Mandarin Orange Chicken

Number #137 of things I miss about the UK is Chinese takeaways. This may sound a little strange if you aren’t British. Or if you are British and have never lived abroad. There actually are hundreds (I estimate) of Chinese takeaways and restaurants here in Dubai. The thing is, none of them taste like the good old British Chinese. I’m sure that they are probably far more authentic than the restaurants back home. The fact that one takeaway nearby offers fried chicken feet is testament to that. I guess in the same way that Indian food in the UK has adapted over the years to the British palate, the same has happened with Chinese.

As a result I’ve practiced with different ‘faux’ Chinese take away recipes over the years I’ve been in Dubai. I’ve not quite nailed it yet but this Mandarin Orange Chicken is a great adaptation of a typical Chicken and Mushroom dish – with a sweet hit of citrus.

Mandarin Chicken Orange

This recipe is a perfect take away alternative – yet with a fraction of the calories – it comes in at only 450 kcal per dish. If you are a fan of oranges then this will be a huge hit. Although I served it with basmati rice you could easily whip up some egg fried rice for added authenticity.

Do you have any great faux take away recipes? I’d love to see them (and try them 🙂 )

Mandarin Orange Chicken

Recipe by carolineCourse: DinnerCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





A fresh and sweet tasting Mandarin Orange Chicken. Lightly battered chicken stir fried with crispy vegetables – perfect served with fluffy rice or noodles.


  • 50g plain flour

  • zest of 1/2 mandarin orange

  • 60ml semi skimmed milk

  • zest of 1/2 mandarin orange

  • 150g raw chicken breast, cut into chunks

  • 50g red bell pepper, cut into rectangles (about half a large pepper)

  • 80g closed cup mushrooms, cut into halves or thirds depending on the size

  • 20g spring onion, sliced diagonally

  • 50g brown onion (around half a medium onion), cut into quarters, and then each piece into half, so you have nice chunky pieces

  • For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 chicken stock cube mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water

  • 1 tbsp japanese rice vinegar

  • 1 tsp lazy ginger paste – or fresh, grated ginger

  • juice of 1 mandarin orange

  • zest of 1/2 mandarin orange

  • 1 tsp golden syrup

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp low calorie sweetener, such as canderel

  • 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp water

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C . First make the chicken. Put the plain flour in a bowl and stir in the zest from half a mandarin. Stir in the milk, a little a time until you have a smooth batter which will easily coat the chicken without clumping.
  • Toss the chicken in the batter and lay out on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure that the batter doesn’t start to burn.
  • Next make the sauce – add all the ingredients apart from the cornflour into a small sauce pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the cornflour, a teaspoon at a time, stirring for a few seconds between each addition. Once it has thickened adequately remove from the heat. You want the texture to be a little thinner than a pourable honey.
  • Next heat a little oil or some cooking spray in a wok. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until they have started to soften. Next add the pepper and cook for a further 6-7 minutes until everything has browned a little. Add the battered chicken and mix everything together.
  • Finally add the sauce to the wok and stir everything together for a minute or two. Plate and serve with fluffy rice or noodles. Beautiful!


  • Calorie information doesn’t include rice

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