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Orange Chicken: Take-Out Inspired Cooking that Tastes Just Like the Original

By Brooke McLay |

If you hop on over to Panda Express today, and present this coupon, you’ll get a free taste of the restaurant’s new Kobari Beef.  If, however, you’re more of a traditionalist, preferring to stick close to the tried and true Pandra favorites, then this recipe is for you.  From time to time, I play host to crazy-mad cravings for orange chicken, and decided it was high time I discover a like-the-original replica of the recipe, rather than slapping down a cool 7 bucks everytime I wanted a bite.  Darling, this recipe delivers.  The sauce is gloriously thick and sticky with a hint of spice.  You’re going to adore it, I guarantee.

Just-Like-Panda-Express Orange Chicken
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, uncooked
3 well beaten eggs
2 T. milk
1 c. cornstarch
Salt & Pepper to taste
Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces. Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture, coat in cornstarch, then dip again in egg mixture. (It’s really important to follow that order!  Egg-cornstarch-egg.  Doing so creates a tempura-like batter.  Fry in oil heated over a medium or medium-high stove, until lightly browned on both sides. Remove and allow to cool on a paper towel before transferring to a cookie sheet. To cook, make sure chicken pieces are in a single layer on cookie sheet, coat with orange sauce and bake according to directions below.

Orange Sauce
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. catsup
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. orange juice concentrate 
2 T. white vinegar
1 T. dried chives
1 T. red pepper flakes
1 T. sliced almonds
In a medium saucepan, combine soy sauce, catsup, honey, orange juice concentrate, chives and red pepper flakes. Stir together over medium heat and bring just to a boil. Drizzle sauce over fried chicken. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, stirring often to coat the chicken with the glaze. Remove from oven when glaze is no longer puddled around the chicken, it should be sticky and fully coating the chicken. Garnish with chives or chopped scallions, red pepper flakes, orange zest, and sliced almonds. Serve immediately over sticky rice.

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About Brooke McLay


Brooke McLay

Brooke McLay is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer, and cooking show host for Babble, General Mills, and Good Cook. You can find and follow her latest whims at Cheeky Kitchen. Read bio and latest posts → Read Brooke's latest posts →

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20 thoughts on “Orange Chicken: Take-Out Inspired Cooking that Tastes Just Like the Original

  1. [...] the Panda Express Facebook Page. Not looking for a free meal and a bit more traditional? Check out Brooke’s Panda Express Orange Chicken recipe. [...]

  2. Sarah says:

    This is the perfect weekend dinner — delicious. Thank you Brooke. One question: what’s catsup — I’m not from here so haven’t heard of it before.

  3. Donna says:

    I’ve made this a few times and it’s a total hit with family and friends!

  4. Lynn says:

    1/2 CUP of soy sauce, is that correct? Ugh, I made this last night and it was SO SALTY I had to throw it away.

  5. mangiabella says:

    i’m in heaven! and my hubs will be too, who doesn’t love orange chicken?!! in the past I’ve opted for trader joe’s quick version for a meal in a pinch….not any more! thanks brooke!

  6. JC says:

    I was excited to find this recipe but I have to say this is a poorly written with awkward instructions…not what you want in a recipe.

    The first thing I noticed was in the sauce ingredients its lists 2T vinegar but in the instructions…no mention of the vinegar.
    Also there are really no instructions on how to make the mentioned ‘egg mixture’. Yes, maybe most people would know what to do, but there are beginner cooks out there and I like clear, orderly instructions when trying a recipe for the first time. Otherwise, how do you know if you completed it correctly?

    I had to look for other Panda Express orange chicken copycat recipes to find clear instructions to complete this properly with the right ingredients.

    Hopefully it turns out well..,it’s in the oven now.

    I just had to say better clarification is needed about some editing?

  7. C says:

    Who in the hell is going to bread, deep fry, cook sauce, bake, and glaze? Imagine the clean up! Also.. the soy sauce, “catsup” and honey alone cost more than a single order of ready-to-eat orange chicken from Panda. This is why the fast food industry is so successful. No one in their right mind would go through (and pay) all of that for something you can get in about 5 1/2 mins for less $$. The ONLY way I can see doing it is if it’s 3am, there’s a 24 hr. grocery store nearby, and I am EXTREMELY pregnant. *rolls eyes*

  8. Chaya says:

    Despite all the b2tchy comments, I enjoyed this! It was nice. (I did reduce the soy to 1/4c tho.) But I must say something:

    1. Catsup is an alternive term for ketchup.
    2. Who in the hell doesn’t have at least soy sauce and ketchup in their pantry? I mean, the US eats ketchup (and ranch) more than they drink water! And honey? A lot of people have honey. You’re just bitching to bitch.

