Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken Recipe

Growing up in a small agricultural community in Northern California, we had exactly 3 Chinese restaurants. Because my mom tended to cook almost every night, Chinese take-out was a rare treat that we all looked forward to.

My mom loved the “Mongolian” Beef, my step-dad the Sweet and Sour Pork, my sister was an Almond Chicken gal, and as for myself, I was a fan of the “Singapore” Noodles. After leaving home and making some “real” Chinese and Singaporean friends, I came to the the horrifying realization that the take-out I’d been eating out of those pagoda clad paper containers was not Chinese food at all.

To me, it was a disgraceful hack at an ancient cuisine and I grew to shun the “fake” Chinese restaurants littering America’s strip-malls. Instead, I’d take great pains to seek out authentic holes-in-wall where they speak no English and their idea of service is to toss you out if you take too long to eat.

Orange Chicken

They say you grow wiser with age, or maybe I just outgrew my food snobbery. Either way, I realized that just as a Shanghainese person might crave the Scallion Pancakes they ate from road-side vendors as a child, or a Singaporean might crave Chicken Rice from a Hawker Centre, I realized that I craved the sweet sticky flavors of the American Chinese kitchen.

But there’s a fine line between moist and greasy, sweet and cloying, and savory and artificial. It’s a line that most American Chinese restaurants cross, and so I’ve decided to come up with my own versions of all my childhood favorites. The great thing is that almost all American Chinese dishes are simple to make and the ingredients easy to find. How else would a chef keep up with the 20+ pages of menu options that show up in most Chinese menus?

So to start things off, here’s my version of Orange Chicken. First I infuse the meat with a soy sauce and ginger marinade, before coating it with potato starch and deep frying. To glaze the savory chicken, I thicken a mixture of marmalade and orange juice with just enough starch to give the chicken a glistening sheen of sweetness. In this case, the cheaper the marmalade you use, the better your orange chicken will turn out, so don’t bother spending a lot of money on a fancy orange preserve.

Equipment you'll need:

Orange Chicken Recipe
Orange Chicken
Print Recipe
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Votes: 240
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Rate this recipe!
Fried chicken coated in a sweet and tangy orange glaze, a Chinese-American classic.
Orange Chicken Recipe
Orange Chicken
Print Recipe
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 240
Rating: 3.99
Rate this recipe!
Fried chicken coated in a sweet and tangy orange glaze, a Chinese-American classic.
Servings Prep Time
Cook Time Passive Time
15minutes 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
Cook Time Passive Time
15minutes 15minutes
  • 450 grams chicken thighs - boneless skinless cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 teaspoon ginger - fresh grated
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Put the chicken in a bowl with the soy sauce, sake and ginger and marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. When the chicken is done marinating, lightly dust each piece with potato starch. Chicken dusted with potato starch
  3. Heat a pot with at least 1/2" of oil in it over medium heat until hot.
  4. In a separate pan, add the orange juice, marmalade, 2 teaspoons of potato starch and the salt and whisk to combine.
  5. Fry the chicken until golden brown and transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Fried Chicken for Orange Chicken
  6. When the chicken is done frying, heat the orange sauce over medium high heat, stirring constantly to prevent clumping until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Add the fried chicken into the orange sauce and toss to coat. Orange Sauce for Chicken
  7. You can garnish it with some chopped red bell pepper for some extra color.

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  • leaf (the indolent cook)

    As someone with a Chinese background, I tend to be wary of some Westernized Chinese concoctions, but some do have their merits. Your version of orange chicken is definitely something I’d go for!

  • foodieO

    YUUMy~ looks super delish!!!  by the way, do you have a recipe for mongolian beef?

  • Louis

    Marc, I think you should tackle the Singapore Noodles next — which cannot be found anywhere in Singapore, but we all love the dish anyways. 😉

  • Barbara

    Can you recommend a potato starch substitute? (nightshade allergy) thanks!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Cornstarch will work as a substitute.

  • Nasi Lemak Lover

    Hmm, your version of orange chicken sound so yummy!

  • Ting

    I second the request for Singapore Noodle recipe :)

  • William Stoneman

    Nice!!  Thanks for sharing

  • Meister @ The Nervous Cook

    What are these “Singapore noodles” everybody is talking about?? 

    (And thank you, Marc, for coming clean on your love for Americanized Chinese food. The Sichuan restaurant my husband & I always go to has a page of “American” Chinese food in the front of a menu full of authentic, cheek-burning dishes like fish-head casserole and jellyfish in chili oil, and I’m always too embarrassed to order from it even though G-d help me I love cold sesame noodles and garlic-sauce green beans…)

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Seems like Singapore noodles might be next of my list of American Chinese dishes to make. It’s basically rice vermicelli stir-fried with curry powder, bamboo, bell peppers, bean sprouts, pork, etc.

      • Ting

        yes! yes!

  • Blog is the New BLack

    Wow, this looks amazing!  I love homemade Asian dishes so that you control the sodium and “fake” ingredients! 

  • Seansearsinc

    What would be a good pork substitute for this?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      You could probably use just about any boneless cut, but if it were me I’d probably use pork cheek or shoulder just because they have more fat (more flavor). If you’re looking for something leaner, use a loin.

