Panda Express offers free Thai Cashew Chicken

Panda Express

Panda Express is a great treat -- but you can make much of the food at home more cheaply. Image from Flickr.

At many Panda Express locations today, July 14, you can get a free Thai Cashew Chicken entree. With a coupon, you can give this new-again Panda Express Thai Cashew Chicken entree a free try. Because these are only free for one day, you can find a less expensive way to enjoy Panda Express style meals at home.

Free Thai Cashew Chicken at Panda Express

Of course, the best price for just about anything, at Panda Express or anywhere else, is free. Go to the Panda Express website to print off the official coupon. You’ll get one free entree-sized portion of the Cashew Chicken per coupon, and it’s limited to one per person. Only participating locations of the franchised business will give you the free entree, but most are participating.

Getting a taste of Thai at Panda Express

Panda Express is one of the largest fast-food Chinese style locations in the United States. Their food tends to be mostly Chinese-American or “fusion” cuisine. The choice of Thai Cashew Chicken is actually a return for Panda Express. Much like the McRib or any other “limited time” product at fast food locations, it has a tendency to be cut and return on a regular basis.

Giving yourself a taste of Panda Express Thai

At between five and eight dollars per meal, eating at Panda Express just to get a taste of Thai (or Chinese-American) cuisine can get really expensive. The secret, though, is that Chinese and Thai food can actually be incredibly inexpensive to make at home. To re-create the Thai Cashew Chicken from Panda Express, you will have to spend about $10 — but you’ll get five servings or more. Cut 1 pound of chicken into cubes, and stir-fry it in peanut oil for a few minutes. Combine it with a 1/4 cup each of celery, bamboo shoots, and red pepper chunks. Stir in 1/4 cup hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup chicken broth mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Once that mixture has thickened, stir in 1/2 cup cashew chunks and fresh cilantro. The recipe freezes beautifully, and is easy to make on a busy night. The best part is, you’ll be saving yourself $20 or more, with just twenty minutes of work.

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