The 30-minute Best Chinese Orange Chicken

By: Prasanna| Published: 9:07:00 AM

This Chinese orange chicken is better than takeout and is ready in under 30 minutes. Crispy chicken coated in the delicious orange sauce makes the best, crispy, sticky orange chicken recipe!

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We love Chinese takeouts and it's been on my mind to try Panda Express orange chicken this week, luckily there was enough boneless chicken in the freezer.

This is closest to the orange chicken recipe that you have been trying from many of your favorite Asian/Chinese restaurants, the perfect sticky and crispy homemade orange chicken that goes well with Asian rice or noodles.

Chicken thigh meat is juicier and retains moisture but I personally like breast meat in such recipes. It's totally your personal choice which meat to use.

easy orange chicken topped with chopped scallions served on a plate

Chinese Orange Chicken

What is orange chicken?

Orange chicken is a well know Chinese takeout dish in which crispy fried chicken is covered with sweet and tangy orange sauce, which makes this orange chicken recipe so good!

Orange Chicken Ingredients:

You will need the following ingredients to make the best and easy orange chicken recipe:
  • Chicken: Chicken thighs work best as they are juicier but I have used chicken breast meat in this recipe.
  • To marinate:  Use egg, salt, ground black pepper, soy sauce, cornstarch, APF and water to make a smooth coating for the chicken.
  • Sauce:  The Orange chicken sauce is made of orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, paprika, garlic, ginger, salt, orange zest, and cornstarch.

How to make orange chicken sauce?

This easy orange chicken sauce is made of orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, paprika, garlic, ginger, salt, orange zest, and cornstarch. You need to mix the ingredients together.

How to make Panda Express orange chicken?

  • Clean the chicken and marinate the chicken with egg, salt, cornstarch, flour, soy sauce, and pepper.
  • Add water to this little by little to make the batter enough to be smooth and coat the chicken pieces. Do Not make this flour coating thick or runny.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan, enough to submerge the chicken pieces.
  • When the oil is hot, slowly drop the chicken pieces in batches and fry till golden brown.
  • Drain them on kitchen tissue and keep them aside.
  • In a mixing bowl add the ingredients mentioned for the sauce. Mix well.
  • In a large pan or skillet, add the sauce mix and let it come to a boil.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the sauce mixture and let them it till the chicken is coated well with the sauce and it's thick.
  • Switch off the flame and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Toss further and garnish with spring onion greens.
another look of a white plate with Chinese orange chicken served with rice

Tips to make Chinese orange chicken:

  • When adding water to flour to marinate chicken, make sure you add the water in small quantities. 
  • The final consistency of the flour mixture coating chicken should neither be thick and lumpy nor runny. The consistency should be a thin layer of flour coating each chicken piece.
  • You can bake the chicken too but I personally prefer to fry the chicken.
  • If you are baking the chicken then make sure you are turning the chicken once or twice in between to ensure even cooking.
  • Do not add more cornstarch to the sauce mix. If you add more cornstarch the sauce will be thick, then further you will have to add more water to adjust the sauce consistency.
  • If you are looking for a vegetarian version of this recipe then try using Tofu / Cauliflower / Cottage Cheese instead of chicken.
  • You need to cook the fried chicken in the sauce till the sauce coats the chicken well and consume it immediately.
  • Leftovers can be consumed but the taste will vary from freshly made.
panda express orange chicken on a plate with rice topped with chopped spring onion
I have shared many restaurant-style copycat recipes here.
I will list a few for you to have a look at:
  1. Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo
  2. Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken Breast
  3. Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
  4. Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi
  5. KFC Chicken Pot Pie
  6. Better than takeout Sesame Chicken
  7. Vegetarian Kung Pao Cauliflower
  8. Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken

What to eat with orange chicken? What goes good with orange chicken?

If you are wondering what to serve with crispy orange chicken, then I am sharing some wonderful ideas here for you to try:
close up of a white plate with rice topped with orange chicken

a white plate rice and crispy orange chicken
If you liked my recipe then please save this Pin⤵
Orange Chicken Recipe(Panda Express Copycat).jpg

Hi, I'm Prasanna!

I will be the first one to admit that I am an accidental food blogger. I love trying out new recipes and giving them a twist of my own. Hope you enjoy trying out the recipes ... do leave me your valuable feedback 😊

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    1. So good! Followed the recipe as is, easy to make, it took me a little bit to fry the chicken, I did them is small batches. Not spicy, kids loved it. I will definitely make again. Thanks!

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    3. Hi! I am a little confused about the water part of this recipe. Do you let the chicken marinate and then add water? About how much water do you add? Should it become like a sauce/paste?

      1. Here you need to add chicken along with salt, egg, cornstarch, soy sauce and flour to a bowl. Start adding water in small batches to make the batter coating chicken smooth enough such that its not lumpy nor it should be runny batter.Hope this helps.


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