This tangerine chicken stir fry pairs juicy, succulent chicken breast with a sweet, delicious Asian tangerine sauce. It’s a little spicy, a little sweet and a little savoury, for the perfect flavour balance. This simple, one-pan recipe is a Chinese takeout favourite and everything from the tangerine or orange sauce for chicken to the moist chicken itself is a real winner. Fans of Chinese food shouldn’t miss out on this recipe.
Tangerine is used in various Chinese medicines but this Vitamin C-rich ingredient also stars in tangerine chicken stir fry. This is a spicy, fresh-tasting dish and you will love how the fruity tangerine flavour works with the chicken to make such a mouth-watering meal.
Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry Ingredients
The main ingredients are the chicken and tangerine juice. You also need cornstarch, eggs, canola oil, green onion, bell pepper, a fresh tangerine, and sesame sauce. The Asian tangerine sauce for chicken calls for tangerine juice, soy sauce, hoisin, chilli paste, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and more cornstarch.
Use a different type of oil if you prefer (peanut oil works well in Chinese recipes) or sub a different colour of bell pepper. You can also adjust the amount of sugar to make it sweeter or less sweet, as you prefer. Chinese takeout versions tend to be very sweet but you can control the sweetness level yourself.
How to Make Chicken in Asian Tangerine Sauce
Once you know how easy it is to make your own tangerine chicken stir fry, you’ll never want the Chinese takeout version again! Chop the chicken and marinate it in the tangerine juice for a couple of hours.
Heat some oil in a wok. Combine all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch slurry, then add the mixture to a pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix the eggs with the cornstarch, salt, and pepper, then add the chicken pieces to this.
Cook the chicken in the wok for 5 minutes then drain it. Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the pan and whisk it in then let it thicken up.
Finally, add the chicken, peeled fresh tangerine segments and bell pepper and stir well. Serve hot, with sesame seeds and green onions to garnish.
Differences between Tangerine Chicken and Orange Chicken
Tangerines, clementines, satsumas, and oranges are all very similar, so you might be wondering whether tangerine sauce for chicken is the same as orange chicken, a popular Chinese takeout dish.
Actually these aren’t the same dish (although you can sub orange juice if you can’t find tangerine juice!) This recipe is spicy and fresh-flavoured, 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.
Orange chicken is an Americanized Chinese recipe and the sweet sauce for chicken was created to cater to the American palate. If you’re a citrus fan, I bet you’ll also love this clementine martini.
How to Serve Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry
The dish includes onion and bell pepper, but you might also like some steamed or roasted broccoli or another kind of vegetable on the side.
Chicken in Asian Tangerine Sauce FAQs
Leftovers of such a delicious dish will be very unlikely! But if you do have any, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight then reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or until hot, or in a 350 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes.
Trader Joe’s carries this juice as do some larger grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can sub orange juice which isn’t quite as sweet but will work at a pinch.
Tasty Tangerine Chicken Recipe
Tasty Tangerine Chicken Stir Fry
- 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
- 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
- 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 350 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, combine whisked 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 wisking 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.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Easy to make and truly delicious, this tangerine chicken recipe boasts so much flavour. The tangerine sauce for chicken is better than Chinese takeout and this is a dish you’ll want to make again and again.
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.