  • Oui, Chef

    Orange chicken is a big fave of mine, can’t wait to try your new and improved version.

    • Muhammad Ghazanfar

      i am also impressed by this recipe n will try soon.

  • vanillasugarblog

    one of my favorites.  well, and orange beef too.  looks good marc!

  • essays

    I Really enjoyed your blog. I just bookmarked it. I am a regular visitor of your website I will share It with my friends .Thanks.

  • Julie

    Thanks for sharing!  I’ve been looking for “healthier” alternatives to chinese food.  These look super yummy!  

  • Anonymous

    The first photo of the orange chicken is so vivid and immediate. Absolutely gorgeous photography–I understand why you have been nominated for best photography for your blog.

    Best of luck,


  • aaaaoldman

    to be real authentic it needs some MSG. yummmm MSG the worlds best known nocebo

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hahaha, good point! But if you taste this, I don’t think you’ll miss the MSG.

  • Apple @Polkadotsandchopsticks

    I’ve never heard of Orange Chicken before. All of the “chinese” restaurants around here have lemon chicken though. I have to try this. So easy and vibrant!

  • e cigarette starter kit

    Hey,nice post.My uncle is perfect in making chicken.He always try different types of experiment with chicken but he has never made orange chicken.I think this recipe is really surprise for him.

  • Kelly Senyei

    Oh wow, Marc! This looks stunning and I could seriously go for a bowl of it right now for lunch :) 

  • ali

    wow!!! the chicken looks soooo good. really salivating here. I could use a plate right now :)

  • Johnandrewwalsh

    THIS! This is amazing. I made it for some friends today and now they all think I’m a genius. Thanks!

  • Candace Karu

    I don’t have to get take-out any more! Thanks for this recipe.

  • Nipponnin

    This is my kind of food. Fried, tangy and just right sweetness. Thank you for the recipe.

  • The Dinner Belle

    I currently have corn starch–could it be used as a substitute for potato starch or will it create a different consistency on the chicken and in the sauce?

    The Dinner Belle for

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Cornstarch will work in a pinch, but it will create a different texture.

  • suki

    Guess there’s no need to visit Panda Express for my faux-Chinese food cravings. :) 

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  • William Stoneman

    Quick and simple…thanks!!

  • Roni

    This is a
    nice content.Orange chicken is a popular Chinese dish in the United States.I
    like this post.This is an amazing.I appreciate to this one.The written skill
    is so good.Thanks to share this blog with us.I will keep share in future.

  • Pourtapomme

    very quick and so delicious. thanks for this recipe, we loved it !

  • catering Fort Lauderdale

    Orange chicken is definitely one of the Chinese specialties that everyone loves. This version that tweaked the marmalade and orange sauce for glazing is really amazing. The dish really looked and tasted like an authentic Chinese cuisine. This is a great meal to serve for special occasions or fancy dinners. 

  • Natalia_runga

    orange marmalade?

    • Marc Matsumoto


      • Reputederror

        Hey I found a orange lemon (Might be lime)  and grapefruit marmaladae…You think I should stick to just orange?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Hmm you may have found either a Meyer Lemon or a Jamaican Sweet Lime. Either case, they have a lot less acidity than a regular lemon, so it might be a good substitute. You may need to adjust the amount of sweetness to account for any additional acidity though. I’m always a fan of playing with food. It doesn’t always turn out well, but it’s through experimentation that you find really great combos. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  • Nwmama68

    Can’t wait to try this and its gluten free!!!  Thanks!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, as long as you use a gluten-free tamari soy sauce this would be gluten-free:-)

      • Ann

        I’m kinda confused what’s the difference between tamari and shoyu?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Shoyu is the Japanese word for soy sauce and encompasses all different types of soy sauce including koikuchi, usukuchi, shiro, and tamari. Tamari literally means “to accumulate” and is in reference to how it used to be made, as a by product that accumulates on the surface of miso. It’s typically (though not always) made without the addition of wheat which makes it gluten free.

  • Nipponnin

    I made this other day. This is a really keeper recipe and it was not difficult. My family loved it. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Reputederror

    I cannot find potato starch anywhere.  Where would I find that?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Not sure where you are located, but Whole Foods in the US sells Bob’s Redmill brand potato starch.

      • Reputederror

        I am in Oklahoma and we have a natural food center I found it at.  Better be good because a box if almost $15.00!  lol

        Also do you use both on coating and thickening?  Or do you use potato starch flour?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Yep potato starch for both the coating and thickening. Wow that’s spendy! It will make a big difference on the frying side (the coating), the thickening is a smaller difference, but I like the texture better than cornstarch for thickening purposes as well. It’s also great used to thicken pie fillings (just remember that potato starch has half the thickening power of cornstarch).

  • Brittani

    If i marinate the chicken longer, would it produce to strong of a taste?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      It will probably be a little more salty, but I don’t think it would be too strong.

  • Sky


    So, I have tried the Orange Chicken at Thai Kitchen, it was the bom! I really loved the Orange Chicken at Thai Kitchen and I have been trying to find a really good recipe for Orange Chicken, so I was looking at recipes for Orange Chicken and your recipe popped up as ‘ Best Orange Chicken Recipe’, I look forward to trying this recipe and I am hoping that this is the one that tastes just like Thai Kitchen Orange Chicken!

