The Chinese or lunar New Year is quickly approaching and I have been thinking about Chinese cuisine a lot. The word for oranges in Chinese is similar to the word for wealth and thus oranges are considered lucky for the New Year, which is great since orange chicken is one of my favourite dishes. Normally takeout orange chicken is battered and fried in a lot of oil but I prefer this lighter and healthier version where the chicken is simply sauteed and then tossed in a super tasty orange sauce! One of the best things about this recipe is that it takes less time to make than it takes to steam the rice, less than 20 minutes!
So nice and light, healthy and tasty!
Serve over steamed rice, quino or noodles and toss with some steamed vegetables like broccoli, peppers, peas, etc for a complete meal.
20 Minute Light Orange Chicken
A quick, easy, light and tasty Chinese orange chicken dish that is way better than takeout!
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chill sauce such as sambal oelek or sriracha
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup green onion, sliced (optional)
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until cooked through, about 2-4 minutes per side.
- Add the mixture of the orange juice, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chill sauce, garlic, ginger and the mixture of the water and the corn starch, toss to coat and cook until the sauce thickens, about a minute.
- Remove from heat and serve garnished with sliced green onions.
Option: Add some vegetables to the mix such as broccoli, peas, peppers, etc.
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Any chance of seeing a Mongolian Beef recipe this next week?
omg that looks so yummy! 😀
Saving this – much prefer this version than the battered ones – cannot even taste the orange in the chicken sometimes!
Jess @ Sugar High says
Love that you kept it simple and healthy by not frying. Looks delicious!
Becki's Whole Life says
I love the orange flavor with the spicy peppers. This looks wonderful and a great option for Chinese New Year!
The dish looks great.
Any eggplant recipe to share?
Shohag B. says
i luv this item ! thanks :X
I love that this has fresh orange juice in it and is NOT deep fried! This is the perfect way to get your Chinese food fix without feeling like you've been run over by a truck.
I miss good Chinese food , I will definitely try this recipe as soon as I start cooking again.
It is too hot to cook at this time 🙂
poor me lol
This looks fantastic! I tried duck with orange before but never chicken. Thank you for the yummy recipe!
do you ever use tahini? when your recipe calls for both honey and sesame oil, perhaps this is a spot for it.
Kathleen Richardson says
Love chicken. Love orange. Good blog entry, Kevin, and seeing it makes me want to start cooking right now!
India's no.1 blog says
Yummy yummy yummy 🙂
Amy Tsung says
Wow, that looks so good!
looks great – am curious to know why you soaked the chilies. In India we soak them before grinding to a paste, but haven't seen it used in this kind of application.
Ciao, che bello e particolare il tuo blog, mi piace!!!
Se ti fa piacere passa a trovarmi.
hmmm that looks tasty
cooking lady says
Wow this looks really good. And the photo is just fantastic
Looks delicious and healty
5 minute prep? You're fast!
Anonymous: I tend to walk into the kitchen, turn the stove on, place the oil in the pan and then I start cut the chicken, place it in the pan and while it cooks I move onto the garlic, onions, etc.
almostveg: I just wanted to soften them up a bit.
Anonymous: Using tahini in a dish likes this is an interesting idea. I had not thought about using tahini like that.
Hi, Kevin! tahini is common here in greece, whereas sesame oil's an expensive import. so i've often used the oil the settles on top of the seed pulp in a jar of tahini rather than spend for 'sesame oil'.
Everything seems so delicious!
I'll follow your adventures 😉
This looks amazing and so much better than the Orange Chicken I usually order. 🙂
Thanks for posting this, love your recipes!
That looks delitions! Thank you for posting.
Justin Cullen says
It looks absolutely delicious!!!
Fruit Carving says
Very lovely presentation, looks delicious! I will try this recipe.
This was delicious!
Looks delicious , and I agree prefer unbattered as well !
This was great! Much better than takeout. Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely make it again.
