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.




Spicy Chicken

Pei Wei Restaurant Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

10 ounce boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sugar snap peas
2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons green onion, chopped (white parts only)
1 cup pineapple juice
2 teaspoons chili garlic paste (more if you want it spicier)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Whisk together the batter ingredients until smooth, then add the chicken pieces. The batter should be thin and only lightly coat the chicken.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the carrots and snap peas and cook for just 2 to 3 minutes until they become crisp tender. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile heat the 2 cups of vegetable oil in a pot or deep fryer to 375 degrees. Fry the chicken a few pieces at a time, about 3 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Keep warm.

In a large wok heat the 2 teaspoon of oil over medium heat and cook the garlic and green onion until fragrant. In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients, excluding the cornstarch and water. Pour into the wok and cook until it lightly bubbles.

Mix the cornstarch and water together and stir into the sauce mixture. It should thicken up, then add the chicken pieces, snap peas and carrots to the wok and stir gently to combine and heat through. Serve over rice.

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