This post may contain affiliate links, please see the privacy policy for details.

This tangerine chicken recipe pairs the juicy, tender chicken breast with a sweet and tangy Asian tangerine sauce that’s a little spicy, a little sweet, and a little savory. The perfect balance of flavors in a single dish.

A Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry dish with vegetables and sesame seeds served over rice.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to fast food, this one-pan tangerine chicken recipe is a Chinese takeout favorite that you can easily make at home. The spicy tangerine sauce lends a fresh, tangy flavor to the dish, while the chicken is perfectly coated in a rich, sticky glaze.

If you enjoy this tangerine chicken recipe, you’ll also love these Asian-inspired dishes. Try this delicious general tso shrimp stir fry, black pepper chicken, and wok-seared steak and shrimp for more tasty meals with bold flavors.

Stir-fried Tangerine Chicken with vegetables and sesame seeds served over white rice in a wooden bowl, reminiscent of Chinese takeout.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Better than Takeout: This tangerine chicken recipe is not only a Chinese food favorite, it’s a perfect recreation of the restaurant classic. The best part is you can have seconds for you right in your kitchen, and they will be just as good as the first serving!
Surprisingly Easy: Despite its impressive flavor, tangerine chicken is incredibly easy to make. There are only a few simple steps involved in this recipe and the result is a perfectly balanced, delicious dish that your whole family will love.
Perfect Flavor Balance: The combination of tangy tangerines, spicy red chili paste, and sweet brown sugar in the tangerine sauce creates a perfectly balanced flavor that you’ll fall in love with. Each bite is a sweet, savory, and spicy flavor combo that you won’t be able to get enough of!

A bowl of Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry garnished with green onions and sesame seeds.

Spicy Tangerine Chicken Recipe Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Chicken Breasts: The boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the star of this recipe. This lean, white meat is a perfect base to absorb the tangy tangerine sauce, making it a versatile ingredient in this delicious, gluten-free dish.
Tangerine Juice: The tangerine juice adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish, helping to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with a refreshing citrusy flavor. You can use fresh tangerine juice or bottled, but be sure it’s 100% juice and not a tangerine drink that’s full of sugar.
Hoisin Sauce: This is a staple in Chinese cuisine and adds a sweet, tangy, and umami flavor to the tangerine sauce.
Red Chili Paste: A spoonful of red chili paste adds a spicy kick to the tangerine sauce. You could use sambal oelek, sriracha, or even a tangerine chili sauce if that’s what you have. The heat contrasts beautifully with the sweet tangerine juice, giving your dish a delicious depth of flavor.

Various ingredients neatly arranged on a wooden surface, including chicken, vegetables, spices, and orange sauce for chicken.
Bowl of Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry with vegetables over rice, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

How to Make Tangerine Chicken

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Marinate the Chicken: Cut the chicken into 1” pieces and marinate in tangerine juice for 2 hours to infuse it with a sweet, tangy flavor.
Prepare the Tangerine Sauce: Combine more tangerine juice, soy sauce, hoisin, and red chili paste in a bowl, then simmer it for 10 minutes to let the flavors develop. Season with garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes for a fragrant, spicy twist.
Coat the Chicken: Whisk eggs, cornstarch, salt, and pepper, then add the chicken and toss to coat. This will give the chicken a delicious crispy coating.
Cook the Chicken: Fry the coated chicken in a wok with hot oil for 5 minutes or until it’s golden brown and cooked through. Place on a wire rack to drain any excess oil.
Thicken the Tangerine Sauce: Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch and water, then add it to the tangerine sauce to thicken it.
Combine Everything: Add the chicken, peeled tangerines, and diced bell pepper to the tangerine sauce and toss to coat everything in the delicious sauce.
Garnish and Serve: Garnish your tangerine chicken with green onions and sesame seeds, then serve it over rice or your favorite gluten-free grain.

A close-up of a chicken stir-fry served over white rice, garnished with sesame seeds, chopped green onions, and drizzled with Asian tangerine sauce.
A bowl of orange chicken over white rice, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, covered in Asian tangerine sauce.

Substitutions and Variations

Spiciness: If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can omit the red chili paste and red pepper flakes for a milder version of this tangerine chicken recipe.
Vegetarian: For a vegetarian alternative, you can replace the chicken with tofu or your favorite meat substitute.
Sweetness: If you prefer your dish to be less sweet, you can reduce the amount of brown sugar or even substitute it with a sugar-free alternative.
Hoisin Sauce: If you don’t have hoisin sauce on hand, you can replace it with a gluten-free and soy-free alternative like tamarind or coconut aminos.
Other Bell Peppers or Oil: Use a different type of oil if you prefer (peanut oil works well in Chinese recipes) or substitute a different color of bell pepper. 

A top view of a bowl of Asian-inspired chicken stir-fry with vegetables, served with rice and orange Asian tangerine sauce garnishes on a wooden table.
A close-up of a Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry dish garnished with sesame seeds, spring onions, and diced red peppers.

