Healthier Orange Chicken 

This orange chicken is spicy, sweet and crispy despite not being deep fried. It can be whipped up in a flash for an easy dinner. Traditionally you would serve this with rice but you could also eat it with a noodle stir fry. Replace the chicken with tofu to make the dish vegan.

The overall theme of this current lockdown appears to be cooking my way around famous Asian takeout dishes. After a mask induced panic attack (turns out it was from the plastic fumes of the packaging in case you also struggle, that’s a little tip), we are no longer allowed to just wear fabric masks in Germany, I was really craving some comfort food. I also found a random orange, so it finally had its turn. Opting for a slightly healthier version I opted to marinate the chicken breast and fry it in a pan with only a little bit of oil. It was crispy without being dry. The sauce was made with a mix of soy sauce, sambal oelek, fresh ginger, orange juice (add zest for a stronger orange flavour) and a little bit of sugar to taste. It is certainly much lower in sugar this way then its takeout equivalent. Mine came out at 275 calories per portion, which isn’t that bad. I served it with some leftover rice that I mixed with some sautéed frozen Asian vegetables and a sprinkle of some sprouts. Don’t forget the sesame seeds.

Healthier Orange Chicken

Yield: 2-3 portions depending on size Difficulty: 1/5 Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 5 tbl soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 tsp sambal oelek
  • 1 orange*
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • sugar
  • 2-3 tbl flavour-neutral oil
  • sesame seeds and spring onion as garnish

Instructions:

  1. Marinate the chicken strips with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, the cornstarch and baking soda and set it aside.
  2. Make the sauce by mixing the rest of the soy sauce with the sambal oelek, orange juice  (and zest for a stronger orange flavour), ginger and sugar to taste.
  3. Bring a pan to high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the marinated chicken and fry it until crispy and golden. Add the sauce and leave it to reduce until all the chicken is glazed with a glossy layer of orange sauce. 
  4. Garnish with sesame seeds or spring onions and serve with rice.

*the orange can also be replaced with lemon to make it lemon or citrus chicken


So there you have an easy and delicious recipe for orange chicken. It is a slightly healthier attempt at this classic takeout dish without deep frying it and reduced in added sugar. Use low sodium soy sauce to also reduce the sodium. It can be made very quickly and it is super delicious. I will certainly include this in my meal rotation. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and have a great day. Stay safe and wear a mask!   

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