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This Spicy Orange Sesame Chicken is classic, but made at home for a more wholesome approach…and with a little extra sauce. The chicken is pan-fried in a small amount of avocado oil until crispy, then tossed in a yummy sesame orange sauce with fresh orange juice and chili flakes. It’s a little sweet and a little spicy with such great flavor. This is best served over steamed rice with extra green onions on top. A fun homemade take on a popular takeout dish.

Spicy Orange Sesame Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com

One of my favorite things to do is take our favorite takeout dishes and try my best to recreate them at home. There’s just something so fun about homemade takeout, especially when you live in a little town as we do. Our takeout options are more limited, so sometimes the only option is to just make “takeout” at home!

After I made orange cauliflower a few weeks back, my brothers were all over my case to make a more classic crispy orange chicken. They actually loved the cauliflower variation but said that nothing beats the real orange chicken.

I have a hard time saying no to those guys, so I created this recipe pretty much immediately after they requested it. And geez, you guys, this is so good. Just like your favorite takeout, but made at home, and with more wholesome ingredients too!

sliced orange halves before juicing

Traditionally orange chicken is deep-fried and tossed in a spicy, sweet, and tangy orange sauce. The sauce is usually made with a decent amount of sugar, in addition to orange juice and a bit of soy.

To keep this dish and the cooking simple and easy, I made some simple swaps. I used avocado oil for cooking, honey to sweeten, and tamari for the soy (tamari is just gluten-free soy sauce).

But the flavors are ALL there. Lots of orange, a touch of sweetness, and a kick of spice.

fresh orange juice in measuring cup

Details

I start with the chicken and toss it simply with an egg white, a splash of soy sauce, a pinch of peppers, plus some fresh orange zest. Then dredge the chicken through cornstarch. The cornstarch gives the chicken just the right amount of breading to crisp it up. It also helps the sauce to thicken.

When you’re dredging the chicken through the cornstarch don’t stress if it starts clumping a little on the chicken. Those clumps will get crispy and be delicious in the sweet orange sauce.

Then the sauce…this really is the heart of the recipe. Start with lots of fresh orange zest and juice. Yes, you can use already squeezed orange juice, but with citrus in-season, I would highly recommend fresh juice. Nothing can compare!

photo of juiced oranges

So mix the orange zest and juice with tamari or soy sauce, vinegar, and honey. As I mentioned, the honey replaces the sugar usually found in orange chicken. It works perfectly and I love the small amount of flavor it adds to the sauce.

Cook the chicken in avocado oil, which is awesome for high heat cooking. Once the chicken is crispy, pull it out of the skillet and add lots of garlic and ginger, plus some chili flakes (use to your liking, of course).

Pour in the sauce then add the chicken back. Let the sauce bubble around the chicken until it thickens. Simple and quick!

zoom in photo of orange chicken cooking in skillet

Serve

Serve the chicken with steamed rice and toasted sesame seeds for a complete meal. The boys all agreed, this dish is “fire”, which in their language means REALLY GOOD.

That should tell you what you need to know right there…you gotta give this dish a try…plus it’s just fun!

zoomed in photo of orange chicken in serving plate

Looking for other takeout-style recipes? Here are a few to try:

Garlic Butter Shrimp Pad Thai

Dan Dan Noodles

Thai Drunken Noodles

25 Minute Chili Oil Egg Ramen

Lastly, if you make this Spicy Orange Sesame Chicken, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Spicy Orange Sesame Chicken

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 425 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Orange Sauce

Instructions

  • 1. In a bowl, combine the chicken, egg white, tamari/soy sauce, orange zest, and pepper. Toss well to coat. In a separate bowl, add the cornstarch.
    2. Dredge the chicken through the cornstarch to coat.
    3. In a glass jar, whisk together the broth, orange juice, tamari/soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey.
    4. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, working in batches, cook until golden all around, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
    5. To the skillet, add the garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. Cook 1-2 minutes. Pour in the orange sauce. Bring to a boil, boil 3-4 minutes, then add the chicken. Toss with the sauce and cook until the sauce thickens around the chicken, about 5 minutes.
    6. Serve the chicken and sauce over steamed rice with sesame seeds and green onions.
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horizontal photo of orange chicken with rice on a side plate

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Awesome just like it is, very punchy orange flavor. My gf actually said it was too orange, I disagree, but it’s definitely not your food court stuff. Tonite I’m going to try leaving the zest out of the coating and just use freshly squeezed juice, see how that does.

  2. This turned out great for me. I baked on convection for 25 minutes. Made the sauce in a wok with a cornstarch slurry to thicken without reducing the sauce much. Also used frozen orange juice concentrate. Husband tasted sauce and said he could only taste soy, so I added more concentate. That did the trick. As a retired person I made everything ahead, sauce and egg white marinated chicken. All those dishes washed. Then when I am ready to cook, rice is started. Seasoned some rice with a little soy and sesame oil. Was a quick clean up. Thank you, great recioe.

    1. Hi Bev,
      Awesome!! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks for making it! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you. Hope you’re off to a great Saturday! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. I like that it’s not overly sweet but you get all the orange taste without it being bitter.

    1. Hi Jessica,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe out, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have a great weekend:)

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe was so good and definitely hit the take-out but at home craving. I used to love this as a child/college student but I don’t love to eat fried take out food anymore since I don’t really don’t know all the ingredients – but this totally solves the problem! There were a lot of steps to make the sauce, but because I was only cooking for two – we halved the chicken amount and saved half the sauce for another day. So that meal is going to be quick and speedy! I really loved the flavors (though I may have slightly reduced the honey and slightly increased the chili flakes). The cornstarch coating on the chicken turned out perfect too. Really this is an amazing recipe all my family members have asked me to make for them already based off of photos!

    1. Hi Deb,
      Happy Tuesday!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! I am so glad it was enjoyed:) Thanks so much for your kind message💕