Spicy Orange-Ginger Chicken

February 18, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
In This Recipe


  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:
Asian|Chicken|Ginger|Green Onion/Scallion|Orange|Orange Juice|Vinegar|Soy Sauce|Fall|Spring|Summer|Winter

Reviews (67) Questions (0)

67 Reviews

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. <br /><br />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.
theseasonedtraveler 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!
Author Comment
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
Karla,<br />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.<br />http://www.what-marsha-eats.tumblr.com
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:<br />1/2 cup honey<br />1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce<br />1/4 cup blackberry jam<br />1/4 cup hoisin sauce<br />1 Tablespoon olive oil<br />3 cloves garlic, minced<br />1/2 cup diced onion<br />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.
Leslie January 19, 2015
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!
Janet January 25, 2015
Leslie, <br />The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of orange juice? Did you read it wrong?
Amy R. January 19, 2015
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.
Carolynne H. January 19, 2015
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.... <br /><br />
Janet January 19, 2015
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!
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons January 19, 2015
More Rooster sauce is ALWAYS the right way to go, Janet :)
Joan January 18, 2015
@foxgloves<br />This has inspired a new interest in finding some "doable" Chinese type food recipes to maybe have a buffet type party in the future.<br />Do you have any other Oriental style recipes in your wheelhouse?
LeadingLatte January 18, 2015
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. :)
Joan January 18, 2015
Made this last night! It was delicious!<br />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!
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons January 19, 2015
Love the bell pepper idea, Joan!
Deb K. January 10, 2015
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.
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons January 19, 2015
So glad your family loved it, Deb!
Kate M. January 9, 2015
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.
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons January 19, 2015
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!
pattyrat January 5, 2015
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.
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons January 19, 2015
That orange ginger linguine sounds amazing, pattyrat. Gotta love farmer's market finds like that :)
LeadingLatte January 4, 2015
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!
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons January 4, 2015
I'm so glad you liked it, LeadingLatte. Also, that username makes me smile :)
drbabs December 21, 2014
I made this tonight for the first time and served it with this: https://food52.com/recipes/27723-grace-young-s-stir-fried-iceberg-lettuce<br />(only I used bok choy in place of the lettuce). It was a fantastic meal--one of my top meals all year. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons December 22, 2014
Thanks so much, Barbara! And thanks for introducing me to that stir-fried lettuce recipe. That sounds like something I will love!
theliz December 21, 2014
Enjoyed it so much! Thank you.
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons December 21, 2014
You're welcome, theliz! Thanks!
alaparc December 13, 2014
This recipe makes it to my weeknight rotation. Brilliant!
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons December 15, 2014
So glad to hear that, alaparc! Thanks!
holly December 8, 2014
OK, so I made this AGAIN and there IS such a thing as too much sriracha, ginger, garlic, etc. My husband was sweating. Also, you really do need rice. I tried it with wilted spinach and it didn't work at all. Stick to the recipe, people!!!!
Monica December 8, 2014
I made this recipe and it was FANTASTIC!!!! T
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons December 9, 2014
Thanks so much, Monica!
Jessica December 7, 2014
Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. Thank you for the recipe!
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons December 7, 2014
You're welcome Jessica! Thank you!
holly December 3, 2014
Theresa!!! You are my kind of gal! I added a little more of everything, too. I have made this recipe WAY too many times. I am obsessed. Thanks again, foxeslovelemons!
