Orange Chicken: If Yan can Cook, so can I!

It's tender, chewy, crispy, citrusy, sweet, tangy and spicy all in one; a great surprise for your taste buds!

Marium Hosein May 02, 2013
I grew up watching this cooking show called Yan Can Cook and as a young kid I was always mesmerised by how easy and enjoyable the man made cooking look.

How many of you still remember his knife skills? Absolutely fantastic, right?

He could easily give a contestant of Master Chef a real run for their money. It’s safe to say I became addicted to learning how to cook just like Yan from very early on.

I have been trying to cook my favourite Chinese dishes one by one, and the one that always turns out right every time is my Orange Chicken, found at almost all Chinese restaurants.

Tender, chewy, crispy, citrusy, sweet, tangy and spicy all in one - it's a real treat for the taste-buds! This batter fried chicken is coated in a sweet orange-flavoured caramelised chili sauce and what makes this recipe stand out is the combination of both, the orange and lemon juice.

Without further ado, I present to you my version of Orange Chicken.


For the chicken:

  • 2 pounds of boneless skin less chicken breasts cut into two inch cubes

  • 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

  • 1 egg (beaten)

  • Oil for deep frying

For the orange sauce:

  • 1½ cup chicken broth (can dissolve chicken cubes in ½ cup of water also)

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 1 table spoon of orange marmalade

  • ½ tablespoon orange zest (optional if not available)

  • 2½ tablespoons soy sauce

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 2 red chilies, broken up and seeds discarded (or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes)

  • 3 tablespoons corn flour

  • ¼ cup water

  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped (I used some coriander since I was all out of spring onion)

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil


  1. Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.

  2. Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Sauté the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients, except for the green onions and corn flour. Bring the sauce to a boil. Combine three tablespoons of corn flour with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir corn starch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

  3. Add the chicken pieces and green onions to the sauce, stir to coat, and bring the sauce to a low simmer and cook for five minutes.

Serve immediately with egg fried rice.

Doing my man, Yan, proud one Chinese recipe at a time!

Thanks for the memories and the inspiration.

Follow Marium on Twitter @Mariumhosein 
Marium Hosein A teacher turned housewife who loves to cook. Marium tweets @Mariumhosein
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


ali | 10 years ago | Reply hahahaha "baji khana khila dou" section! epic! :D
Laila dharamsey | 10 years ago | Reply Just made it! So delicious keep em coming Marium!
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