Spicy Orange-Ginger Chicken

By • February 18, 2013 59 Comments

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Author Notes: Inspired by Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken, this dish is a much-healthier version to make at home! Made with mostly pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients, this stir-fry doesn't cost very much to make. If you'd rather not buy fresh oranges, you can certainly use refrigerated orange juice instead. This dish is spicy, sweet, sour and satisfying.foxeslovelemons

Serves 4

  • 1 1/4 cups orange juice (preferably fresh)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha (or more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Brown rice, white rice or quinoa for serving
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  1. In small bowl, whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, sriracha, vinegar, brown sugar, orange zest, and pepper. Place chicken in a large ziploc bag; pour 1/3 cup marinade over chicken. Seal bag and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Heat large skillet or wok over high heat. Add remaining oil. In 2 batches, add chicken and cook each batch 5 to 6 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and has lost its pink color throughout, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-high; add remaining marinade to skillet; heat to boiling. In small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water; whisk into marinade, and boil 1 minute. Return chicken to skillet; cook 1 minute or until heated through. Serve over rice or quinoa, sprinkled with green onions.

More Great Recipes: Chicken Breasts|Quinoa|Chicken|Entrees|Olive Oil

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Comments (59) Questions (0)


10 days ago ennuianomie

It's a nice and simple recipe with a lot of flavour. Like others here, next time I will reduce the amount of orange juice, and probably leave out the zest. The zest had bitter notes to it than didn't jibe for me. I ended up adding honey to the sauce as I felt it needed more sweetness.


21 days ago Valerie Bryan

I thought I would enjoy this more than what I did with all of this effusive praise and such a beautiful pic. I always try a recipe as-is the first time. Here are the changes I'd make, as this was quite one-note to me and nowhere near the level of spice of an authentic spicy Chinese dish. It's way too orangey, so I would cut the juice and peel by almost half. It needs more vinegar and soy sauce than what is in the recipe to get the salty/sour notes right. With this much liquid, more vinegar and soy is needed so as to not be overpowered by the orange flavor, maybe a tsp of dark soy sauce too (and I did squeeze my own for the recipe). I would also level off the garlic to be equivalent with the ginger. And it needs more spice. Though I love sriracha, it's pretty one-note itself as a flavoring ingredient. I would use more sriracha but also add some dried chilis for a different type of spicy flavoring, between the chicken and sauce cook. That is when I would also saute some more aromatics (garlic and ginger), it packs more of a whallop that way also. Perhaps the garlic and ginger could be divided between the marinade and this stage of cooking (3 tbsp each). I would entertain the idea of replacing the white pepper with Sichuan pepper, as the white pepper seemed to serve no purpose. Last, olive oil cannot withstand high heat cooking as its smoke point is too low. I tried it this way on faith from all of the positive comments, and the chicken was scorched and I almost ruined my wok. I had to scrub it down so hard that the seasoning was completely gone.

I rehabbed what I cooked with more soy sauce and some chili garlic sauce, and it was delicious, but I see these modifications as necessary for improvement.


4 months ago plainhomecook

I used cara cara oranges and cut the sriracha in half because we're heat wimps. I threw in some leftover steamed asparagus right at the end. After I boiled down the sauce hard for two minutes, it looked just as beautiful as the picture and we lapped it all up. Thanks so much Foxeslovelemons.


5 months ago Laura

I did not have cornstarch so used 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed instead and it worked fine! Delicious recipe!


5 months ago LeeLeeBee

I made this last night and it was delicious and so easy! I steamed some veggies and pour the extra sauce on them. So good.


6 months ago theseasonedtraveler

Made this tonight and it's hitting all the notes I love at once - ginger, citrus, heat. I used blood oranges and the color is just like the picture above. Delicious and so, so easy. Now excuse me while I go lick the skillet. Thanks, foxeslovelemons, for a great recipe I'll definitely be making frequently!


6 months ago foxeslovelemons

Thanks so much, theseasonedtraveler. I'm going to have to try this with blood oranges myself! I'm so glad you liked this recipe :)


6 months ago Karla

Love this recipe! I add broccoli and onions for more veggies in a one dish meal and only 1tsp of shiracha since it is super spicy with even a hefty squirt.


6 months ago Janet

Veggie's sound like a great idea. Try some cashew nuts sometime really adds the crunch factor.


7 months ago joybells1713

This is just delicious. I made it as-is and added some steamed snap peas on the side. It was a perfect addition of color, crunch, and vegetable. I've also passed this on to my folks, as my dad is on a low sodium, low fat diet and he is desperate for dishes that have bold (or any) flavor. The low-sodium soy sauce really does the trick. Thank you for sharing!


