Orange Beef

This homemade Crispy Orange Beef has tons of flavor, and is simple to make at home. It's Chinese takeout in your kitchen!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword orange beef
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 363kcal


  • 1.5 lbs sirloin steak
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 navel orange
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp brandy or red wine
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 jalapeño, inner seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • recommended side dish: fried rice or steamed rice


  • Thinly slice the beef about 1/4 inch thick, then toss with 1 tbsp of the soy sauce.
  • Sprinkle the beef evenly with the cornstarch and mix well.
  • Evenly spread the beef out on a wire rack set atop a sheet pan, and place the beef in the freezer for 30 minutes. 
  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel the orange zest from the orange, taking care not to get any of the bitter white pithy part. Only peel off the orange colored part.
  • Thinly slice the orange peels into long strips.
  • Cut the orange in half and juice it, measuring out 1/4 cup of juice.
  • Place the juice in a bowl and add the remaining 2 tbsp of soy sauce, molasses, brandy or red wine, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, and whisk to combine. 
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the orange strips and jalapeño and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and stir for 30 seconds until aromatic.
  • Add the sauce mixture to the pan, then turn off the heat.
  • Heat a deep fryer to 375 degrees F and set up a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
  • Once the fryer has reached the proper temperature, fry about 1/4 to 1/3 of the beef at a time for about 2 minutes, making sure to stir gently so the beef doesn’t stick together. After 3 minutes the beef should be golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove the beef to the paper towels to drain, and cook the remainder of the beef.
  • Reheat the sauce over medium high heat for a minute or two until bubbling again, then add all of the beef, stirring to coat in the sauce for about 2 minutes. The cornstarch from the beef should thicken the sauce slightly.
  • Serve immediately, preferably with rice. Enjoy!


 Recipe adapted from the February 2013 issue of Cooks Illustrated.


Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 862mg | Potassium: 897mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 21.4mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 3.9mg