Love your lightened up version of orange chicken Kevin – yes oranges are good luck for Chinese New Year! The guy at our local Asian grocery store always has special oranges for the New Year.
Kevin I just saw a recipe for meyer lemon fried chicken!
Doesn't that sound good? Where did I see it? I can't remember, but I saved it for my friday link roundup.
vanillasugarblog: That does sound good!
I'm guessing the zest is for garnish instead of in the sauce? Just premade the sauce (using tangerines since that's what I have on hand) & all I can say is WOW, delicious! Thank you for this recipe, it's a keeper!
Atroub: I place finely grated zest in the sauce and then some larger pieces of zest go on for garnish.
Orange chicken is always so good. Your version could not look better! I cannot wait to give it a try! 🙂
I'm wondering if the "3 Tablespoons of soy sauce" is meant to be "3 TEAspoons"? I made this for dinner tonight and found the sauce to be very dark in color and the orange flavor to be mildly overpowered. Regardless, I found it to be delicious.
avidalector: 3 tablespoons of soy sauce is correct. Did you use a dark soy sauce or a regular one. There are dark and light soy sauces in Chinese cuisine and the dark soy sauce would give you a darker sauce.
What a Dish! says
Made this for dinner tonight and really enjoyed. I also enjoyed how easy this was! During the day I pre-cut the chicken, and then made the sauce and stuck it in the fridge. When dinner time came, it was SO easy to cook the chicken and throw the sauce in. It also thickened perfectly with the cornstarch. I added about a TBS more OJ.
What a Dish!: I am glad that you enjoyed it! Preparing everything ahead of time is a great idea to make things even quicker at meal time!
Wow oh wow, this orange chicken was Awesome, it ROCKS!!!! Thanks, Kevin.
Phuong Pham says
I made this for dinner tonight and it was super delicious. The fact that it is healthy makes it the best orange chicken ever. It will be our staple from now on. Thanks so much!
I thought it was awful. It was far too sweet and I didn't use the amount stated. I finally had to put in some bitter marmalade to rectify it. If it's better than a takeout, it doesn't say much for your restaurent.
Gillyflower: This should not have been super sweet. The sweetness from the honey should have balanced nicely with the saltiness from the soy sauce and the tartness from the rice vinegar so that it becomes more of an undertone rather than dominant. Did you use fresh orange juice or sweetened bottled orange juice? Did you use regular soy sauce or low sodium? Did you use plain rice vinegar or the sweetened rice vinegar that is used for sushi rice?
why does this chicken have to be cut up in small pieces. Can't I make it with chicken breasts and thighs? Thank you.
tammy: Generally stir-frys use small pieces of meat but you could certainly do a full chicken breast or thigh!
Keri Butler says
I made this last night with boneless/skinless chicken thighs & thought it was really good! I thought it was the perfect balance of sweet & spicy, though I did add a touch more sriracha & some red pepper flakes. Will def be making again, thanks!
Keri Butler: I'm glad you enjoyed it! I like to add extra sriracha as well! 🙂
Kelly Harrison says
Love this recipe!! It is so simple and delicious! Thank you
This was EXCELLENT! So much healthier than the breaded and fried version and so simple for a weeknight. I will be trying this same method with other oriental sauce creations. Thanks!
Made this for dinner tonight. I added orange bell pepper and sugar snap peas, and served over brown rice. Everyone enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Made this a couple times now. Totally awesome!! So easy and wonderful flavor!!
Sarah K says
This obviously is a wonderful dish! My husband very much dislikes chicken and insisted your orange chicken recipe to be a regular weeknight meal. Next time I make it I think I'll add some cashews for some crunch and orange segments for added juice.
Sarah K: I'm glad you like it! The addition of cashews and orange segments would be amazing!
Is the zest added to the orange juice mixture or is it used as a garnish. Sorry, I haven’t seen the application in the recipe.