    Take Care,
    Skyler Ergler 

  • Kristie Sokoupatham

    What if I don’t have sake is there any other substitute I can use?  

    • Reputederror

      Esp since I dont drink Sake either and it is quite expensive to buy just to cook with.  Does it keep good?

      • Marc Matsumoto

        Sake will keep for quite a while in the refrigerator and is an essential seasoning in Japanese cuisine (sake contains umami compounds that make dishes taste better). Unfortunately there is no similar substitute. However in this particular dish, since there are a lot of other dominant flavors you could substitute water.

    • Katekins

      Dry sherry is not the same but similar enough to sake if you need to substitute.

  • Stacey

    Thanks for this website.  I was feeling to cook the Family some orange chicken today, but now since I found your site, I might have to say it for another.  Don’t have all the ingredients in stock   :(.  I will save this to my favs and try it another day.  Thanks

  • Bhertp13

    Hi! Can i use mandarine oranges in can? as subtitutes for oranges fresh juice? thanks

    • Marc Matsumoto

      It needs to be a liquid and it also benefits from the acidity of orange juice. While you could drain The mandarins and purée them, I think it might be too sweet.

  • Mollie

    Hi Marc,
    This recipe looks so delicious. I can’t wait to try it out, but do you think brown rice flour will work to coat the chicken? I don’t usually buy potato starch.   

    • Marc Matsumoto

      I’ve never used brown rice flour before so I’m honestly not sure what this will do. Worth a shot though. Let me know how it goes.

  • Peleydh

    If I use cornstarch instead of potatoe starch for both frying and the sauce will it change the taste of the recipe?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      You can substitute it 1:1 for the frying, but you should reduce the amount for the sauce. As for taste it won’t change the flavor, but it will change the texture of the sauce.

      • Reedpebbles

        oo ok …. i was tyrying this for the first time n my life so thanks for your tips


    how long does it take to prepare?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Including marinade time, you should be able to do this in under an hour, but a lot of it depends on how quickly you work. 

      • Wolf

        I know I didn’t reply earlier but I want to thank you for the advice. Turned out great!

  • Wolf

    Can’t use sake or anything with any alcohol content. What would be a good substitute that would lend a good flavor? (I know it won’t match but I’m sure someone would know something that lends a good flavor in and of itself)

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Try substituting orange juice for the sake. Otherwise water would also work.

  • Gingervllgs

    What type of marmalade do i use? Orange marmalade? Please and thank you

    • Marc Matsumoto

      For orange chicken, you would use orange marmalade. If you want to make lemon chicken you could substitute in lemon marmalade.

  • Eccovoz

    I was wondering what I can do to make this spicy. What would you recommend?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Great idea! Just add some minced red chilis (use thai bird chilies if you want it really spicy), into the orange sauce.

  • Jennifer_b5

    I attempted this recipe tonight and it was very close to the fast food version. My 5 yr old daughter asked that I make her orange chicken and didn’t end up liking it made this way, unfortunately. I personally think it was the marmalade because I could taste the tang from the marmalade and that may have been too much for her. But my husband and I both thought it was delicious. I do have one question, the orange juice, is that from a carton or from squeezing oranges? I squeezed my own because the amount was small enough I figured might as well. Also, this could have used some spiciness. I didn’t add any because of my daughter but next time will for sure!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      I usually just use orange juice from the carton, but you could certainly use fresh squeezed juice as well.

  • John

    Do you think that it is possible to get the same texture by just frying the chicken in the wok with much less oil instead of deep frying?

    Do you think I could clone P.F. Chang’s kung pao chicken with this method?  I already know the sauce details, but have trouble getting that “potato starch dusted” texture.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi John, if your goal is to make this healthier, frying in less oil will likely increase the fat content of the dish. The reason for this is that when you deep fry at the proper temperature, you’re heat the entire piece of chicken rapidly, which turns surface moisture to steam. The escaping gases prevent a ton of oil from entering the breading and underlying meat. If you shallow fry, you’re only heating part of the chicken, allowing splashed oil to seep into the other half until you flip it. From a texture perspective, you’re chicken won’t cook evenly if you shallow fry, and so you’re going to get parts that are over cooked and parts that are barely cooked. Aside from conserving oil, there’s really no good reason to shallow-fry for this dish.

      As for P.F. Chang’s kung pao chicken, I’ve never had it so I can’t comment, but try making the orange chicken and if the texture matches up, then give it a go with your KPC sauce recipe:-)

      • John

        Thanks Marc!  I guess my goal was to not have extra oil left over when cooking a quick dish at home.  I have the same problem with mongolian beef because i need to deep fry it first to get it “dry”, but then I have left over oil.

        • Marc Matsumoto

          I know what you mean. I hate using a bunch of oil and then throwing it out after one use. That’s why I usually cluster a few deep fried things together. Also, if you use a pot with a shorter diameter, you’ll use less oil to get the required depth. The only drawback is that you’ll need to fry in batches so it will take a little more time. I usually use a pot with a diameter of about 6-8 inches.

