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Q&C – Spicy Orange Chicken

(Thanks to Judy White for the nomination!)

Our next Wok Wednesday recipe will be Spicy Orange Chicken (p. 119). This should be a fun chance for us to try our hand at a Chinese take-away standard! I myself am partial to sesame chicken, but orange chicken is always my back-up.

For those of you in warmer climes this will be a chance to take advantage of the last of the season’s tomatoes. This recipe also some non-traditional ingredients like white pepper and chili bean sauce, both of which will show up in future recipes; take the opportunity to stock up now! Lastly, I’d recommend purchasing a scallion shredder to help slice the scallions – they are incredibly inexpensive, easy to find online or at most kitchen supply stores, and will make quick work of those scallions.

Any questions or comments before you start? Are you an orange chicken fan?


7 responses »

  1. I have not heard of orange chicken, and it was not listed on the menu of the last restaurant we visited. We have, and enjoyed lemon chicken at our local Chinese restaurants. I made the orange chicken this evening and I am still on cloud nine! Delish!

  2. I have a few questions, though it’ll be too late for this time! Does finely shredded ginger mean julienned? That’s what it looks like in the picture, but I just grated it. Results will definitely be different if it was meant to be julienned. For chili bean sauce I have two things in my cupboard – chili black bean sauce and spicy bean sauce (ma po sauce). Both lee kum kee. I used the chili black bean sauce hoping it’s closer to what I’m meant to use.

    • I had the same questions. There’s some Chili Bean Sauce info on pages 36-37, and the finely shredded ginger is discussed on page 42.

      • Hm, the chili bean sauce entry leaves me just as confused! The translation – laat dao zheung – is so different from what I thought I was looking for – the sichuanese bean paste toban djan. Different dialect or completely different product?

        And the ginger shreds is what I thought it would be (after I reflected on it later) – julienned strips. I remembered too late that shredded pork dishes I’ve had in restaurants consists of thin julienned strips of pork, rather than shredded in the pulled pork sense. Well, I’ll remember for next time. I actually did what Matt did and grated some, then grew bored and minced the rest!

    • I did half and half for my ginger – grated one tablespoon on my microplane and then just finely diced the other. I wasn’t sure exactly how to shred ginger. As for the sauce, I looked at every jar in my Asian grocery and settled on chili sauce with black bean paste. I think it worked out!

  3. Apologies everyone to leave you hanging. The chili bean sauce is laat dao zheung in Cantonese. It’s made with soybeans, chilies, and spices. As Sarah noted toban djan (in Mandarin) is the Sichuan product. In Sichuan it’s made with fermented fava beans but elsewhere in China it’s made with soybeans. Unfortunately, my favorite brand which is pictured on page 37 doesn’t have an english name.

    As for the finely shredded ginger, as Rob said the instructions are on page 42. The peeled ginger should be cut into paper thin slices as shown on photo 2. Then stack the slices and make fine shreds. (photo 3). I do not recommend grating ginger because the microplane makes the ginger very wet. When you add it to the hot oil the moisture will cause the oil to spatter.

  4. Oh my! Love that chili bean sauce in fact I used a little extra and made this dish just a little more flavorful. I used my box shredder on the ginger and it came out a little too shredded I think. Duh, should have looked at page 42. Oh well live and learn. I plan to make this dish this weekend again. Good stuff.


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