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Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside beef strips coated in a tangy orange glaze. This orange beef recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner and sure to become a new family favorite! It may even rival your favorite takeout spot.

I’m sure by now it’s pretty clear that I love recreating Chinese takeout dishes at home. You get all those tasty flavors you crave, but from the comfort of your kitchen! Try this dynamite shrimp, lemon chicken, or sweet and sour pork next!

Orange beef served over rice, garnished with orange slices.

Better-Than-Takeout Orange Beef Recipe

We all love orange chicken, but when you’re craving something more meaty, orange beef is the way to go. That tender flank steak? It soaks up all that tangy flavor like nobody’s business. The cornstarch coating on the steak? It adds a subtle crispiness that makes each bite a dream. The textures are seriously out of this world. And then the tangy but savory glaze it gets coated with? I can’t say enough good things about this dish.

Now, let’s talk takeout. You know that feeling when you’re craving some Chinese flavors and you’re about to dial up your local takeout joint? Well, with this homemade orange beef, you won’t need to pick up the phone. It’s better than takeout, I kid you not. Plus, you’ve got control over the ingredients and the freshness. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner when time is tight and tummies are growling. Everyone in your family will want seconds!

Don’t Worry!

This recipe is Picky Eater Approved!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Orangey goodness meets tender beef slices. This homemade orange beef is all about simple cooking with big flavors. Here is everything you’ll need to whip it up:

  • Flank Steak: A lean cut of beef that becomes tender and flavorful when cooked. Sliced thinly and coated with cornstarch so it has a crispy, seared texture.
  • Cornstarch: For coating the steak in.
  • Vegetable Oil: Used for cooking the steak. You can also use any other cooking oil you prefer!
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: Adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the orange sauce.
  • Soy Sauce: The main savory ingredient in the sauce.
  • Sesame Oil: Adds a delicious nutty flavor. Don’t skip it!
  • Orange Juice: Adjusts the consistency of the sauce and also adds bright citrus flavor.
  • Orange Marmalade: Infuses sweetness and a concentrated orange flavor, forming the base of the orange sauce. It also helps give the sauce a thick, glossy texture.
  • Brown Sugar: Sweetens the sauce, balancing the tanginess from the orange and vinegar.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: For some kick. Feel free to omit them or add more to taste, whatever you prefer!
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Our trusty flavor boosters! Season to taste.
  • Sesame Seeds (for garnish): Adds a nice crunch and a hint of nutty flavor to the orange beef.

Orange Beef Recipe

Ready to make a better-than-takeout meal in just 30 minutes? Orange beef is the perfect quick and easy dinner that the whole family will go crazy over.

  1. Prepare Beef: Thinly slice the steak, across the grain, in about 2 inch strips. Place the sliced steak into a bowl with the corn starch. Then toss to coat all the steak evenly.
  2. Sauce Mixture: In a separate bowl add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, orange juice, marmalade, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Then whisk to combine.
  3. Sear: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the cornstarch coated steak and cook until the steak is evenly browned on the outside, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Combine: Then to the skillet, add the orange sauce mixture. Continue to cook the steak in the orange sauce, stirring continually until the sauce has begun to thicken.
  5. Let Sauce Thicken: Once the steaks are fully cooked and your sauce is the desired thickness, about 8-10 minutes. Then remove the skillet from heat.
  6. Serve: Serve the orange beef over rice or noodles and enjoy!
4-photo collage of the beef strips being coated with cornstarch and seared.

Tips and Variations

Use these simple tips ensure your orange beef turns out perfectly! It’s been in my family’s dinner rotation pretty often, my kids can never get enough. I know you and yours will love it just as much!

  • Cut Into Thin Slices: Slice the flank steak thinly, cutting against the grain. This ensures the beef is tender and easy to chew.
  • Adjust the Heat: Depending on how spicy you want your sauce, you can add more chili flakes or omit them entirely.
  • More Orange Flavor: If you want your sauce to have more citrus flavor, try adding in some orange zest. Be sure to taste as you go so it doesn’t become overpowering.
  • Serve With: I recommend serving this orange beef with my easy fried rice, air fryer cream cheese wontons, or egg rolls for a complete meal!
Top-down view of orange beef in a skillet, being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Storing Leftovers

Chinese food makes the BEST leftovers. It’s so easy to heat up the next day with some rice for a quick and easy lunch! Your orange beef will be just as tender and flavorful as when you first made it.

  • In the Refrigerator: Store beef in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat: I like to reheat my orange beef on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently until warmed through. You can also use the microwave, warming in short intervals, stirring in between each one.
Picking up a piece of beef with chopsticks.

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Orange Beef

5 from 1 vote
By: Alyssa Rivers
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside beef strips coated in a tangy orange glaze. This orange beef recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner and sure to become a new family favorite! It may even rival your favorite takeout spot.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Thinly slice the steak, across the grain, in about 2 inch strips. Place the sliced steak into a bowl with the cornstarch. Toss to coat all the steak evenly.
  • In a separate bowl add the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, orange juice, marmalade, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the cornstarch coated steak and cook until the steak is evenly browned on the outside, about 5-8 minutes.
  • To the skillet, add the orange sauce mixture. Continue to cook the steak in the orange sauce, stirring continually until the sauce has begun to thicken.
  • Once the steaks are fully cooked and your sauce is the desired thickness, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat.
  • Serve the orange beef over rice or noodles and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 14gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 867mgPotassium: 286mgFiber: 1gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 219IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, Asian American, Chinese, chinese american
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    At last – a recipe for orange beef with plenty of flavor! Next time, I’ll use at least 3/4 pound of flank steak since there’s plenty of the pungent sauce to accommodate it – and 1/2 pound of beef for 4 servings is rather paltry. Served over rice garnished with chopped scallions.