          • Anita

            I hate throwing away oil after one use, so i take one of those metal coffee cans and save it by usage type. To clarify, if I use it for chicken, like in this recipe, once its cooled a little I pour it into the coffee can and label it chicken, if I use it for pork I label a different can with that in it pork, which keeps it from getting “dirty” too quickly and doesn’t make my pork taste like chicken when I reuse it for the next round of fried pork chops or something, LoL!!. As I pour it into the container I pour it through a mesh strainer, to get any little tiny pieces of debris left behind during frying. If your not satisfied, rinse out the pot it was in, pour the oil back into it, and send it through the mesh until you feel its suitable. My mother-in-law does it at least three times. Im good with once or twice. Once its completely and totally cooled I store it in the fridge. To be able to use it again you simply only need to set it out a couple hours before hand or as is common in the southern east coast region not in the fridge at all. Saves money, and prevents unnecessary wasting of perfectly decent oil! LoL.

            (::Please Note: this is not recommended for discolored brown very “dirty”(debris heavy) oils.::)

  • Pat

    I just bought a package of froze popcorn chicken. How can I use it to make the orange chicken?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      You could probably just make the sauce portion, reheat the chicken and add it into the sauce.

  • Tracy

    Hi Marc id like to do this with pork chops .. Is it worthy the try? And also is like to add fresh peppers.. Thnx in advance

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Sounds good! It might be easier to fry and give you a better sauce to meat ratio if you cut the pork chops up into chunks (think sweet and sour pork). Adding some heat to this dish also sounds great!

  • Cake Runner

    This is delicious! I highly recommend it and have made this dish for several occasions. It’s quick (less than an hour to make, including prep time) and very tasty.

  • Emma

    My brother a minute ago made this recipe. It tasted wonderful except the fact that it was way to orange for our liking. Are we allowed to take the orange down a notch?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Emma, my guess is it might have to do with the marmalade you used. It works best with really cheap marmalade (one with more water and sugar than oranges) as a good marmalade will make the orange flavor too potent. If that wasn’t the problem you could try substituting the orange juice with water.

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  • Neil

    Hello Marc and thank you for this recipe. I’m new to cooking and found this relatively easy to make, although i think i can do it better the next time.
    I couldn’t follow the recipe exactly because in the UK its difficult to find potato starch on the shelf at a supermarket. I couldn’t even find corn starch so i had to make do with tapioca which came in these little balls about 1mm across which i ground up in a coffee grinder. Contrary to other peoples comments, i found the orange flavour not quite strong enough so i may try a more expensive marmalade next time or just add a little more. Also i found the soy sauce was maybe a little over powering. It was dark soy sauce, is there such a thing as light soy sauce? If so should i have used that?
    I served it with some boil in the bag white rice which i seasoned with some squeezed fresh lemon. I think it went with the chicken quite well but i’d like to know what you would normally serve with it? Thanks Marc.

    Regards, Neil

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Neil thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. I think in the UK you guys call it “cornflour” but please make sure it’s white and powdery (not the yellow gritty corn meal). Although if you were able to get the tapioca ground fine enough I’m sure that would work too. As for the orange if you use a pricier marmalade you should get a more intense flavor (look for one with lots of orange peel in it). As for the soy sauce, I usually use Japanese dark soy sauce because it’s mild. There’s also Japanese light soy sauce which has a lighter color. I’m guessing you may have used Chinese dark soy sauce which is much more concentrated and has a more pungent aroma. I normally serve this with rice, and the lemon juice sounds like a great idea!

      • Neil

        Your right it was chinese soy sauce! I’ll have a look for Japanese next time or if i can’t find it i’ll use half the amount of the chinese and see if that works. Thanks Marc.

  • Franchesca

    wow, your recipes are just amazing and makes my stomach grow.
    I cannot wait to try them out! I’m so happy I found your website.

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  • Heather

    This was great! My kids *love* getting orange chicken whenever we go to the mall–they beg, even though we’re usually there for shopping. I made some a couple weeks ago, but it was *terrible*. They wouldn’t touch it (they’re 4 and 6). But I made this for dinner tonight with fried rice and veggies, and they devoured it. My 6 year old ate most of mine, too. Thanks so much!

  • Sammael

    I can’t find any orange marmelade, would tangerine marmelade do?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      It will taste different, but I don’t see why not.

  • Sheila

    Can’t wait to try the orange chicken. Between wheat allergy, low carb and no onions or peppers, my cooking is in an all time slump….I have some lemon curd I’ll substitute for the orange marmalade.

  • Laura Hunter

    I relate with you sentiment although I had the opposite issue. I grew up in Hong Kong and only had my first experience of American Chinese cuisine when I was a teenager. I instantly became a snob and refused to eat it. But over the years I have come to appreciate that every culture adapts food in different ways and that it isn’t a bad thing. I have grown fond of a few different American Chinese dishes, including orange chicken so I am excited to give this version a try.

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  • Harouna Mtumbo

    This looks really gross.

  • Sminee

    Where can I find sake in the United States?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Most liquor shops will carry it. If you live in a place like California, they should sell it in any upscale grocery stores (Wholefoods, Safeway, etc). Asian grocery stores will obviously have it, and if you want the biggest selection head to a Japanese grocery store. You can order it online as well (unless you live in Utah).

