Hall of Shame, Part II

Yes, this is food from Panda Express; I suppose the dirge of Americanized Chinese food. Perhaps that is a stretch; they DO use fresh ingredients and DO NOT add MSG. But their best-selling dish is Orange Chicken with a serving size of 5.4 ounces comes in at 400 calories with 640 mg of sodium. Add fried rice with that and a 5 ounce serving comes in at 450 mg of sodium. And there is a Panda Express about fifty steps from my apartment which makes it all that much harder when I get jonesing for some fried dough.

The Crab Rangoon is not Chinese. It is a won-ton skin (essentially an eggroll wrapper which is an egg- and flour-based dough, rolled out very thin to contain a variety of ingredients). Some reports Crab Rangoon to have been developed in the 1950s for Trader Vic’s, possibly having come via Burma. For it is certain isn’t Chinese since its main filling is cream cheese studded with crab meat and scallions. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever detected a bit of crab — or even fake krab, known as surimi — within the Panda Express versions. But they ARE fried dough and along with their Spring Rolls, occasionally help me get over those cravings I get for fried dough.

It is bad and I admit it. The Crab Rangoon order contains three pouches at 190 calories with 180 mg of sodium. The Spring Rolls (vegetarian, ostensibly!), where you get two, are 160 calories but a whopping 540 mg of sodium. And then there is their sweet-and-sour sauce. Horrific, glowing orange-red sauce mostly based on corn syrup, that is 80 calories all on its own, with 180 mg of sodium. Perhaps by confessing this addiction, it will help me break from it. I know it is bad and I know it is fake and I know how detrimental it is to my overall well-being.

My name is Carrie and I am a Fried Dough Ho.

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