CuisineAsianPanda Express Fried Rice Copycat

Panda Express Fried Rice Copycat

Fried rice does not fall short of being a household favorite and Panda Express fried rice takes that love in a whole new level. It is not just rice per se, but a fusion of flavors and crunchy veggies in one popular side dish.

In this post, we will roundup everything there is to know about Panda Express fried rice. If you wish to recreate it, an easy whip recipe is also featured in this post. 

What is Panda Express fried rice?

Fried rice is the most popular side dish for Panda Express entrees. It is more than just rice because it has a rich salty, and umami flavor. It is also cooked with eggs, corn, green peas, and carrots. 

Ingredients & substitute

This uncomplicated dish only has a handful of ingredients which are pantry-staples at home. The ingredients of the Panda Express fried rice would be the following:

  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Carrots and peas
  • Green onion
  • Sesame oil
  • Vinegar
  • Soy sauce

For the oil, you can use canola, olive, or vegetable oil as substitute. You can also have Kikkoman soy sauce, and frozen carrots and peas. 

What kind of rice should I use?

Jasmine long grain rice is used mainly for fried rice. It has a mild aroma, does not get sticky when cooked and dry enough to provide texture to a simple meal. It is easy to work with compared to sushi rice or medium grain rice. 

Panda Express fried rice calories & nutrition

As per Panda Express website, fried rice contains 520 calories with 140kcal from fat. It has a total fat content of 16g and saturated fat of 3g. It has a cholesterol content of 120mg, sodium at 850mg, carbohydrates at 85g, sugar at 3g, protein at 11g and dietary fiber at 1g. 

Tools used in the recipe

For this dish, here are the tools that you should prepare: 

  • Egg beater
  • Non-stick pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Small bowls for each ingredient

How to make Panda Express fried rice

If you have extra cooked rice, you can always make Panda Express fried rice with some easy steps. Beat and cook the egg first and then toss in the rice. Add the soy sauce, followed by green pees and the carrots. Pour some sesame oil, salt, and pepper to taste and then serve it warm. 

More Panda Express copycat recipes

Variations on Panda Express fried rice

Here are some additions for Panda Express fried rice which you can incorporate: 

  • Proteins: add shrimp, chicken shreds, bacon, or small diced beef
  • Veggies: you can also add finely chopped broccoli 
  • Spices: you can go heavy on garlic as well as onions
  • Flavor: you can give it a kick with a small amount of sriracha
  • Vegan: you can use cauliflower florets and diced tofu for your protein

How to store Panda Express fried rice

You must cool down leftover rice before putting it in the fridge. Seal it in an airtight container. Fried rice can stay in the fridge for 5-7 days. It must never be kept on room temperature and must be consumed within 2hrs if not meant to be stored in the fridge. 

FAQs

Can you freeze Panda Express fried rice?

The pro tip here is to refrigerate the cooked rice to be used for the fried rice the night before it is cooked. It must be thawed for 20mins after for greater moisture and better rice texture for the Panda Express fried rice. 

What does Panda Express fried rice taste like?

Overall, it is a bit salty, very savory, and comes with a rich umami taste. It has a crunchy texture thanks to the carrots and peas. 

What to serve with Panda Express fried rice?

Almost all savory dishes of Panda Express can be paired with their fried rice. But the best dishes to pair it with would be the following:

Is Panda Express fried rice healthy?

Well, there is rice to its name so it means that it is high in calories and carbohydrates. As a matter of fact, the Panda Express website is very transparent on that.

When made for sharing, you can cut down the carbs and calories. Perhaps, you can also make fried cauliflower rice as a variation to this fried rice. 

Is Panda Express fried rice keto friendly?

Obviously, no. Rice is the major enemy of keto diet so if you are on it, this one is not for you. You can always go for keto-friendly sources of low carb like cauliflower, quinoa or rolled oats. They would still taste as good as rice for savory dishes. 

Is Panda Express fried rice gluten-free?

No. But you can make it gluten-free by using low-sodium, gluten-free soy sauce such as Kikkoman. You can also use hoisin sauce. But to be sure that it really is gluten-free, you can scrap the soy sauce and just season it with salt and pepper. 

Is Panda Express fried rice dairy-free?

Yes. It does not use any ingredient that has dairy content in it. Egg is not dairy. So if you have dairy allergies or if you are lactose intolerant, you can eat Panda Express fried rice without worries. 

Is Panda Express fried rice vegan?

Panda Express fried rice, unfortunately, is not entirely vegan. While it is not good for 100% vegan diet, it is good for those ovo-vegetarians since they could eat eggs.

Easy Panda Express Fried Rice Copycat Recipe

Easy Panda Express Fried Rice Copycat Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Fried rice is essentially easy to prepare and cook. But if you want a Panda Express fried rice copycat, here is a recipe to follow.

Ingredients

  • 3tbsps canola or vegetable oil
  • 6 cups cooked rice (cooled)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup carrot and green peas
  • 1tsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare the wok or any non-stick pan. Pour oil and put on high heat. 
  2. Next, put in the beaten eggs. Stir continuously until fully broken. Cook for at least 3mins. 
  3. Now add the cooked rice and stir with the egg. Do this for 15secs. 
  4. Pour in the soy sauce. Make sure that the rice is all coated. 
  5. Toss in the carrots and peas. Stir everything together for 3mins. 
  6. Lastly, add the sesame oil. Mix everything together. Cook for 2mins.
  7. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 312Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 54mgSodium 580mgCarbohydrates 47gFiber 1gProtein 7g

Did you make this recipe?

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Conclusion

Panda Express fried rice is very easy to recreate. More than the peas and the carrots, you can put a whole lot of different ingredients to it for additional flavor, texture, and crunch. It could go with any savory dish. It is also a complete meal on its own depending on what you put in it. Indeed, its reputation as a favorite Panda Express side is lived up to.

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