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons December 4, 2014
So glad you love it, Holly!
Theresa G. December 3, 2014
I made this last night and it was amazing! I did make a few modifications, I upped the sriracha to a very generous 4 tbsp, in place of OJ I used Sunny D since it was all I had on hand, I then juiced the oranges that I used for the zest and added the pulp, I doubled the garlic and ginger and I added in a few good "glugs" of sake, marinated for a couple of hours and cooked the chicken in a mix of olive oil and sesame oil.
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons December 4, 2014
This reminds me of a trip I took to New Orleans with a bunch of friends. We started out drinking mimosas each morning in our rental house. Toward the end of the trip, OJ and champagne somehow became Sunny D and white wine :)<br /><br />But seriously, glad you liked the recipe. The more sriracha, the better, in my book.
lasciviouslunch November 30, 2014
Do you think this would work ok with firm tofu instead of chicken?
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons December 1, 2014
Hi lasciviouslunch! While I don't have a ton of experience cooking with tofu, I don't see why it wouldn't work. Just use your best judgement as far as marinating and cooking time :) Good luck!
alexandra December 10, 2014
If you drain the tofu, coat it with corn starch and lightly fry it, it should turn out delicious. That's how we make sesame tofu and general tso's tofu at my restaurant.
Barbara November 30, 2014
You discard the marinade because it has raw meat juices and particles in it and it would be a health hazard to ingest it unless you cooked it for a much longer time than the recipe calls. This is a basic rule for most cooks and I am surprised this was not mentioned in your reply to him.
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons November 30, 2014
Actually, marinade can be used as a sauce *if* it's brought to a rolling boil. This recipe does call for boiling the reserved marinade, anyway. However, in this case, I discarded the used marinade because it simply wasn't needed. There was plenty of sauce (for my taste) without adding the used marinade. However, if anybody wanted extra sauce, they could safely add the used marinade back to the recipe, as long as it was brought to a rolling boil.<br /><br />http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/barbecue-and-food-safety/CT_Index/!ut/p/a1/jZDLCsJADEW_xQ8YkloVXcqA2Kot4mucjUQ7bQd0Ku34_HqrblR8Javk3kPCBQkCpKG9TsjqzND6OsvGAofYcFoc_bDldNALpsOwxzk2R_XSMP9iCNw_-Q_Vxl-8_8eBaj7ggwTklmzKtIkzEImyjExxUHkBIs6yiBUUK3tiMa0sK1KlbClcd-ympmSitTYJiCXlS7XaqRKP2AMJgo8XnonUEWYgn79Cp2wvcEe1rh-4GNZeDW9iuxs-57LdTMS53-6i9ioXHjLtmQ!!/#3
JL H. November 11, 2014
Taste was just okay, but not a keeper. I would've had to boil/reduce the sauce for way longer than a minute for it to obtain that shiny lacquered appearance portrayed in the lovely photograph. Maybe I should have used blood oranges?
holly November 10, 2014
I just made this and my husband said "this should be a signature dish at a restaurant". It's really really good. I'll tell you what I did differently, which is all just me and my taste. I added more sriracha. I rough chopped the garlic and ginger so I got a little surprise in my mouth every now and then. I marinated the chicken longer (softer chicken OK with me). I zested the whole orange. It is SO good. I will definitely keep this on my desktop for quick reference! Thank you so much for sharing, foxeslovelemons.
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons November 11, 2014
Awww, you're making me blush, Holly! So glad you both loved it. And really, my motto is always "MORE sriracha," so I think you made the right move :)
Sarah November 9, 2014
Could I marinate this for longer than an hour? Id love to be able to prep before work and cook it right when I get home since there's always a scramble to get kids fed and in bed.
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons November 9, 2014
Hi Sarah! Citrus juices like orange juice tend to break down and tenderize meat pretty quickly. You could definitely let it marinate all day, but just be aware that the chicken might have a pretty soft texture. Hope that makes sense.
Larry S. November 6, 2014
It looks like a great recipe but I'm perplexed as to why would I discard the marinade when it is used later in step 3 to make the sauce. <br />I'm excited to try this recipe and I will report on the outcome!
Author Comment
foxeslovelemons November 6, 2014
Hi Larry! The marinade is divided: you use 1/3 cup to marinate the chicken (which you discard), and then the remainder of the reserved marinade is used to make the sauce. Hope that helps :)