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Crispy Orange Beef: A Flavorful Chinese-American Dish

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Crispy Orange Beef is a popular Chinese-American dish known for its sweet and tangy flavors, crispy texture, and vibrant colors. This dish features thinly sliced beef that is coated in a light batter, fried until crispy, and then tossed in a sticky orange sauce infused with citrusy flavors. It’s a delightful combination of crispy meat and a savory-sweet sauce that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Here’s how you can recreate this restaurant favorite at home.

Ingredients

For the Beef:

  • 500g (about 1 lb) beef sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Orange Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

For Stir-Frying:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1. Prepare the Beef
  1. Slice Beef: Thinly slice beef against the grain into strips. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  2. Coat Beef: In a bowl, combine cornstarch and salt. Toss beef slices in the cornstarch mixture until evenly coated.
  3. Heat Oil: Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat until hot (about 350°F or 175°C).
  4. Fry Beef: Working in batches, carefully add coated beef slices to the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove beef with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining beef slices.
2. Make the Orange Sauce
  1. Combine Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and minced garlic.
  2. Thicken Sauce: In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch with water to create a slurry. Pour slurry into the sauce mixture and whisk until well combined.
3. Stir-Fry
  1. Stir-Fry Aromatics: In a clean skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add minced ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add Orange Zest: Add orange zest to the skillet and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  3. Combine Sauce: Pour the prepared orange sauce into the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
  4. Add Crispy Beef: Add the fried crispy beef slices to the skillet. Toss gently to coat the beef evenly with the orange sauce. Cook for another minute until heated through.
4. Serve Crispy Orange Beef
  1. Garnish: Transfer Crispy Orange Beef to a serving platter. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
  2. Serve Hot: Serve immediately over steamed rice or noodles. Enjoy the crispy texture and vibrant flavors of this delicious Chinese-American dish!

Tips for Success

  • Thin Slicing: Slice the beef thinly against the grain to ensure tender and crispy texture after frying.
  • Oil Temperature: Maintain the oil temperature around 350°F (175°C) to achieve crispy beef without burning.
  • Sauce Consistency: Adjust the thickness of the orange sauce by adding more or less cornstarch slurry, according to your preference.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use freshly squeezed orange juice and zest for the best citrusy flavor.

Variations

  • Spicy Orange Beef: Add a teaspoon of chili flakes or minced fresh chili peppers to the sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute beef with crispy tofu or battered and fried cauliflower florets for a vegetarian version.
  • Healthier Version: Bake or air-fry the beef slices instead of deep-frying for a lighter option.

Conclusion

Crispy Orange Beef is a delightful dish that combines crispy fried beef with a tangy and sweet orange sauce, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. By following this recipe, you can easily recreate the popular Chinese-American favorite at home, perfect for a delicious dinner or special occasion. Serve Crispy Orange Beef over steamed rice or noodles, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds for an impressive presentation. Enjoy the crispy goodness and citrusy tang of this classic dish with your loved ones!

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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