If you’re like me (and most of the world) you think Mandarin oranges are far better than regular oranges. So, why not make a classic American-Chinese takeout staple, Orange Chicken, with Mandarin oranges? Yes, I said American-Chinese, because orange chicken is about as authentically Chinese as crab rangoons! However, this recipe for some tasty and delicious Mandarin orange chicken will be sure to hit your takeaway cravings.
Although I have some real Chinese recipes on this site like chinese walnut chicken and chinese fried garlic pork string beans (干煸四季豆 ) (after all, I did live in Beijing for 4 years), I never really liked mainland cuisine apart from a dozen or so dishes. Even while living in China I’d still look up copycat Panda Express recipes to make at home when the cravings hit.
How To Make Chinese Takeaway Style Mandarin Orange Chicken At Home
The main ingredients for this recipe are quite simple. Chopped up chicken breasts (3), a couple beaten eggs, and a 1:1 mixture of flour to potato starch. The potato starch is important because it gives that signature crunch and texture to orange chicken.
To start, heat up a pan or pot of vegetable oil. Take the chicken piece and dip it in the flour mixture, then into the egg, then back into the flour mixture. Finally carefully drop it into the hot oil and let deep fry until golden brown. Remove the pieces and set them on a paper towel to drain.
The sauce can be started before you fry the chicken as it needs time to reduce. In a pan on medium high heat add a cup of mandarin orange juice, a tablespoon of dark soy sauce, a tablespoon of light soy sauce, a tablespoon of sugar, two teaspoons of rice wine vinegar, and some red chili flakes (optional) to taste. I also like to add a couple teaspoons of oyster sauce to give it a bit of funk, but that is totally up to you. It may seem like a lot of salt in this recipe, but remember there were no seasonings in the flour mix.
In a large bowl add all the fried chicken pieces and pour over the mandarin orange sauce. Give everything a toss so each piece of chicken is coated. You can do this step in a wok on high heat if you have it, which will really help caramelize the sauce to the chicken.
Serve this delicious mandarin orange chicken atop some standard white rice and garnish with chopped green onion and chopped peanuts. Enjoy! Don’t want to make rice? Pair this orange chicken with lo mein instead!
Like this recipe? You might enjoy my Sweet Spicy Sesame Chicken as well!
Mandarin Orange Chicken
- Pan / Wok
- 3 Chicken Breasts cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 cup Potato Starch can also use corn starch if you prefer
- 2 large Eggs beaten
- Vegetable Oil for frying
Mandarin Orange Sauce
- 1 cup Mandarin Orange Juice
- 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Sugar white sugar
- 2 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- Red Chili Flakes optional, to taste
- 2 tsp Oyster Sauce optional, but recommended
- In a saucepan add all the sauce ingredients and put on a low heat. Give a stir every once in a while, otherwise get on with frying the chicken.
- In a large pan or a wok add an inch or so of vegetable oil and put on high heat.
- Make a frying station. In a bowl whisk together the flour and potato starch. Dip a chicken piece in the flour mix, then in the beaten egg, then back in the flour mixture. Finally drop carefully into the hot oil. Rinse and repeat until all the chicken is done. Let fry until the pieces are golden brown and then move to a paper towel to drain.
- In a bowl (or wok on high heat) add the chicken pieces and pour over the thickened/reduced mandarin orange sauce. Give everything a toss so every piece is evenly coated.
- Serve atop some white rice and garnish with chopped peanuts and green onions. Enjoy!