Chinese Orange Chicken Recipe

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Chinese Orange Chicken

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Chinese Orange Chicken is a delightful dish that marries the zest of fresh oranges with the rich flavors of Chinese cooking, creating a sweet, tangy, and savory experience that’s hard to resist.

This dish is a popular choice in many Chinese restaurants across the globe and is loved for its vibrant flavor and crispy texture. Making it at home can bring a fresh and customizable twist to this beloved dish. Here’s how you can create your own Chinese Orange Chicken with this detailed recipe.


For the Chicken

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil, for frying
For the Orange Sauce
1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed preferred)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
Optional: Red pepper flakes for heat


Preparing the Chicken

Marinate the Chicken: Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Place them in a bowl with the beaten eggs, ensuring each piece is well coated.

Dredge the Chicken: Place the cornstarch in a separate bowl. Take the egg-coated chicken pieces and dredge them in cornstarch until fully covered.

Fry the Chicken: Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken pieces in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels.

Making the Orange Sauce

Combine Ingredients: In a saucepan, mix together the orange juice, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, orange zest, minced garlic, and ginger. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Thicken the Sauce: Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the sesame oil and the cornstarch-water mixture. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens. If you like it spicy, add red pepper flakes to taste.

Combine Chicken and Sauce: Add the fried chicken pieces to the saucepan, tossing them gently to coat evenly with the orange sauce.


Serve the Chinese Orange Chicken hot, garnished with additional orange zest or sliced green onions for an extra pop of color and flavor. This dish pairs wonderfully with steamed rice or noodles, offering a balanced and satisfying meal.

Tips for the Perfect Orange Chicken

Fresh Ingredients: Use freshly squeezed orange juice and zest for the best flavor.

Adjusting Sweetness: You can adjust the sweetness of the sauce by adding more or less sugar according to your taste.

Crispiness: For extra crispy chicken, let the coated chicken pieces sit for a few minutes before frying. This helps the cornstarch create a crisper shell.

Chinese Orange Chicken is a versatile dish that allows for plenty of customization. Whether you prefer it sweeter, spicier, or with a bit more tang, you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. With this recipe, you can bring the flavors of your favorite Chinese restaurant right into your kitchen, enjoying the freshness and satisfaction of homemade cooking.

Nutritional Information

While delicious, it’s worth noting that Chinese Orange Chicken is a dish best enjoyed in moderation due to its frying method and the sugar content in the sauce. However, there are a few tweaks you can make for a healthier version:

Baking or Air Frying: Instead of deep-frying, you can bake the chicken pieces at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes or use an air fryer, which significantly reduces the oil content.

Reducing Sugar: Consider reducing the sugar in the sauce or substituting it with a natural sweetener like honey, which may lower the glycemic index of the dish.

Adding Vegetables: Incorporate vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, or snap peas into the dish to increase its fiber content and nutritional value.

Storage and Reheating

Chinese Orange Chicken is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply warm it up in a skillet over medium heat until heated through. For best results, avoid microwaving, as it can make the chicken soggy.


Lemon Chicken: For a citrusy twist, substitute orange juice and zest with lemon for a tangier flavor.

Spicy Orange Chicken: Add a tablespoon of sriracha sauce or increase the amount of red pepper flakes in the sauce for a spicy kick.

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry: Add vegetables to the mix and stir-fry them along with the chicken for a more balanced dish.

Pairing Suggestions

Chinese Orange Chicken goes well with a variety of sides. Here are a few suggestions:

Steamed Jasmine or Basmati Rice: The subtle fragrance of these rice varieties complements the bold flavors of the orange chicken.

Noodles: Serve it over a bed of soba, udon, or rice noodles for a hearty meal.

Vegetable Sides: Lightly steamed or stir-fried vegetables like bok choy, broccoli, or a mixed vegetable medley can balance the richness of the dish.

Chinese Orange Chicken, with its irresistible blend of sweet, sour, and savory flavors, is a testament to the complexity and appeal of Chinese cuisine. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or simply looking to spice up your weekday dinner routine, this dish promises to deliver satisfaction and a burst of flavor with every bite. Remember, cooking is an art that allows for personal expression, so feel free to experiment with the recipe to make it uniquely yours. Enjoy the process of creating this delightful dish, and most importantly, savor the delicious results!


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