The Panda Express burrito exists, and it’s a pivot away from traditional Chinese cuisine. Panda Express has created a long-running buzz with an unconventional (yet hard-to-get) culinary marvel: the Orange Chicken Burrito.
How do people know about the Panda Express burrito?
In March 2023, TikTok user Lawrence (@asianchowdown) unveiled the surprising offering from the American-Chinese fast-food chain, getting more than 4.4 million views in the process in its first six months on the platform. The Daily Dot’s coverage of this video noted it costs $8.60 to hack the Panda Express menu in this fashion, and it’s actually a creation of the restaurant’s Innovation Kitchen, which “serves as a living laboratory for exploring new menu items, new décor and new ways of serving guests. It’s where our chefs can experiment with new flavors and dishes to ensure we’re constantly creating fresh ideas.”
@asianchowdown Trying Panda Express new Burrito! #food #fastfood #yummy #yum #delicious #chipotle ♬ original sound – asianchowdown
Other TikTokers, including @how.kev.eats, have also seen it in the wild.
@how.kev.eats Reply to @preciousheisser Panda Express Burrito??? #foodreview #mukbang ♬ original sound – how.kev.eats
However, before you dash out, it’s worth noting that this creation is limited to a handful of California locations.
The Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, Calif., is designated as Panda Express’s living lab for inventive dishes and cutting-edge designs. TikToker @how.kev.eats, per a Food Network story, shared that he got his burrito at the location “on Westwood Blvd. just north of Olympic” — in Los Angeles.
The Innovation Kitchen serves more than just a typical restaurant. According to Panda Express, it’s a “living laboratory” where chefs blend creativity with flavor to deliver fresh ideas. The site revealed in September 2023 that it’s also mastered a Honey Sesame Chicken Breast Shepherd’s Pie.
However, several Panda Express restaurants contacted by the Daily Dot claimed they did not make the burrito.
What is the Panda Express burrito?
The Orange Chicken Bing, an inspiration from the Cong You Bing (a traditional scallion pancake), has been a feature since 2017.
The burrito can be tailored to the diner’s preferences, ranging from Orange Chicken to Honey Walnut Shrimp and Kung Pao Chicken. Add a splash of hot mustard or chili sauce, and you’re in for a treat.
The ‘bing,’ or wrap, isn’t just your typical tortilla. It’s best described as a savory union between a moo shu pancake and a scallion pancake. The filling choices are endless, with classic Panda Express offerings like orange chicken, honey-walnut shrimp, Beijing beef, and Kung pao chicken, or more basic options like stir-fried chicken or Angus beef.
You can also add a variety of veggies to this and finish it off with one of six sauces. For those seeking an extra crunch, accompaniments like papaya salad, pickled cucumbers, fried wontons, fried shallots, and peanuts are available.
Can I make my own Panda Express burrito?
The existence of the Panda Express burrito has been met with a gamut of reactions. TikTok user @asianchowdown, in his groundbreaking video revealing the Panda Express burrito, expressed the potential in alternative wraps like a rice or seaweed wrap.
If you can’t find the Panda Express burrito in your burg, the restaurant does provide a recipe to make it at home, Panda Express does give away its recipe to make it. Scroll down on the site, click the video marked “Orange Chicken Burrito,” and get an air fryer ready for the orange chicken part of the equation.
The Panda Express burrito might not be the first Asian wrap on the block, but its size and unique blend of ingredients make it stand out. The wrap can accommodate two entrees worth of chicken and boasts a host of exquisite ingredients that you won’t find at typical Panda Express outlets. Reviews have labeled it a must-try, elevating the orange chicken to a new pinnacle.