Better Than Takeaway Chinese Orange Chicken

Place of orange chicken with rice.

I’ve got another of my ‘Better Thank Takeaway’ favourites for your Friday night dinner: Chinese Orange Chicken. Just like with Sweet & Sour Chicken, I love the concept of orange chicken and duck, but whenever I order it I found myself a bit let down by the neon orange sauce it always comes with. I’ve pretty much given up ordering it, instead settling on Cashew Chicken in Yellow Bean Sauce, the homemade version of which still eludes me!

So, here I’ve created a savoury, tangy recipe for Chinese Orange Chicken packed with fresh orange juice and zest, and rather than pouring sauce over a breaded and sliced chicken cutlet (such a strange concept for a takeaway dish, in my opinion, though it does mean you’ve still got something to enjoy when the sauce totally disappoints, I suppose) I’ve taken inspiration from the orange chicken you can order in America, shallow frying nuggets to tender chicken thigh in a soy sauce-seasoned mix of egg white and cornflour (it is a similar technique as the one I use to make my Honey Chilli Chicken) for crispy, tender chicken pieces coated in a sticky, tangy sauce.

Close up of Chinese orange chicken with rice, sesame seeds and sliced spring onions.
Stone plate of Chinese chicken.

Just add some steamed or boiled jasmine rice (or a little egg fried rice if you’re feeling fancy, though honestly this chicken is so good I don’t think you’ll need it) and load it up with sliced spring onions and toasted sesame seeds for the perfect, healthier, at home takeaway this weekend!

And, if you fancy something a little extra on the side, why not make a batch of my Homemade Sesame Prawn Toasts, too? Again, like this recipe, they’re so, so much better if you make them yourself!

Chinese Orange Chicken close up with sesame seeds and sliced spring onions.

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Place of orange chicken with rice.

Chinese Orange Chicken

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner


This easy, healthier recipe for Chinese Orange Chicken pairs tender, crispy chicken pieces with a tangy orange and soy sauce for a delicious dinner that is way better than anything you could order in!



For the Chinese Orange Chicken

  • 4 x skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • small egg white
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 60g (2 oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 tbsp light oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • thumb size piece ginger
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • sliced spring onions, for serving
  • toasted sesame seeds, for serving
  • jasmine rice, for serving

For the Sauce

  • 2 large oranges
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp runny honey


  1. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Whisk together the egg and soy sauce, and add the chicken to the bowl, stirring to coat. Pour the cornflour into another shallow bowl, and gradually spoon in the chicken, tossing to coat in the cornflour mix.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a non-stick wok of frying pan set over a medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, gradually fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden, crisp and just cooked through, setting them aside on a kitchen paper-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.
  3. Meanwhile, make the stir fry sauce by whisking together the zest of one of the oranges, the juice of both, the remaining 2 tbsp of soy sauce, the rice vinegar and the honey.
  4. Pour most of the frying oil out of the pan and return it to the stovetop, reducing the heat to medium. Add the garlic and ginger, peeled and grated, and the chilli flakes, frying for a few minutes until softened, but not quite starting to brown.
  5. Add the sauce to the pan, and turn the heat up to high. Once the sauce is bubbling and starting to reduce, add the chicken and cook, stirring often until the chicken is coated in a sticky sauce. Serve immediately.


Add water to the sauce if you think it is reducing too quickly to coat the chicken.

Keywords: chinese orange chicken, chinese, takeaway, takeout, stir fry