Panda Express’ New Chopstick-Hybrid Is The Best Plastic Silverware Innovation Since The Spork


Some people will swear that Panda Express is slowly out to destroy Asian cuisine with their offerings. Then there are others who swear that it is the pinnacle of Chinese food and can’t be beaten. I will stand firmly by their Orange Chicken, but will not give either camp the satisfaction, mostly because the restaurant isn’t forcing anybody in their doors.

But there is something on the horizon that might change the way we eat Asian food and open it up to people who might’ve been thrown off in the past.

That’s right, it’s a “chork” — the results of a fork and chopsticks doing some sort of fusion dance and transforming into one plastic utensil to rule them all. And for those with banana hands or the motor skills of sloth, this might be the answer to enjoying Asian food in an “authentic” way. Of course there’s also the possibility of the entire thing being an affront to traditionalists and being snubbed by those snobby foodies out there in the world. Lucky for them, Panda Express is also introducing something else to hold their attention:

That’s right, it’s their very own Americanized version of the “Chinese” classic, General Tso’s Chicken. According to Lisa Jennings in Nation’s Restaurant News, Panda Express had some inspiration from the 2014 documentary The Search For General Tso in order to bring their version of the dish to people for a limited time:

The recipe varies, but generally it includes deep-fried chicken bits glazed with a sweet and somewhat spicy sauce. The dish’s moniker comes from the romanized name of a Qing dynasty military leader, Tso Tsung-t’ang from the Hunan Province, according to Wikipedia, though you probably won’t find the dish in China…

Wang gives tribute to both, but the version at Panda Express is a more contemporary take on the traditional; one that falls in line with Panda Express’s more Americanized flavor profiles.

Panda uses all-white-meat chicken, for example, while dark meat is more typical. Panda also includes green beans, red and yellow bell peppers and onions, and it is tossed in a sweet and slightly tangy sauce.

The documentary is highly recommended if you want to get a little history behind the Chinese food we’re used to here in the United States. Also recommended if you want to get very hungry. Just hope there’s a Panda Express somewhere close by.

(Via Nation’s Restaurant News / Lisa Jennings)