Instead of frying, this healthier orange chicken is stir-fried with less oil making it a healthy easy dinner. Since the orange sauce is so flavorful, this dish still comes out tasty even without frying the chicken.
I’ve been making a lot of popular Chinese American dishes lately and while it’s been fun making them, I couldn’t help but notice how unhealthy they are.
Most of them have the same basic formula: deep frying a protein and then coating it in a thick glaze.
The deep frying part is the main thing that makes these dishes so unhealthy. And it also makes it more time consuming to make. This modified version is only about 870 calories and serves 3-4 people, which makes it less than 300 calories per serving.
To make it healthier, I decided to simply stir-fry some chicken thigh meat rather than deep frying it. Since the orange sauce is so flavorful, this dish still comes out tasty even without frying the chicken. I will note that, this works best with dark meat like chicken thigh meat because the chicken breast was just so plain and flavorless and didn’t work as well.
The chicken doesn’t pick up the sauce quite as well when it’s not fried. If you want to make the chicken itself more flavorful, you can marinate it first in some chicken broth, but I wanted to keep this dish simple and fast. I also wasn’t a fan of the black pepper speckling the dish, so I took it out for the recipe below.
I really enjoyed this healthier version. It takes less time and is less than 300 calories per serving.
For the full-fat orange chicken recipe, check out my previous post here.
Healthier Orange Chicken
- 1 lb boneless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 tbsp oil for cooking chicken
for the sauce
- 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp ginger minced
- 1/2 tsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- Add 1/2 tbsp of oil to wok and turn stove heat to medium-high. Once oil is hot, add in chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink and cooked all the way through. Set aside.
- In a small pot, combine 2 tbsp water, orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, sriracha, ginger. Bring to a boil and stir until all ingredients dissolve and become a uniform sauce.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining 2 tbsp water with cornstarch. Mix until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Pour into boiling sauce and stir constantly until sauce thickens. Turn off stove and add chicken into the sauce pot, stirring to coat chicken pieces. Serve with rice. Garnish with fresh scallions if desired.
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.