Tag Archives: China

Sesame Orange Chicken

Chinese food is a funny thing. The food I thought of as “Chinese” when I was growing up included spring rolls, beef in black bean sauce and anything else in the bain marie at the local bowling club’s all-you-can-eat.

Scorpions… Crunchy.

When I was in China though, the food was a whole other level of delicious & there wasn’t a soggy dim sim in sight. Peking duck, garlicky choy and every sauced up animal part you could imagine was on offer. While scorpion, testicles & starfish weren’t the most delicious options, they certainly opened up a new world of what Chinese food really has to offer.

Testicles. Yep, testicles.

The discovery of Shanghai cuisine was another highlight – hello to one of my favourite restaurants, New Shanghai. Once you go Xiao Long Bao, you won’t go back.

So given this excitement for what lies beyond the bain marie, it’s taken me a long time to come back for Westernised Chinese food. It’s actually taken me pretty much until this recipe – Sesame Orange Chicken – to attempt to cook it, let alone eat it.

I never deep fry at home (for a combination of health, taste & excessive oil usage reasons) so I ditched the batter end of this recipe & just opted for a good cornflour dredge instead.

Other than that and the addition of some greens though, our stab at Sesame Orange Chicken went pretty much to the letter.

The first time we made it (with lightly steamed beans for the greens), the sauce gathered up so quickly that what should’ve been sticky orange deliciousness turned into a bit of a glug-fest (albeit a very flavoursome one!)

Round One: Glug fest

With the Lad keen to give it another chance, Sesame Orange Chicken made this week’s menu in the hope we could do the recipe justice. This time, instead of the 2 tablespoons of cornflour in the sauce mix, we opted for 2 teaspoons worth. And we added in extra orange zest this round – if you’re going to be a bear, you may as well be a grizzly! This. Was. A. Winner. (A winner winner chicken dinner, if you will!)


The sauce was a ladle-able puddle of sweet yet tangy syrupy goodness. For greens, we went for some almost-faded broccoli (which chirped up nicely in some icy water) and the whole deal was dished out on a bed of white rice.

Sesame Orange Chicken, adapted from Blogchef.net

2 chicken breasts sliced into bite-sized chunks & seasoned with salt & pepper
enough cornflour to fairly decently coat the chicken pieces
peanut oil for shallow pan frying
steamed greens

¼ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup honey
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
½ cup water
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon sesame oil
the juice of ½ orange
zest of one orange
sprinkle of garlic powder
sesame seeds

Step 1: Dredge chicken in cornflour & pan fry. Remove from pan when browned & cooked through.
Step 2: In a bowl whisk together sauce ingredients and pour into the wok to cook until thickened and bubbly.
Step 3: Add chicken & steamed greens back to the pan & heat together until everything is coated in syrupy sauce.
Step 4: Load up your bowl and say it with me “Oooooh yeahhh”.