Spicy Orange-Ginger Chicken

February 18, 2013
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Carol Everitt McIntyre
    Carol Everitt McIntyre
  • Deborah Gilbertson Oberschelp
    Deborah Gilbertson Oberschelp
  • Transcendancing
  • ennuianomie
  • Valerie Bryan
    Valerie Bryan

70 Reviews

Carol E. September 8, 2020
OhhhMmmmmGeeee! This recipe is awesome! Not sweet, with a wonderful gingery kick and a great orange flavour! I used fresh orange juice, fresh ginger and garlic. This is going to be a regular meal at our house.
Thanks so much.
JennyDodson November 18, 2019
Orange zest can be overpowering more than the juice in my experience. I think this recipe is fantastic, and you can always add more of whatever - Fresh orange juice is really critical to me, when I make this and I admit to using a little cornstarch, it stands up great with broccoli, - Thank you for the recipe Fox!
don November 5, 2019
I was leery of the amount of ginger and sriracha in this recipe, especially with a husband who isn’t crazy about a lot of heat, but it was an unqualified success and it got moved to my favorites. I saw in a couple of reviews that people thought the amount of orange was overwhelming, but I reduced it just a bit and thought the hint of orange was just right. I left out the orange zest (didn’t seem to need it) and I added some steamed asparagus which worked perfectly.
Deborah G. September 4, 2017
Ok got it now, the first screen I looked at started with the fifth ingredient. I started over again in my search and the new screen lists all.
Deborah G. September 4, 2017
I can't see ginger listed in the ingredients for ginger chicken.
Christopher L. May 15, 2017
Pretty good recipe, I would suggest cutting the sriracha in half and adding more corn starch until desired thickness.
Joanne January 31, 2017
Really good, especially for a week night! Used fresh OJ, added broccoli, (saute between the chicken and sauce and add it all together at the end) Didn't need the corn starch---boiled the remaining sauce for 3 minutes and it reduced nicely. Along with the green onions, sprinkled some sesame seeds on top. Definitely a repeat.
Michelle September 14, 2016
Super good. Omitted orange peel. Sauce was a little thick so added about 1/4 c orange juice right before serving. Brightened the orange flavor a bit too.
Anna July 2, 2016
I'm not sure how this got so many positive reviews.. I made it almost as outlined, a little less orange juice as some reviewers suggested, and it was pretty awful. Still way to orangey, flavor not complex at all. Mine turned out much lighter than the picture but I did sub some of the sriracha for chilis. Maybe I just don't cook enough Chinese inspired foods to know how to salvage this and I'm just too much of a food snob but I wouldn't recommend this recipe to anyone, I ended up throwing most of it out.
Transcendancing February 10, 2016
This was delicious - and nice and spicy too. I added a fraction more dark brown sugar because the marinade with the zest had some bitterness to it. Overall it was a very simple dish that delivered on flavour - orange and ginger, umami and sweet, spicy. I served it simply over broccoli and it was great. Will definitely make this again!
ennuianomie August 18, 2015
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.
Valerie B. August 7, 2015
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.
plainhomecook April 18, 2015
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.
Laura April 14, 2015
I did not have cornstarch so used 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed instead and it worked fine! Delicious recipe!
Rosie D. January 26, 2017
Love that idea !
LeeLeeBee April 10, 2015
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.
laura February 26, 2015
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!
foxeslovelemons February 26, 2015
Thanks so much, theseasonedtraveler. I'm going to have to try this with blood oranges myself! I'm so glad you liked this recipe :)
Karla February 14, 2015
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.
Janet February 14, 2015
Veggie's sound like a great idea. Try some cashew nuts sometime really adds the crunch factor.
joybells1713 January 25, 2015
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!
Marsha G. January 25, 2015
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.
Bill January 20, 2015
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
Janet January 25, 2015
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.
Ashley February 20, 2015
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.