How to Make Orange Sauce [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 7 reviews

Asian food recipes Dips and Spreads Kitchen Tips Sauces Dressings Marinades

Cook time Cook time: 10 minutes

Orange Sauce lends that sweet, tangy, and citrusy flavor to your Chinese stir-fry takeout. It has an appealing color and is easy to prepare at home! Also, check out the quick video tutorial attached below for quick recipe guidelines. 

If you have been wanting to make your own Chinese takeout dishes, then, you can check out my other recipes like the Hunan Chicken, Moo Goo Gai Pan, and Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry.

Homemade Chinese Orange Sauce

Orange Sauce adds that sweet-and-sour flavor that is famous in Chinese takeout dishes. It is like sweet and sour sauce, but instead of using pineapple juice, this sauce only has orange juice.

It is versatile and it can be added to chicken, beef, and vegetables like cauliflower. Not only is this versatile, but it is also easy to make! You can prepare this in advance, keep it in a jar, and then, use whenever you like for your homemade fusion dishes.

Its main ingredient, orange juice, can also contribute to your health by providing a healthy dose of vitamin C and other antioxidants. It can lower cholesterol, decrease inflammation, and prevent kidney stones.

Moreover, the fact that you will be making this at home adds more benefits. You can control the sugar that goes into it. You can save money, too!

What is Chinese Orange Sauce?

It is a combination of sweet and sour flavors mainly from citrus and sugar. The rice vinegar adds a nice zest that effectively helps to balance out all the sweetness.

It pairs well with anything battered may it be chicken, pork, or even shrimp.

Use it in stir-fry dishes or as a dip. Drizzle it on roasted veggies to make them even more refreshing to eat!

This version aims to copy the usual Chinese takeout sauce. However, the authentic Chinese recipe makes use of dried tangerine peel, not orange.

What is Orange Sauce made of?

It has minimal ingredients and all are easy to find – some are even in your pantry. Here is the list:

  • orange juice
  • orange zest
  • rice vinegar
  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • soy sauce
  • fresh ginger
  • garlic cloves
  • red chili flakes
  • cornstarch

How do you make Orange Sauce?

This easy Asian inspired recipe requires just a few simple steps. Also, feel free to watch the video tutorial attached.

  1. Heat: Over medium heat, heat up all the ingredients excluding the cornstarch and zest.
  2. Thicken: Stir in a mixture of cornstarch and water and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Cool: Remove from heat and add the zest then, it is done. Cooldown a little and transfer to a clean container or jar.

How do you thicken Orange Sauce?

The cornstarch in the ingredients list is the key. Add a small amount of water to it and it will turn into a paste. Add this paste to the sauce and it will become thick.

What does Orange Sauce taste like?

It is not only sweet and sour, but it also has umami in it. When paired with vegetables or meat, they also add depth and richness.

How to store it :

  • Refrigerator: Once cooled down completely, you can store this in the fridge and use it within the next two to three weeks.
  • Freezer: Kept frozen in a freezer bag, you can store this for up to 3 months.

More delicious sauces:

Recipe Tips:

  • Instead of red chili flakes, you may substitute with sriracha for a nice spicy kick.
  • Substitute honey for at most half the sugars in this recipe. Completely removing the sugar and using honey will change the flavor.
  • If you have extra juice and zest, make something that can be used for desserts. Simply let the juice boil with sugar, the zest, and some cornstarch. Once thick, remove from heat and whisk in some butter. Use it to drizzle over ice cream, pancake, or waffles!

Orange Sauce Recipe

Orange Sauce

Orange Sauce lends that sweet, tangy, and citrusy flavor to your Chinese stir-fry takeout. It has an appealing color and is easy to prepare at home!
5 from 7 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings of about 1/4 cup
Calories: 112kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 orange (zested)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • In a medium saucepan add orange juice, white and brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and red chili flakes. Heat for 3 minutes over medium heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to form a paste.
  • Add the paste to orange sauce and whisk together. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken.
  • Once the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and stir in orange zest.



Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 546mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 32.3mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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Leave a reply

Ruth I

I crave dishes with orange sauce and this one looks definitely yummy! will try this one out and share with my friends!


Kim McMillan

I wanted to make this from scratch, to avoid all the sugar etc from grocery store bottled sauce. You nailed it sister! It was thick and orangey - perfection! I will use nothing else from here on out. I love that it didn’t get too thick and clumpy when cooling a little, as well. I sautéed my chicken, microwaved 2 boxes of veg fried rice, then poured this sauce over the chicken in the pan and just simmered another minute to coat. Next time I’ll double the batch 🥳


Hi Kim, thanks for your review. This makes my day! So glad you loved the sauce!


Gayle A Wallace

I just made this. The only change I made was to chop up some mandarin oranges to give it a little thickness. It's delicious!


Mary Schultze

How would you go about reheating this when ready to serve, if made ahead a day or 2 and stored in fridge?


Just add to a saucepan and reheat or use the microwave to reheat it, stirring from time to time.


Diane S

I just serve this sauce over goose breast. My husband was very doubtful about it and he could not believe how delicious it was and how perfect it was with the goose . great recipe thanks


Darlene Keating

I know this sounds stupid but what kind of orange juice? The refrigerated, frozen and then prepared or just the frozen can without preparation or juice from a orange?


either fresh orange juice or regular orange juice, I did not use frozen orange juice concentrate.



Had to make in a pinch and was amazing. Everyone loved it. Will definitely make again. Thank you for providing an easy and flavorful recipe.


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