How to Make Orange Sauce [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 5 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!

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5 from 5 reviews

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!

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings of about 1/4 cup
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 15 mins



Nutrition information

Calories: 112 Carbohydrates: 26 Protein: 1 Fat: 0 Saturated Fat: 0 Cholesterol: 0 Sodium: 546 Potassium: 154 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 22 Vitamin A: 180 Vitamin C: 32.3 Calcium: 23 Iron: 0.4
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Melissa Chapman

Looks like a great sauce and sweet and sour is always so good. I will try and use this sauce the next time I have chinese style food and veggies.



I have to make up a batch of this the next time I stir fry veggies. It sounds really good.


Tara Pittman

That is a great sauce that I need to make. I love that I can make this instead of buying them.


Amy Desrosiers

I love Chinese orange chicken! I would love to try this sauce over some fish or chicken pieces. I love sweet & savory!



Orange Chicken is my favorite. Is that how you'd use this?



Give me all the Orange Sauce!!!! I love that this sauce can be used with so many different meats and veggies. A staple in our home for sure. 


Toni | Boulder Locavore

I can't wait to give it a try! Looks really easy to make!


Myrah Duque

It never occurred to me to make orange sauce! It is so easy to make too. This will be a winner at my household for sure.



I have everything I need to make this! I can't wait to add such delicious flavor to my chicken.


Brittany Putman

I love orange chicken. I can't wait to try this!


Krystel | Frugal Living

Saving! So cool that this can be made at home honestly. I love this stuff



Looks so good! I can see myself using this for a lot of stuff!


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.


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