Panda Express Is Serving Up Spicy Wagyu Beef Dumplings, But There's A Catch

Wagyu beef is an elusive cut of meat that is often associated with a superior taste and texture, with an exorbitantly high price tag. Japanese cows bred for beef are all considered wagyu and the quality is unmatched. Typically in America, you'll find wagyu beef at pricey steakhouses and fine dining restaurants, though it is possible to purchase in some stores. Typically, wagyu beef is not an affordable, run-of-the-mill item, but fast-casual restaurants are finding ways to introduce the meat to customers at a fair price point.

Fast food sandwich chain Arby's tested a Wagyu beef burger made with a blend of both regular and Wagyu ground beef. The burger was sold at a reasonable price point of about $6.99. Panda Express is joining in on the affordable Wagyu beef train with its introduction of Spicy Wagyu Beef Dumplings. The new beef dumplings are made with 100% wagyu beef and served with a special sweet heat sauce. Before fans get too excited, it's not yet available nationwide. Instead, the company is testing the new dumplings at its flagship Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, California. Even those locally will only have a small window to try the new creation. The dish will only be available from April 21-June 1.

The testing phase can last indefinitely

The wagyu beef dumpling would not be nearly as exciting without the addition of the special Fly By Jing sauce. For those not initiated in the hot sauce world, Fly By Jing is a hot sauce company that takes inspiration from the owner's small Chinese hometown. While the brand is well-known for its chili crisp, the Panda Express collaboration features the spicy Zhoug Sauce. The Zhoug Sauce features brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and spices that can hold up to the flavor of the rich beef. Each entree comes with five dumplings, served atop sauteed kale and onions. There's no word yet on when or if the dumplings will make their way to other Panda Express locations.

The innovation kitchen continues to test new products that have not yet been released to the general public. Back in 2021, the chain tested its first orange chicken sandwich, but after mixed reviews, it was back to the drawing board. The chain re-released an upgraded version of its orange chicken sandwich. Unfortunately, the sandwich has still not been released nationwide, with no clear date if or when it will happen. Those who want a guaranteed chance to try test items like black pepper Angus steak empanadas, orange chicken burritos, or wagyu beef dumplings, need to make a special trip to the innovation kitchen.