Crispy orange beef broccoli

Chinese Orange Beef recipe

Crispy Chinese Orange BeefI love Chinese food. Many of us do.

But you know what the problem is?

Many Chinese restaurants charge rock bottom prices and use low quality ingredients. Few things gross me out more than taking a bite of meat and finding that the majority of it is a big hunk of rubbery fat (gag!) and gristle.

The solution of course, is to make Chinese food at home. And today I’ll be showing you how to make one of my favorites…crispy orange beef!

Orange Beef SauceI saw this recipe for Crispy Orange Beef in the last issue of Cook’s Illustrated and had one of those “I have to make this NOW” moments.

This dish is one of the few instances where it seems appropriate to cook red meat with something fragrant and fruity like an orange, and I love the pairing of the two.

The original Cooks Illustrated recipe says to include the white bitter pithy part to better mimic the dried tangerine peel normally used in this dish, but I found it to be too bitter. I say just get that fragrant colored orange part and julienne that, like this:

Part of the secret to the crispiness is to coat the orange beef in cornstarch and pop the strips into the freezer for a little while.

Crispy Orange BeefThis is a trick that works for all sorts of meat and seafood. The freezer is very dry and helps dry out the moisture that may be on the surface of the meat. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness, so the freezer is our friend!

When you’re ready to get everything cooked to serve, first sauté the orange strips with some jalapeño:

Add some other fun flavors, namely garlic, freshly grated ginger, and some red pepper flakes, and deglaze the pan with a mixture of soy sauce, molasses, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and brandy.

Fry the beef in batches and toss to coat in the sauce. Served with rice, it’s totally scrumptious!

Yes, I just said scrumptious. I mean look at it, don’t you agree?

Oh, and for those people who are turned off by the deep frying, the Cooks Illustrated folks measured the amount of oil before and after frying, and the beef only absorbed 2 tbsp of oil. Not bad if you ask me. If your oil is at the proper high temperature and the beef has been properly dried, deep frying doesn’t have to be out of control oily.


  • 1.5 lbs sirloin steak
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 softball sized navel orange
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp brandy or red wine
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp 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
  • 2 scallions, chopped (for garnish)
  • vegetable oil, for frying
Orange Zest Crispy Orange Beef Extra Crispy Orange Beef Orange Jalapeño Crispy Beef Chinese Takeout Crispy Orange Beef

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