Review: Chinese Spare Ribs from Panda Express
Take a look at most any Chinese food takeout menu and you’ll be able to find BBQ spare ribs. It was only a matter of time before Panda Express had a version of their own. New Chinese Spare Ribs are now available… let’s review.
Panda Express describes their new Chinese Spare Ribs like this:
Equal parts traditional Chinese and classic American, Chinese Spare Ribs are marinated and slow-cooked, then wok-fired in our tasty Chinese BBQ sauce. Our sauce is inspired by Char Siu, which is a traditional Chinese barbecued pork.
Right below the name “Chinese Spare Ribs” on the Panda Express website you’ll see the words, “Rack up an appetite”. I’d rather have my appetite satisfied instead of getting too little and being left hungry.
To be clear, as you can see from my pictures, I would have to be ashamed of myself for being left hungry after my complete meal. I opted for the standard combo of one side and two entrees. A heaping side of fried rice, a generous portion of Orange Chicken, and new Chinese Spare Ribs. The combo is priced at $6.80 with a $1.50 upcharge for the new Chinese Spare Ribs. My “being left hungry” is directed at the new product only.
I received 5 pieces of ribs and the amount of meat that came off of those rib bones would probably equal 1/4 of the meat from my Orange Chicken. The bulk of the spare rib size is in the bone. Some pieces were a little bigger and meatier than others, but for the most part they were all under 3 inches long. A couple of pieces were quite lean, one piece was overly fatty, and the remaining two were somewhere in between. Putting aside any descriptions of bone and fat and just getting to the good stuff… the good stuff was in fact… good stuff.
I really enjoyed the Chinese BBQ Sauce with its blend of sweet and spicy. Panda Express really excels with their highly addictive sauces and the blend used to coat new Chinese Spare Ribs is another winner. There’s a nice mix of peppery BBQ sauce coating and cooked-in sauce flavor that makes for thoroughly flavorful pork. The meat is tender and falls off the bone with ease. The problem of course is when you’re enjoying the good stuff, the experience doesn’t last very long. To get a better experience out of new Chinese Spare Ribs from Panda Express, you’ll probably have to get a double portion.
When you feel gypped off the original portion, you can only blame yourself for spending more to get your fill. There’s plenty of other sweet and spicy options on the Panda Express menu that are a whole lot more filling and don’t come with an upcharge… stick with those.
Pros: Sweet and spicy Chinese BBQ sauce.
Cons: Upcharge for less food. You're likely to encounter some overly bony or fatty pieces.
Price: $6.80 for 1 side, 2 entree plate with + $1.50 upcharge for the Chinese Spare Ribs. A La Carte, small $4.95, medium $9.40, large $13.45
Overall GrubGrade: 4.75/10
More Info: pandaexpress.com
Calories - 370
Fat - 25 grams
Saturated Fat - 9 grams
Sodium - 90 milligrams
Carbs - 7 grams
Fiber - 1 gram
Sugars - 7 grams
Protein - 28 grams