      • Currently in Utah

        I had to comment that your note about “unless you live in Utah” brought a smile to my face; as that’s where I currently live! I can’t believe how hard it is to cook Asian dishes, as so many of the ingredients I need I cannot get here; quite frustrating. Luckily I live close enough to another state border to grab some of what I need, but grr!

        Are there any substitutes for sake that give a similar taste?

  • peggy

    When you say marmalade, what type is best? Also, is there a replacement for sake if I don’t have it?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Peggy, I’m not sure what brands you have in your area, but I usually use the cheapest stuff they carry at the grocery store. As for the sake, you can substitute water if you can’t find sake in your area.

      • Peggy

        Okay, thanks for getting back to me. I’m very excited to try it. Your recipes all look so good!


    I loved the sauce…thank u

  • Fana Esbee

    is there anyway that I can substitute the sake? Preferably with non-alcohol ingredients?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      You could use water or orange juice.

  • Awesome

    I love orange chicken but never am able to make it it’s often to hard

  • family chef

    This sauce was easy and my kids loved it. I actually cheated and used popcorn chicken (fried it) and then made the sauce and then put chicken in sauce and was really good and quick! I also put in red crushed chili peppers for a spicy taste!! I had about a 1/2 serving of leftovers…that shows that my family really liked this recipe since I have 2 picky teenagers!!!!

  • Novice Chef

    I made it, it was easy enough and tasty but the starch clotted in the sauce how can I keep that from happening?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      The starch needs to be completely dissolved in the sauce mixture before adding it to the pan as it sets very quickly in the pan. Any unevenly distributed starch will manifest as lumps in the sauce once the starch sets. The starch may tend to settle in the sauce mixture if it sits for a while, so be sure to give it a stir again before adding it to the pan.

  • ash

    my store doesn`t sell marmalade what could I use instead

    • Marc Matsumoto

      You could make your own marmalade. Otherwise I can’t think of a great substitute without completely changing the recipe. For instance you could use fresh orange zest and more juice, but you’ll need to add more sugar and starch to the mixture and change the cooking time.

  • Seascent

    The day that non-Chinese realise that food served in Chinese restaurants with tacky cheesy ‘Cheena’ decorations and in ‘pagoda’ takeaway containers is not real Chinese food but heavily modified to cater to the tastes of non-Chinese, is the day of reckoning that the person actually gets the essence of real Chinese food. You nailed it.

    Somehow Chinese restaurants with tacky decorations = the real deal. Real Chinese stay away from such restaurants. Of course, this could just be a sweeping statement but it’s generally true.

    Another way to tell between real Chinese restaurants and not so authentic ones is to see if there are more Chinese patrons than non-Chinese ones. We tend to scoff at non-authentic Chinese restaurants and laugh at those non-Chinese who think the non-authentic Chinese restaurant food they are paying for is the real deal.

    And by saying that Singaporeans prefer getting their chicken rice from hawker centre than swanky hotels, you have gotten to the hearts of Singaporeans when it comes to food. (I’m Singaporean.) :)

  • Uni

    In a long distance relationship, my girlfriend and I just made this dish with each other over the phone and it turned out great on both ends! Thanks so much for a simple quick recipe.

  • NotSo PC LisaLisa

    Tonight was the third time I’ve made this recipe (we love it), but tonight I didn’t have an orange for juice so I used the juice of 2 lemons and …. wait for it… Ruby Red Light for the rest of the measurement. I also used homemade “bitter” marmalade I made the start of the year. With the addition of 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes the sauce was unusually amazing. I simply adore the art AND science of cooking! Thank you again for the lovely recipe, Marc.

  • Kerry Enos

    I wanted to let you know I was really struggling to find and Orange Chicken recipe that was edible with no success. Until I found your recipe!! It was exactly what I was looking for, the “sticky” sauce version. I modified a little using almond flour for the chicken coating and fresh squeezed orange juice and the optional cornstarch. I can’t thank you enough for this great recipe!

  • Carlos V

    Hi Marc, bare in mind that my knowledge of cooking is very limited, so I apologize if this is a dumb question but, I’ve noticed you use potato starch a lot (or at least in te recipes I have looked at). Is there a reason? why not corn starch or regular flour?. or its just a personal taste thing and I can sustitute with something else?

    Thanks again

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Carlos, I like using potato starch for a number of reasons. When used to coat something for frying it results in a more crisp exterior (cornstarch ends up more crunchy). When used to thicken a liquid, it produces a shinier finish, doesn’t cloud the liquid, and the texture is smoother than using cornstarch. Lastly cornstarch is often produced using genetically modified corn. Potato starch is typically made with non-gm potatoes.

  • Madina

    Just made it. Great recipe. Thank you.

  • Carlos V

    Hi Marc,

    Great recipe, I made it yesterday and my wife and I loved it.

    I had to substitute sake with white wine (dry) and potato starch with corn starch but it was still awesome and easy to do.


  • Deon |

    Thanks for such an easy and clearly written recipe! I made the sauce tonight, poured it over my chicken, and it was awesome!!!

  • Melissa

    I made this tonight. I didn’t have orange marmalade on hand so I used a bit of apricot jam instead and added a bit more orange juice, some red chilis, and garlic. OMG it was delicious. I wasn’t how it would taste with the jam but it was incredible.

  • ananomuos

    My dad got this recipe for me during the night I was cooking (in case u haven’t noticed, this is a child writing). In the last minute, of course, but still… It was good!

