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Apr 24, 2018

Stir-Fried Crispy Orange Beef

Crispy Orange Beef is a classic Chinese take-out dish made with thinly sliced steak that has been marinated in orange juice, soy sauce, and garlic, stir-fried with a corn starch coating, and then tossed in an orange, Sichuan peppercorn, and scallion sauce.

Stir-Fried Crispy Orange Beef

Unlike the gloppy orange beef that is breaded and deep fried, this crispy orange beef is briefly marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and orange juice, coated in corn starch, and then quickly fried in batches in a wok.

Once you've fried the beef, you stir-fry it in a delicious sauce of orange juice, chilis, and green onions.

Crispy orange beef will often be topped with the zest of tangerines. Oranges symbolize luck and tangerines symbolize wealth, especially for Chinese New Year.

Stir-Fried Crispy Orange Beef with tangerine zest

While this dish might be the lesser known cousin of Orange Chicken, it's equally as tasty.

You can make this beef in a sauté pan, but I prefer a carbon steel flat bottomed wok. They are inexpensive, and will contain any splatters when you add the beef to the oil. They are also wonderful for making popcorn!

More Chinese Take-Out Recipes:

 As part of a multi-course meal, this stir-fried crispy orange beef serves four. With rice and a salad, it generously serves two.

After the recipe, be sure to visit the rest of the citrus recipes (a theme chosen by Laura of Mother Would Know) from my Progressive Eats friends.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

Stir-Fried Crispy Orange Beef


  • 1/3 cup orange or tangerine juice
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
Orange Beef Stir-Fry
  • 3/4 pound flank steak
  • 1 tangerine
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 3 dried red chili peppers, such as chiles de arbol, stemmed, and cut in half
  • 1 scallion, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • Orange or tangerine zest for garnish


  1. To Make the Sauce: Mix the orange juice, soy sauce, water, and wine in a small bowl. Set aside. 

  1. To Make the Marinade: Mix the orange juice, soy sauce, wine, and garlic in a medium bowl. 
  2. Cut the flank steak in half or thirds with the grain, depending on the width of the steak. the strips should be 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. Cut each of these strips against the grain into 1/4 inch slices. Mix the beef in the marinade and let sit for 10 minutes. 
  3. Using a peeler, peel several thin strips of zest from the tangerine. Set aside. 
  4. Add the cornstarch to the beef, and thoroughly mix to coat. 
  5. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. 
  6. Heat a wok over high heat. When a drop of water dissolved immediately on the hot wok, add 3/4 cup of the oil. Heat for one minute, until it is shimmery. Cook the beef in 2 to 3 batches for two minutes per batch, turning while cooking, until it's crispy on the edges. Drain on the paper towel lined plate. 
  7. Pour out the frying oil into a heatproof container. 
  8. Heat the wok again over high heat and add one teaspoon of oil. Heat until shimmery. Add the zest, chilies, and scallions, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the sauce and sugar, and heat for 10 seconds. 
  9. Add the beef and stir-fry for one to two minutes, until the beef is coated with the sauce and cooked through. Sprinkle with the Sichuan peppercorns and toss briefly. Garnish with a few twists of orange or tangerine zest. 

A Citrus Feast

Cocktails & Other Beverages
Main Courses
Side Dishes
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Each recipe in our menu this month features citrus. Our host this month is Laura from Mother Would Know.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

Stir-Fried Crispy Orange Beef with white rice

Would you like to comment?

  1. Oh, does this look scrumptious, Karen! Without a kitchen, I can still make your orange beef on a hotplate. :)

  2. Mmmmm to tell you the truth, I wanted this recipe for my cookbook! I wish I could have known that you make a beautiful, perfect Orange Beef! It looks so delicous! Now I have to make it!

  3. Who wants gloppy orange beef, lol! I love that description, and love how this dish looks. My husband would love it. I'm saving it to make for him!!!

    1. Thanks Susan! This one's definitely not "gloppy!"

  4. OK, now I "need" to make this ASAP! Beautiful photos and a great choice for our citrus-themed dinner!

  5. I'm not kidding...totally craving this dish! I do think I will try it with ribeye though. I have somehow ended up with several ribeye steaks in my freezer (I cannot pass up a sale it appears and then forget I bought!) and would love to use one of them instead. But the less 'gloppy' and the flavor of orange have me craving and I mean craving NOW!

    1. I think ribeye would be perfect with this stir-fry!

  6. This recipe and your photos are making me crazy hungry and I want to make it soon! I love that you made it crispy but kept it light. It's my kind of dinner!

  7. Oh, my husband would LOVE this recipe. Thanks for sharing!


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