    Either way – enjoyed!

  9. Hen says:

    I normally would not make comments. But some of the above comments were beyond rude. If you choose to eat out then it is your choice. This is a nice alternative for people who have a family of 4 or larger and cannot afford to dine out. Thank you for the person who submitted this recipe. For taking the time, not only to come up with the recipe but also to share this recipe. I applaud you. In looking at the ingredients it all appears to be basic staples of my kitchen. I look forward to trying it. I understand if you have fixed this and would like to give a review, good or bad, Or to give the cost opinion. But to roll eyes, be dowright ugly and nasty? Uncalled for.

  10. Sayward says:

    I just made this recipe and my lovely boyfriend and I both think it is BAD@SS.
    I had MORE FUN making this recipe and loving on my boyfriend than I would have driving to themall and buying some $7.00 BS off a styrofoam plate. Believe it or not, there ARE people in this world who ENJOY cooking and ENJOY experimenting with new foods. Get over it. You were ruthlessly rude for NO REASON.
    Point made.
    Anyway, this recipe turned out very well. I did not have Orange Juice Concentrate, so I used 1c of Orange Juice from Concentrate, and the juice of one half of an orange. I also added approx. 1tsp. of finely diced orange peel. I lessened the soy sauce as I too was afraid of it being too salty. I added a pinch of fresh ginger and 3 cloves of garlic, simply because we’re garlic FIENDS. All in all it turned out excellent and we are very pleased.
    My tip to anyone trying this for the first time ( as I wax)
    READ and REREAD the directions. Take your time. This is not a meal that can happen in 30 mins on a first run. Also, don’t be afraid to try the sauce before you put it on the chicken. You can adjust your seasonings to your liking, and start out with HALF the soy sauce, build up until you find a measure of salt you prefer.

  11. Alyssa says:

    Made this recipe this evening and I was disappointed. It has potential, though. I would add LESS soy sauce… maybe a couple tablespoons, NOT 1/2 CUP! It came out waaayyy too salty. I would add more honey, maybe more ketchup, or what I’m going to do next time some brown sugar. Other than that, I’ll make it again.

  12. michael s. shawgo says:

    have not tried orange chicken recipe.i am not an expierinced cook,but find i can follow with no bad some have to complain.purpose is to say if you liked it or not,not criticize.jc wrote on mar.22,2011a complaint.c wrote on apr.15,2011@3:53a.m.(most are asleep,not condemming)some would not be happy if hung with ne rope!!!

  13. Vince Colangelo says:

    How about a printer friendly inclusion? I had to print 7 pages to get this recipe.

  14. Brenda says:

    Overall, I was disappointed. The orange sauce wasn’t nearly orange-y enough and it just took too long and was way too messy to fry the chicken. I won’t be making this again. Also, I came to the recipe from a crock pot site. Not a crock pot to be found in this recipe so that was doubly disappointing, too.

  15. Yvette says:

    Sadly this recipe was very disappointing. It is WAY too salty… too much soy sauce….and super spicy. We love spicy in our house, but this was so spicy that half of my family couldn’t eat it. Spent a ton of time (almost 2 hours) on this dish as well as about $10-$15 worth of ingredients…..and it ended up in the trash because we just couldn’t eat it. Very disappointing :-(

  16. nabela says:

    There are a lot of steps to this, but the end result tasted great! I ended up reducing my sauce a little while the chicken was frying, which meant I only baked the chicken for about 12 mins, and the chicken was nice and juicy. I left out the red pepper, since we have little kids, and added garlic and onion powders and black pepper to the sauce. Served over sticky rice with a side of steamed broccoli with a drizzle of sesame oil. My husband had seconds, and then I saw him standing at the stove eating chicken out of the pan! I think he liked it. The plus compared to eating out is you know what’s in your food and can control the salt. We don’t use a lot of salt, but I made this with light soy sauce, and it wasn’t too salty. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. what do I do with the vinegar?

  18. Leslie says:

    I make orange chicken at home, and my family thinks it’s better than panda express. Boneless chicken breast, batter, oj, (Not from concentrate), some sugar, little bit of kikomans soy sauce–apple cider vinegar, dash of red pepper flakes, and corn starch for thickening. that’s it…Yum…:)

  19. CS says:

    Made this recipe and sister who buys it at Panda Express says it did no taste like the one she buys. Followed recipe exactly except for the almonds.

  20. Kris says:

    My sister who I made it for also agree’s with you. Much easier to buy it.

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