    • kid

      I spelled ananomous wrong and I spelled it wrong again.

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  • Latty Mo

    Thanks Marc .Jus finished making mine. It was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! where can i get more chicken recipes?

  • Byrdie

    Do I have to use vegetable oil or is it alright to use olive oil?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      You can use a mild flavored olive oil, but anything too strong and it will clash with sauce.

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  • Imran

    Dear Marc, I searched up “sake” and i found out it’s an alcoholic drink as being Muslim I can’t use it, so do you any alternate for it?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Imran, all the alcohol will evaporate while cooking, leaving only the flavor of the rice. If that’s still a problem, you can substitute water instead. It won’t have the same taste, but it won’t alter it either.

      • dmk

        Would a rice vinegar work?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Hi dmk, rice vinegar will not work. While it’s made with rice wine, rice vinegar (like wine vinegar) undergoes the last phase of fermentation where the alcohol turns into acetic acid making it very sour. — Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

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  • Americanangel

    When it says orange juice, can I use the bottled orange juice I drink? Or does it have to be fresh squeezed?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Americanangel, either fresh squeezed or OJ out of a carton will work fine.

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  • benaza

    Hi Marc, i’m looking for a good Orange Beef recipe – could you subsitute the chicken for beef in this recipe or would you need to make some other alterations?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Benaza, I’ve never tried it but I don’t see why you couldn’t substitute thinly sliced beef in place of the chicken. Just be careful not to over-fry it or the beef will get tough.

  • Elisa

    Hi marc, if I want to add thai sweet chili sauce to the recipe to spice it up. Do you think it will be ok?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Elisa, yep, that should definitely work, great idea!

  • ray

    hi Marc, what can I use to substitute the potato starch?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Ray, it will not give you the same texture, and it will make your sauce cloudy, but you can substitute cornstarch.

  • Shanon Rutledge

    what do i add to make it spicy

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Thai chili sauce would work best, but if you want it really spicy, try sriracha.

  • Connie Kupke

    I love this recipe and your Singapore Noodles. I couldn’t get enough of
    the noodles and would probably make them once a week, but my husband
    isn’t that crazy about them. And he has Celiac disease…I’m just
    writing to say I love your recipes and you could tag Orange Chicken as
    gluten free as well as dairy free, as long as the soy sauce you use doesn’t have wheat in it (La Choy doesn’t). The Singapore Noodles are also gluten free with non-wheat soy sauce.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Connie, I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes! Thanks for the tagging suggestions. I’ve been on the fence about tagging recipes with soy sauce as gluten-free since most soy sauces are not gluten free.

      • Connie Kupke

        Another brand of gluten free soy sauce is San-J Organic Tamari. It might be more authentic than La Choy. I made Orange Chicken tonight and it was really good!

        • Idea

          What about Bragg amino acids instead of soy altogether?

  • Francene Bethune

    Can I see corn starch instead of potato strach

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Francene, you can use cornstarch however you’ll probably need to alter the amount you add to the sauce as cornstarch has a different thickening power compared to potato starch. The sauce and coating on the chicken will have a different (more gummy) texture and the sauce will be cloudy. If you can find it (Bob’s Red Mill brand in the US), potato starch is superior to cornstarch in almost all applications.

      • Francene Bethune

        Thanks I will definitely look into it, thanks and I love ur blog

  • kim

    this is delicious! made some little alterations like corn starch instead of potato, and i had no sake so i used balsamico vinegar (don’t know if that is a good substitude but we also had no white wine^^)
    and its so easy to make! made it today for the second time and didnt even use the recipe anymore. so good!

    ps my sauce didnt get cloudy even though i used corn starch.

    • kim

      me again. i forgot to ask if this is also possible with tofu (or other meat substitute) cause my sister is vegetarian but i woul reall like her to be able to taste this too.
      should i marinate and fry the tofu too? or would it be better to just pour the sauce over the normal tofu?

      • Marc Matsumoto

        Hi Kim, you could do follow the same process with extra firm tofu, but because tofu has such a high water content I would recommend putting it between two sheet pans with a weight on top on a tilted surface to drain off some excess water first, otherwise the marinade will get watered down and it’s going to splatter a lot when you fry it. The other option is freeze the tofu first, then wash and squeeze using these directions ( The only difference is you want to squeeze out the liquid carefully so you don’t crumble it, then you just slice it. It will produce a much more meat-like texture and will take on the flavors of the marinade better.

  • Merle Dickey

    I added a can of of mandarin oranges and it was nummy.

  • Mimi

    Can I bake it instead of frying it? I guess you would eliminate the flouting?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Mimi, you’ll still need to coat it even if you bake it, otherwise you won’t get the thick coating like in the photos. The thing is you’ll need to spray a ton of oil onto it to do this in the oven so I honestly I don’t think it will make much of a difference in terms of calories if that’s what you’re trying to optimize for.

      If you’re just trying to make this lower in fat and don’t mind not having the coating, why not skip the coating and stir-fry the marinated chicken with just a little oil. Then you can add the sauce ingredients and boil until it’s thick and coats the chicken.

