Sweet & Tangy Orange Chicken, Chinese Take-Out Style (vegan)


Announcer: “It’s November! You know what that means. Tiiimmee… fffooorrr… Thanksg-”

Me: “CHINESE FOOD.”

Announcer: “No, I was gonna say Thanksgiving food. Who the heck craves Chinese take-out in November? None the less, who would be stupid enough to put that in their food blog this time of year?”

Me: “I would! Aka someone who ignores well-planned marketing strategies so he can do whatever he feels like. Someone who knows that I can’t be the only one who misses Panda Express more than ever. Someone who understands that there’s more to November than overdone American classics like stuffing and cranberry sauce… no offense cranberries.

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The typical Fall drama continues. People are forced to feel like they have to eat according to what’s on TV and on the front shelves in grocery stores. Well I’m here to tell you that if you want tacos or aloo gobi or American-Chinese food then you can’t let anyone stop you! To hell with seasons!

Now, let’s talk orange chicken. This type of recipe probably isn’t unknown to most of you – it’s sweet & tangy, fried & crispy, and most definitely not authentic Chinese food. It’s pretty much like that $8.00 entree you’d order at your local hole-in-the-wall Chinese take-out place or Panda Express when you were a teenager, only it’s vegan. To make it, we take vegan chicken – Chick’n Scallopini by Gardein is perfect for this application – cut it into chunks, toss it in a vegan egg mixture, toss it in a breading, and deep fry it. Then we fry up some garlic & red pepper flakes, toss that with the fried chicken, and finish it off with fresh orange sauce. All in all, it takes about 30 minutes!

Because no American-Chinese entree is complete without a side to soak up that extra sauce, whip up some white jasmine rice, chow mein, or garlicky fried rice to serve on the side!

We hope you guys enjoy this entree, it’s:

  • Sweet, tangy, and savory
  • Crispy, saucy, and chewy
  • A Chinese-American staple
  • Vegan

If you like what your tastebuds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.

Go Forth and Eat Chinese Food in November,
Ryan

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Sweet & Tangy Orange Chicken, Chinese Take-Out Style (vegan)

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Vegan rendition of the sticky, sweet, and savory American-Chinese classic, Orange Chicken.

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 10 oz vegan chicken, lightly thawed and cut into chunks about 1.5 x 1.5 inches*
  • 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsps tapioca starch
  • 1/4 c cold water
  • 1 packed tbsp vegan egg powder by Follow Your Heart
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 gal refined oil, for frying

Orange Sauce

  • Juice from one orange (about 1/2 c)
  • Zest from half an orange
  • 72 g (1/4 c + 2 tbsps) cane sugar, erythritol, or agave
  • 1.5 oz (3 tbsps) soy sauce
  • 1.5 oz (3 tbsps) rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp tapioca or corn starch

Finish

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a mason jar or personal blender cup, and shake / blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Place oil in a large dutch oven or electric deep-fryer and bring temperature to 350-365° F. I like to get it a little hotter than needed (360° F), because I know it will drop once the chicken is added.
  3. Whisk together cold water, vegan egg powder, salt, and white pepper together in a large bowl until smooth. In a separate large bowl, stir together all purpose flour and tapioca starch.
  4. Add chicken chunks into the egg mixture and toss around to evenly coat. Then add all of that mixture directly into the flour mixture. Toss to combine and evenly coat every piece.
  5. Add a handful of chicken into the oil at a time – cooking in 4-5 batches – and cook until the bubbling slows down and the breading is crispy; about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to a draining rig and repeat for rest of the batches.
  6. Once all of the chicken’s cooked, heat a large wok or sauté pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add in sesame oil, garlic, red pepper, and cook until garlic begins to brown around the edges; about 30 seconds. Add in chicken, toss to coat, then pour in the sauce mixture.
  7. Cook for about two more minutes or until the sauce thickens and begins to bubble. Serve while fresh alongside white rice, fried rice, or noodles! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat over medium heat with a splash of water until hot; about 4 minutes.

*We recommend using Chick’n Scallopini or Chick’n Strips by Gardein, as they’re tender, chewy, and readily accessible in the frozen vegetarian section of many grocery stores. Although any un-breaded vegan chicken you like will work here; many Oriental markets have great options as well.

 

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