Serving Suggestions

Side Dishes: You can’t go wrong with a portion of steamed or boiled white rice, although you might prefer fried rice instead. Some spicy garlic edamame would be a delicious side dish, too.
Main Course: Tangerine chicken is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes to make a complete meal. For instance, you can serve it with PF Chang’s copycat fried rice or perhaps some Asian zoodle salad for a quick and easy dinner option.
Other Asian Dishes: If you’re a fan of other Asian-inspired dishes, this tangerine chicken recipe also goes well with vegan tofu kung pao or General Tso shrimp stir fry.
Desserts and Other Sweets: The sweet and tangy flavor of tangerine chicken also compliments a wide range of desserts and sweet treats. So, why not try it with a delicious dessert or perhaps add it to your mango recipe collection?

A savory Chinese takeout dish with Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry, diced vegetables, and white rice in a wooden bowl.

How to Store Spicy Tangerine Chicken

Store: Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or you can freeze them for a later date.
Freeze: To freeze, simply place the tangerine chicken in an airtight container. You can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Thaw: When you’re ready to eat your frozen tangerine chicken, make sure you thaw it thoroughly in the refrigerator before reheating.
Reheat: You can reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or until hot, or in a 350 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes.

A bowl of stir-fried chicken with vegetables, garnished with sesame seeds and chopped scallions, and flavored with Asian tangerine sauce.
Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry with vegetables and sesame seeds served over rice.

Top Tips 

Marinate the Chicken: For the best flavor, marinate your chicken in tangerine juice for at least 2 hours. This will help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with the tangerine flavor.
Get Your Wok Hot: Before frying your chicken, make sure the canola oil in your wok is hot enough (around 300 degrees F). This will give you a nice, crispy exterior on your chicken pieces.
Don’t Rush the Sauce: Allow the tangerine sauce to simmer for 10 minutes after it starts to boil. This will help the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken.
Garnish Before Serving: Before serving, garnish your tangerine chicken with diced green onions and sesame seeds. Not only will this add a pop of color, but it will also give your dish a bit of extra texture and flavor.

A close-up of a piece of seasoned Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry held by chopsticks with more food in the background.
A bowl of rice topped with Tangerine Chicken Stir-Fry and diced vegetables, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

Chinese Tangerine Chicken FAQs

Can I use bottled tangerines instead of fresh juice?

Absolutely! If you don’t have fresh tangerine juice on hand, you can definitely use bottled tangerine juice as a substitute. Just make sure it’s 100% tangerine juice with no added sweeteners or preservatives to get the closest flavor to the fresh fruit.

What is the difference between tangerine chicken and orange chicken?

The main difference between tangerine chicken and orange chicken lies in the fruit used to flavor the dish. This recipe is spicy and fresh-flavored, while orange chicken tends to have more of a sweet and sour taste. Also, orange chicken is crispy while tangerine chicken is not breaded like that.

How can I adjust the spiciness of the dish?

If you prefer your food to be spicier, you can add more red chili paste or red pepper flakes to the recipe. On the other hand, if you’re not a fan of heat, you can simply omit these ingredients altogether.

Close-up of a sesame chicken dish garnished with spring onions and red bell peppers, draped in an Asian tangerine sauce.
Close-up of a Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry with vegetables garnished with sesame seeds and spring onions.

Tangerine Chicken Recipe

5 from 36 votes

Spicy Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry

By: Bella Bucchiotti
This tangerine chicken recipe pairs the juicy chicken breast with a tangerine sauce that's a little spicy, a little sweet, and a lot of savory.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless skinless, cut into 1” cubes
  • ¼ Cup tangerine juice
  • canola oil
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 Stalks green onions, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tangerine, peeled, separated
  • sesame seeds, as garnish

Sauce

  • ¾ Cup tangerine juice
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon red chili paste
  • 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger paste
  • ¼ Teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch, for cornstarch slurry
  • 1 Tablespoon water, for cornstarch slurry

Instructions 

  • Cut chicken into 1” pieces and add to a bowl with tangerine juice. Cover and marinate for 2 hours.
  • Heat 2” canola oil in a wok to about 300 degrees F.
  • Combine tangerine juice, soy, hoisin, red chili paste, brown sugar, garlic paste, ginger paste, and red pepper flakes in a bowl with a pour spout and whisk well.
  • Pour into a saucepan and cover. Heat until mixture starts to boil, then uncover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  • Add chicken to the wok and fry for 5 minutes. Remove and set on a wire rack lined baking sheet to allow excess oil to drip off.
  • Make cornstarch slurry by whisking cornstarch and water. Add cornstarch slurry to the saucepan and whisk. Turn off the heat but keep the saucepan on the stove top to thicken.
  • Toss chicken, peeled tangerines, and diced bell pepper in the sauce. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve over rice.

Notes

Marinate the Chicken: For the best flavor, marinate your chicken in tangerine juice for at least 2 hours. This will help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with the tangerine flavor.
Get Your Wok Hot: Before frying your chicken, make sure the canola oil in your wok is hot enough (around 300 degrees F). This will give you a nice, crispy exterior on your chicken pieces.
Don’t Rush the Sauce: Allow the tangerine sauce to simmer for 10 minutes after it starts to boil. This will help the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken.
Garnish Before Serving: Before serving, garnish your tangerine chicken with diced green onions and sesame seeds. Not only will this add a pop of color, but it will also give your dish a bit of extra texture and flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 967mg | Potassium: 502mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1019IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Easy to make and truly delicious, this tangerine chicken recipe boasts so much flavor. The tangerine sauce for chicken is better than Chinese takeout and this is a dish you’ll want to make again and again.

Other Recipes To Try

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments