Less Sweet Orange Chicken Recipe: Savory Twist on a Classic

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Less Sweet Orange Chicken Recipe

If you love the savory and tangy flavors of orange chicken but find it too sweet for your taste, then this recipe is for you! You can easily make your own less sweet orange chicken at home, and it’s simpler than you might think.

By using natural citrus flavors and just the right amount of sweetness, this recipe makes for a perfect balance of tang and sweetness that will surely delight your taste buds.

  • Number of Diners: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
  • Sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions for garnish (optional)

Preparation Steps

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger.
  2. In a separate bowl, coat the chicken pieces with cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown and fully cooked.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and pour the orange juice mixture over the chicken. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
  5. Remove from heat and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions if desired, and serve with steamed rice or vegetables.

Benefits of Making Less Sweet Orange Chicken

By making orange chicken less sweet, you can enjoy the natural tanginess of fresh orange juice along with the savory flavors of the dish. It’s a healthier alternative to overly sweetened versions and allows the other ingredients to shine through, creating a more well-rounded flavor profile.

Recommendations and Advice

Feel free to adjust the amount of honey to suit your desired level of sweetness. You can also add a splash of rice vinegar for an extra zing of flavor. For a bit of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes into the sauce.

Curiosities About the Recipe

Did you know that the concept of orange chicken originated in Hunan, a province in south-central China? It was later adapted by Chinese immigrants in America, resulting in the popular sweet and savory dish that we know today.

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