  • Sam

    I have been using this recipe and love it! My only question is with corn starch the chicken stays kind of powdery even after sauce is added. Is there a substitute that wouldn’t be as powdery after frying?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Sam glad to hear you like it! Cornstarch is not a great substitute for potato starch as it tends to fry up harder, and it makes sauces gloppy and cloudy. If you’re in the US, Bobs Redmill makes potato starch, which is what the recipe calls for.— Sent from Mailbox

  • Abdulla Q.

    Made this today. LOVED IT!

    This is my new favorite site. Thank you.

    • Sarah Yeater

      how many people can this meal serve?

      • Marc Matsumoto

        It depends on how hungry everyone is and whether you serve it with other things, but it includes a pound of chicken so it should feed 2-3 people comfortably.

  • Erik

    There is only one problem with this recipes, if you add the fried chiken into the saus, it will loose its crunchiness

  • Melanie

    Marc, love your recipes as usual. Just made this and enjoyed it as written, but for my second helping, I mixed a little doubanjiang into the sauce to get a bit of kick. I like spicy with my sweet!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Great idea! Glad to hear you enjoyed it:-)

  • Eduard

    Can I substitute sake with vodka? Or white wine? What’s the lesser evil?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Eduard, in this particular case white wine will work since the sauce is acidic, but in most cases, substituting white wine for sake is a bad idea because it will turn dishes sour. Vodka, isn’t a great alcohol to cook with because it has no flavor, unless you’re doing something like pie dough where you want to use a liquid other than water, there’s really no point in using it (i.e. you may as well use water).

      • Eduard

        Thank you.

  • Boo

    Can you just use the Orange sauce to coat the chicken instead of heating it

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Boo, if you don’t heat the orange sauce, the starch won’t thicken and your sauce will be runny and chalky.

      • anna

        hey where is the orange zest???? and no garlic. Add these to the sauce its wonderful

  • Boo

    Is there a non alchohalic version of sake

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Yes, in Japan you an get freeze dried amazake which has no alcohol but has the flavor of sake. It’s probably not available anywhere else though. You can substitute water if you have to, but it’s going to be as flavorful.

      • Boo

        Not or is?

      • n900mixalot

        Could you use Mirin?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Mirin has alcohol.

  • Ateu Cu

    Duh hello

  • Zee

    Hello could I use chicken breasts instead of thighs??

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Zee, yes you can, but breast meat has less flavor and has a tendency to dry out. That said, if you like breast meat, then you’re certainly welcome to substitute it.

      • Zee

        Thanks :) I’m preparing it right now :)

  • Ladee Barnes

    YUM YUM YUM!!! I’ve done this with both chicken breast and thighs. It’s delicious and easy. Thanks!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Ladee, so glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  • wyatt

    this sux

  • Vangie

    Hi Marc. I know you combine the orange juice, marmalade etc. in a separate pan while frying the chicken, but when it’s time to cook it, do you cook the orange sauce on the same pan you used for frying the chicken or a completely different pan (where you’ll add the chicken later)? Thanks!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Vangie, I’m not sure I understand your question. This recipe uses 2 pans. 1 for deep frying the chicken and a second for making the sauce.

  • boydconklin

    I will try this out as I have been wanting to do this for ages!! thx!!

  • tomjohnson

    Will this work with cornstarch? I’m trying to make do with items on hand.

  • Amanda Aphane

    I am South African, I don’t know where to get sake and potato starch. What are the substitutes I can use?

    • John

      Dry Vermout instead of sake. Maizena (corn starch) instead of potato starch.

    • selina

      I bought potato starch in the Pacific NW and it was in the baking section close to the corn starch and what not. The sake is possibly in the alcoholic beverage section, but the grocery store I went to (Haggen’s in Bellingham) had it next to the sushi counter. Good luck!

  • Tina Sarazin

    What is potato starch and where can u get it ??

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Tina, potato starch is a starch made from potatoes. Not knowing where you live, it’s hard to say where to get it, but if you happen to be in the US, Bob’s Redmill makes it and it can be found in upscale grocery stores like Whole Foods.

      • selina

        I bought potato starch in the Pacific NW and it was in the baking section close to the corn starch and what not. The sake is possibly in the alcoholic beverage section, but the grocery store I went to (Haggen’s in Bellingham) had it next to the sushi counter.

  • Jake

    I’m too young to buy sake or any other alcohol. What can I use?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Jake, you can use water or extra orange juice.

  • cindi

    This is the best recipe simple and not a lot of ingredients. I am definitely going to keep sake in my fridge. I did do a few things differently I used cornstarch because I did not have any potatoe starch. I like that there wasn’t any vinegar or chicken broth … It does not need it. I didn’t use orange marmalade because I couldn’t find a sugar free one so I used sugar free apricot preserves worked perfectly and grated some orange rind into the sauce with a hot dose of red pepper flakes. I also seasoned the cornstarch with chicken seasoning . I put the seasoned cornstarch in a bag and the chicken pieces and shook it up to coat the chicken. Lol! I just wanted to coat the chicken quick . I highly recommend recommend this recipe. It is easy to follow, minimum ingredients but the results as my family told me is delicious restaurant quality and not panda express. Thank you.

  • JB

    Orange Chicken at Panda Express is always soft and easy to chew.
    Orange Chicken at a mom and pop Chinese restaurant is always chewy and tough.

