Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken and Cream Cheese Rangoons with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Start with your appetizer - Panda Express Cream Cheese Rangoons - Wonton wrappers filled with cream cheese and served with sweet and sour sauce.
Panda Express Sweet and Sour Sauce - This quick and easy recipe is great for your appetizers!
Enjoy your entree - Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken - Crispy chicken with garlic, red bell peppers, onions and pineapples in a sweet and spicy chili sauce.
Panda Express Cream Cheese Rangoon Wontons
Vegetable shortening or oil, for frying
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (green onions)
Garlic powder (optional)
Heat enough vegetable shortening or oil to fill 2 to 3 inches in a medium pot to 350 degrees F. If you have an electric fryer, you can use that.
Beat together the cream cheese and scallions. If desired a touch of garlic powder may be added for additional flavor. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture onto a wonton wrapper. Fold the wonton by brushing a little water over all of the edges of the wonton skin. Fold the wonton diagonally into a triangle. Be sure to seal all of the edges completely; this will keep the filling from running out of the wonton when being cooked. Take the two opposite corners and press and twist them together. You may need to tack them together by brushing with a little water.
When the shortening is heated, you can use a thermometer and test to see that it is 350 degrees F, or you may test with a small piece of wonton wrapper. If the wrapper bubbles immediately when dropped into the hot fat, it is ready. Drop only 4 or 5 pieces at a time into the hot fat. After about 1 minute, the wonton will begin to brown, then it will brown rapidly, so be careful to remove it when it is lightly browned. If your oil is shallow, you may need to flip over the wonton. Carefully remove the wontons and drain briefly on paper towels before serving.
Panda Express Sweet and Sour Sauce
• 1 1/4 cups water, divided
• 1/2 cup white vinegar
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup corn starch
• red food coloring (optional, but for authentic color I had to add a few drops)
- Add 1 cup water, white vinegar and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add the cornstarch to the remaining 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Add the cornstarch slurry to the saucepan and whisk it all together.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken
• 4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
• 1 cup cornstarch (more may be needed)
• 1 cup flour (more may be needed)
• 3 eggs, beaten well
• vegetable oil (for frying, or oil of your choice)
• Sweet Fire Sauce
• 2 red jalapenos, chopped fine (you can adjust the amount according to your heat preference)
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
• 3⁄4 cup water
• 1⁄4 cup white vinegar
• 1 pinch salt
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 3 tablespoons water
• 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
- For the chicken, dip strips in flour. I usually do this by putting the chicken strips in a big zip-top bag with the flour in it, and shake until all of the chicken pieces are evenly covered with flour. Next, drop the chicken strips in the beaten egg. Again, I do this all at once. Just make sure the egg is in a big bowl, dump all of the chicken strips in, and evenly coat. Lastly, dip in cornstarch. This time the process is a little more precise, so I take about one-third of the strips and toss them in a zip-top bag with cornstarch. Lay them on a wire rack to prep for frying, and repeat the process.
- In a large skillet, heat oil to medium-high heat. Carefully lay chicken strips into the oil. Be careful to not crowd the pan. Fry the strips for about 1 minute, and then flip them over. Once they are evenly goldish-brown, and appear to be crispy, remove them from the oil and lay on a wire cooling rack lined with paper towels to allow the excess oil to drain off of them. Set aside and make the sauce.
- For the sauce, combine all ingredients, except for cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water, in a food processor. Blend until the ingredients are well combined, and garlic and jalapeño is finely minced into the liquid. Next, place the mixture into a medium saucepan, and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water in a separate container to form a thick paste. Incorporate paste into the simmering sauce. Whisk together, until the sauce starts to thicken slightly. Remove from heat, and toss in pineapple chunks (or use fresh pineapple if you prefer it).
- In a large skillet, heat the sauce to a simmering, and add the fried chicken strips. Simmer for about five minutes, or until all of the chicken strips are well coated and reheated (if they were set aside to cool for a long time). Serve over white rice, or by itself.