7 months ago Marsha Gainey

This recipe is legit spicy, ya'll! It's good, but even with me using 1 T. sriracha and 2 T. grated fresh ginger, I still had to drink a lot of bev with every plateful. I marinated mine overnight with no problems. Will make again with some heat modifications.


7 months ago Bill

Picture is incredibly misleading...which in hindsight should have been obvious with that much OJ and soy sauce, would take a huge amount of sriracha to get it a shade of red like that...comes out more brown-ish. Was ok, but not great...for a better sauce, reduce this for ~2.5 lbs of chicken cooked the same way:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup blackberry jam
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


7 months ago Janet

I'm sure color was added. But if you want that color you could add red food coloring or red beet dye. It will give you the same look.


6 months ago Ashley

I used blood oranges and got the same remarkable red color with only half the amount of added sriracha. A major recipe winner in our house.


7 months ago Leslie

This was really delicious! I would probably reduce the fresh orange juice to 1 1/4 cup, but really, really delicious! I also added a thinly sliced red bell pepper and some mushrooms and stir fried them after the batches of chicken. A keeper for sure! Thank you!


7 months ago Janet

The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of orange juice? Did you read it wrong?


7 months ago Amy Randolph

This was outstanding!!!!!! I used broccoli instead of rice for a lower carb option...and the broccoli soaked up the DELICIOUS sauce without a problem.


7 months ago Carolynne Huggins

Wow! I got some major brownie points with hubby tonight with this recipe! I did saute some green pepper and sweet onion in the pan after cooking the chicken. 2 tablespoons sriracha seemed to be perfect for him. He said it was spicy but perfectly so. I will be making this again. Actually, he said he wants it again....


7 months ago Janet

Awesome! Made yesterday and was so great. I only made half just in case I didn't like it but wish I had made the whole recipe. I did add a little more of the "Rooster" cause I always do! Thanks for the post!


7 months ago foxeslovelemons

More Rooster sauce is ALWAYS the right way to go, Janet :)


7 months ago Joan

This has inspired a new interest in finding some "doable" Chinese type food recipes to maybe have a buffet type party in the future.
Do you have any other Oriental style recipes in your wheelhouse?


7 months ago LeadingLatte

Joan, my first foray into DIY Chinese cooking was Joanne Chang's Hot & Sour soup on Food52. Quite delicious and easy to modify ingredients based on what you can get at your local grocery store. It, along with Foxes' awesome orange-ginger chicken are my two go-to Chinese recipes now. :)


7 months ago Joan

Made this last night! It was delicious!
I served with rice. Next time I think I will add a bit more heat and maybe add some thin sliced green, red or yellow peppers at the last minute...for a little flavor interest and color!


7 months ago foxeslovelemons

Love the bell pepper idea, Joan!


8 months ago Deb Koker

I just made this - thought the sauce tasted just right. The whole family loved it! I served it with rice and steamed broccoli. Next time I'm gonna stir fry some sliced mushrooms and add those too.


7 months ago foxeslovelemons

So glad your family loved it, Deb!


8 months ago Kate McGinnis

made this for dinner last night and really enjoyed it! Though I think I will cut back on the orange juice to just a cup. Found the sauce to be just overpowering orange juice flavor. Though I used just regular Tropicana orange juice so maybe I should have used fresh squeezed orange juice. I also sauteed some vidalia onion and added the cooked onion to the sauce at the end with the chicken. It was good with the onion. Maybe add Snow peas next time. Thanks for the recipe.


7 months ago foxeslovelemons

Hi Kate! So glad you enjoyed this. I think fresh orange juice does make a little bit of a difference in this recipe. The vidalia onion and snow peas sound like great additions!


8 months ago pattyrat

Just made this for dinner, it's tasty! However, for my personal taste, I would prefer slightly less heat and a little more sweet & tangy to balance it out. I can't imagine increasing the sriracha as some commenters have, I'm sweating as it is! And to me, the spicy is overwhelming and distracts from the other flavors. Overall very good though and I will definitely make again with slight adjustments! I served the chicken over some orange ginger linguine I got at the local farmer's market, added a nice touch of subtle flavor as well.


7 months ago foxeslovelemons

That orange ginger linguine sounds amazing, pattyrat. Gotta love farmer's market finds like that :)


8 months ago LeadingLatte

Made this last night -- it was absolutely delicious and a total keeper! I made some slight modifications (upped the sugar and siracha to taste and cut the corn starch by 1/3 but cooked down longer at the end to make up for it). So so good, looking forward to making again soon -- thanks Foxes!


8 months ago foxeslovelemons

I'm so glad you liked it, LeadingLatte. Also, that username makes me smile :)