon rice wine
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons water
1/3 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
In a large bowl, mix together egg, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix well. Stir in chicken pieces.
In medium bowl, stir together flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch. Add chicken pieces, tossing to coat. Heat oil for deep frying in a wok or deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry for 4-5 minutes until golden crisp (but avoid overcooking the chicken). When done remove chicken from oil with tongs and drain on paper towels.
Clean wok and heat for 15 seconds over high heat. Lower to medium high and add reserved 1 tablespoon oil.Add ginger and garlic and stir try until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add red pepper flakes and green onions, then the rice wine, stirring for a few seconds. Add lemon sauce and bring to a boil. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well incorporated. Stir reserved 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1/4 cup water and add to chicken. Heat until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Serve immediately.