    How does Panda get their chicken so soft?
    I’ve hear that Panda uses softer dark meat…but the meat in Panda’s Orange Chicken looks like it’s white meat to me.

    Can you tell me why this is?
    And how I can make sure to make soft (not chewy) Orange Chicken?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi JB, I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible Panda treats their meat with a an enzymatic softener. The reason why chicken gets tough is because it’s over fried. If you don’t over fry the chicken it will not get tough, so you don’t need to use a tenderizer. As for white vs dark, dark meat has a higher fat content which is why it tastes better and is less likely to get dried out and tough. But if the chicken is cooked properly white meat is technically more tender than dark meat because the breast gets less exercise than the thighs. Because of the leanness of white meat, it’s a little tricky to cook it properly though and even when it’s cooked properly it has much less flavor than thigh meat. This is why I almost always recommend using thigh meat in most of my recipes.

      • JB

        Marc, thanks so much for your answer.
        I just sent a tip.

    • wong fei hung

      try marinating in corn starch an hour before you cook and then make sure to not overfry the chicken. won’t get as tender as a synthetically processed product but it will make it more tender.

    • Joel

      Thank you, I was just wondering the same thing but what I noticed is, the chicken COATING is always too hard and chewy. I hate it! There was a restaurant in Tucson, Mandarin Grill, that had the most wonderful General Tso’s chicken (same prep for the chicken). They were nice big white meat chicken with a light coating. So soft and moist. Who likes hard and chewy chicken??


    Hello Marc,

    Do you have the nutritional information on this dish according to your recipe?

    Thank you!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Barbara, I don’t include nutritional information on my recipes because the automated solutions that most websites use are not accurate in many cases. There are a number of websites you can go to to get nutrition data and calculate the values yourself that way your numbers will be as accurate as possible taking into account the serving sizes you make.

  • Shannon

    Hi Marc just wondering if I could use ground ginger instead of grated and how much if so! Thanks for this recipe!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Shannon, by “ground” do you mean dried ginger? If so, it’s more potent than fresh, so you could probably use about 1/4 teaspoon or less.

  • Sila

    What else can I use instead of potato starch?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Sila, cornstarch will work, but it will not have the same texture.

      • Victoria

        Also, I am using rice flour instead.

  • teeny2

    Looks like a great recipe and I will try it. I noticed that Panda Express uses a huge wok to fry the white chicken meat briefly with intense heat and little oil. Maybe that’s why it’s tender to the tooth. This can be duplicated at home, I’m sure.

  • Nursika

    Hi Marc, is Morita Ryorishu Mirin sake ok to use in this recipe? Can you give a link of what you used? Thank you!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Nursika, I’m not familiar with that brand, but judging by the name, I’d say it’s not ideal. Mirin is different from sake in that it’s much more sweet (like the difference between dessert wine and regular wine). Also the word “Ryourishu” means “cooking wine”. Cooking wine’s always have extra crap added like salt and preservatives. If it has ingredients other than rice, water and koji, it is not sake. Like wine, my rule is that I don’t cook with sake that I wouldn’t drink. As for the brand I use, I live in Japan so I don’t think it would be helpful.

      • Joe

        So sake is easily assessable in Japan ..

  • Amanda Aphane

    Hi Marc, since I don’t know where to get sake in my country, is it okay if I don’t use it?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Amanda, you can substitute water for the sake, in this recipe.

  • Georgina

    Hi Marc, How do I keep the chicken from going soggy when mixed with the sauce? I like the chicken to stay quite crisp, but when I have made orange chicken before (a different recipe) the coating of the chicken soaked up the sauce. Thanks, Georgina

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Georgina, this is a bit unavoidable as you’re soaking a dried thing in a wet sauce. There are two things you could try. The first is to double fry the chicken so that it is extra crisp. Check out this recipe for that technique: the second is that you can reduce the sauce down to a syrup and just pour it on top of the crisp fried chicken just before you serve it (instead of tossing the chicken in the sauce).

      • Don

        Excellent suggestion and technique.

    • Mdp BF Kaahu

      Orange chicken is supposed to be a bit soggy, it’s not meant to be crispy. If you go to a real Chinese restaurant, or even an Americanized place like Panda Express, it is NEVER served crispy. Just saying…

  • Amanda Aphane

    Thank you. The chicken was delicious. I used white wine instead of sake

  • mia

    Thank u for the recipe. It was easy to follow & simple/few ingredients required. Quite delicious!

  • Ac Bayudan

    Hi, sake isn’t a very accessible ingredient where I’m from, anything I can use as a substitute?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Ac, without knowing where you’re from I can’t really suggest an alternative that you might be able to find near you. Have you tried searching online? Worst case scenario, you can use water. It won’t taste quite as good, but it’s won’t taste bad either.

    • Raf O’Sil

      you can use white sherry wine

  • dhk286

    For God sakes people…… Sake is RICE WINE

  • Chef92

    You dont need sake, I made it wothout it and it still ended up DELICIOUS!!

  • mrs. silent dogood

    just use white wine, sake is the same except a little more alcohol content that evaporates anyway

  • mrs. silent dogood

    after i read all the idiots that can’t find sake or potato starch, i wonder if you can walk across the street without a guide dog


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