Homemade Orange Sauce Recipe

Homemade Orange Sauce is an easy and quick way to experience Chinese flavors in every bite! It is a great way to incorporate with chicken, stir-fry, roasted veggies, or even waffles. Follow the steps below, and learn how to easily make this sauce at home. 
I love easy Chinese dinners, and I often use this sauce over many meals. Some of my favorite ways to use are over Chicken, Shrimp, and Broccoli, and Beef and Broccoli
orange sauce in a jar

Easy Orange Sauce Recipe

This Orange Sauce is my go-to recipe when I quickly need to boost flavors in a recipe. I usually make a large batch in advance and refrigerate for weeks to come. This way, I can have it handy anytime I want some Chinese flavors in a given dish. 
The sauce is very easy to prepare with only 5 ingredients, and ready in 5 minutes. For this version, I use the orange zest as is widely available. However, the authentic Chinese sauce calls for tangerine zest. Both work just fine, so go with what you can find.
No experience is needed to make this dish. You simply heat up the pan, whisk the ingredients together and it is done! It is light, colorful with a sweet and tangy note to it. So you can easily use it even over salads, chicken, tofu, or various fish dishes. 
Also, feel free to make a double or triple batch and keep it in your fridge readily available for those stir-fry dinners. You can play with flavors, by making it spicier, or adding some freshly squeezed lemon juice. 
orange sauce

What is Chinese orange sauce?

It is actually one of the most popular sauces in Chinese cuisine. If you’ve been to an Asian restaurant, then there is no doubt you have tried it in various dishes. 

The sauce itself is a combination of sweet and sour flavors with a hint of citrus. It is perfect to use on chicken, pork, stir-fry dishes, or as a dip. 

What goes into Orange Sauce?

You will need the following ingredients:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Grated Orange Zest (or tangerine)
  • Orange Juice 
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Garlic and Ginger
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Cornstarch

orange sauce

How do you make orange sauce?

  1. Heat: In a saucepan, over medium heat, add oil and sauce the garlic and ginger.
  2. Rest of the ingredients: Next, add in brown sugar, orange juice, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar and zest. Then,whisk for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Bring to a boil, and cook the mixture for another 1-2 minutes while constantly whisking. 
  3. Cornstarch: Stir in the cornstarch slurry and whisk gently until it thickens. Let it cool down and then serve over your favorite meal. 

How do you thicken the orange sauce?

The cornstarch helps with thickening the dish. It is used in this recipe exactly for this purpose. If for some reason you end up with a runny sauce and want to make it thicker, simply add a small amount of juice with a bit of cornstarch, and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. 

How to use the sauce?

It is a great way to incorporate it with pretty much any type of food. You can use it over:

Can you make it ahead?

Yes! Feel free to double or triple the recipes. Prior to storing let it completely cool. Then, transfer it to a sealed jar, and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks. 

orange sauce on a spoon

More sauce recipes to try:

Recipe Tips:

  • For flavor variation, swap the orange juice with lemon juice. Also, this will add a more citrusy tone to it. 
  • To make it spicy, add some chili flakes or freshly chopped jalapeno peppers. 
  • You can swap sugar with brown sugar, or even honey. 
  • In addition, minced garlic can be added for deeper flavors. 
5 from 3 votes
orange sauce on a spoon
Homemade Orange Sauce
Prep Time
8 mins
Cook Time
12 mins

Homemade Orange Sauce is an easy and quick way to experience Chinese flavors in every bite! It is great when incorporated in stir-fries.

Course: Appetizer, Sauces, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: Homemade Orange Sauce
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 132 kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
Cornstarch Slurry:
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of canola oil in a sauce pan.
  2. Add the minced garlic and ginger and cook stirring for 2 - 3 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add the water, orange juice, zest, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce and heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of orange juice to form a slurry.
  5. Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce and whisk to thicken, around 3 - 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and use as desired.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Orange Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Sodium 817mg36%
Potassium 176mg5%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 116IU2%
Vitamin C 30mg36%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

easy homemade orange sauce pin


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