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Orange chicken, a classic dish of Chinese cuisine.

Photo: iStock

Orange chicken

Are you craving a flavourful and delicious meal that you can easily prepare at home? This Chinese orange chicken recipe from Sidechef is a must-try. With its delightful combination of tender chicken and a sweet and savoury orange sauce, this dish is guaranteed to be a welcome addition to your culinary repertoire.

10 March, 2023
Average: 4 (4 votes)

serves for


total time

0 HR 40 MIN


400g (14oz)
White sesame seeds
Orange juice
100ml (⅓ US cup)
Zested, to taste
White vinegar
15ml (1tbsp)
Granulated sugar
4g (1 tsp)
4g (1 tsp)
3g (1 tsp), minced
2g (1 tsp) fresh, minced
2g (1 tsp)
Soy sauce
To taste
To taste


Step 01

Dice the chicken into small pieces, then marinate in soy sauce, salt, and granulated sugar for 30 minutes.

Step 02

Dip the chicken pieces in the beaten egg, then coat with corn starch.

Step 03

Fry the chicken pieces until golden.

Step 04

Combine orange juice, orange zest, white vinegar, sugar, garlic and fresh ginger in a pan, and cook on a medium heat.

Step 05

Mix water and corn starch in a bowl, then add the mixture to the sauce until thickened.

Step 06

Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and mix well. Sprinkle with white sesame seeds.

How to serve it

You can pair Chinese orange chicken with many lip-smacking dishes. Let's dive into our selection of sides to take your chicken experience to the next level.

White rice. White rice is the perfect accompaniment to orange chicken, as its mild flavour provides a pleasing contrast to the dish's acidity.

Stir-fried vegetables. Stir-fried vegetables make an excellent side dish for orange chicken. It contains light flavours and goes well with any rich food. A typical recipe calls for stir-frying green peppers, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower with garlic and ginger in a wok over high heat.

Steamed broccoli. To balance out the richness of orange chicken, consider pairing it with this light side dish for a well-rounded meal.

Soy-marinated eggs. Pairing soy-marinated eggs with orange chicken adds a rich umami flavour and contrasting texture that complements the dish.

Cucumber salad. A cucumber salad takes no time to prepare and adds colour and crunch to any Chinese banquet.

Stir-fried oyster mushrooms. With their delicate texture and mild flavour, oyster mushrooms are an excellent choice for pairing with orange chicken.

History and origins

Panda Express, a Chinese-American fast food chain, claims to have created this sweet-and-sour dish more than three decades ago. Chef Andy Kao is widely recognised as the inventor of orange chicken in 1987 when he worked as Panda Express' Executive Chef. His creation has become a fan favourite and a staple dish on the restaurant's menu.

Although often criticised as inauthentic, Chinese American cuisine has evolved to possess its unique identity. The cuisine retains many traditional Chinese flavours, which have been adapted not only to suit the tastes of Western consumers but also to accommodate Chinese immigrants' availability of ingredients in their new homeland.

As with all cultural and culinary traditions, new and exciting twists, innovations, and improvisations contribute to creating a uniquely diverse and flavourful cuisine. The delicious and popular orange chicken dish is a superb example of how the fusion of classic recipes with novel ingredients, techniques and cultures can result in a delightful culinary experience.


Allow the orange chicken to cool completely, then place it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It will remain fresh for 3 to 4 days.

If you wish to freeze your orange chicken, place it in either freezer bags or airtight containers. The frozen chicken can be stored for up to 2 to 3 months.

Looking for inspiration to add a touch of citrusy sweetness to your dishes? Get ready for some tangy fun with our collection of delightful recipes featuring the versatile and vibrant orange.

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