Home » Asian-inspired! » (Crisp ‘N Sticky!) Keto Orange Chicken 🐼

(Crisp ‘N Sticky!) Keto Orange Chicken 🐼

Much easier than you think (for real!) this Chinese-inspired keto orange chicken will undoubtedly give Panda Express a run for it’s money. 

Keto orange chicken with sticky sauce served with cauliflower rice
Keto Orange Chicken (A Panda Express Copycat Recipe!)

Keto Orange Chicken 🐼

Crisp ‘N Sticky!

Just like the takeout favorite, the chicken here is fried in a nice and crisp batter, all to be coated in a bright orange sauce (in both taste and hue!). 
 
And, again, it’s much easier than you think. 
 
But if you want to make it *much* easier (and undoubtedly a little lighter), you really can leave out the batter fried chicken. You know, feel free to pan fry it for a super duper easy weeknight meal… that still packs a whole load of punch! 
 
Mixing the fried battered chicken bites with the orange glaze on a baking tray
Keto Orange Chicken (A Panda Express Copycat Recipe!)

For the keto fried chicken ‘batter’

We’re doing something very similar here (if not near identical) as the batter for my fish tacos and fish ‘n chips. But I’ve heard back from you guys that unless you fry in a generous amount of oil, the whey protein isolate batter essentially just sticks to the pan (though I suppose this would happen with any type of batter right?). 

Still, I hear ya- we needed to make the batter a little sturdier. Adding a touch of xanthan gum helps so (so!) much for that, as does adding a tablespoon (or four, lol) of arrowroot starch. Though *really* keep in mind that adding the latter will increase your carb count, possibly taking your orange chicken more into the low carb and paleo territory depending on how much you add (per usual, you do you!). 

Having said that, given that the whey isolate batter is essentially carbless… you do have a little wiggle room here. Just a thought, as adding just a tablespoon of arrowroot does improve the texture quite a bit and adds just 3g net carbs a serving. 

Oh and while we’re in the subject of possibly adding some carbs, I’ve always noticed ‘asian inspired’ keto dishes benefit greatly from a touch of blackstrap molasses as its one of those ingredients that packs a whole load of punch (i.e. you know, the famous umami)(and p.s. I’m talking about 1/4 of a teaspoon, so the carb increase is really negligible per serving)(p.s. 2 I didn’t have any on hand here, otherwise my sauce would’ve come out darker… and even a tad bit better). Still, totally optional and one of those ‘if you have on hand it would be great’ sorta thing. 

Taking a piece of keto orange chicken with a chop stick
Keto Orange Chicken (A Panda Express Copycat Recipe!)
Keto orange chicken with sticky sauce served with cauliflower rice

Keto Orange Chicken (A Panda Express Copycat Recipe!) 🐼

Much easier than you think (for real!) this Chinese-inspired keto orange chicken will undoubtedly give Panda Express a run for it’s money. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American, Asian, Keto
Servings 2
Calories 242 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the keto orange chicken sauce

  • zest of one orange
  • 1/4 cup liquid allulose though granular dissolves just as well!
  • 1/4 cup orange juice or just water (for a lower carb count, see notes for deets)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut aminos or 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or 1/4 tsp if dried (but do try and procure some fresh pls!)
  • 2 cloves garlic ran through a press
  • 1/4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses for umami (but, you know, totally optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot or 1/2 tsp konjac

For the chicken

Serving suggestions

  • cauliflower rice

Instructions
 

Make the orange sauce

  • Add orange zest, allulose, orange juice (or just someplain water, seriously no biggie!), white wine vinegar, coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, and molasses (again, optional) to a medium saucepan and heat up over medium/low heat. Once it begins to simmer, make a slurry with your arrowroot (i.e. mix it with a little cold water before adding it in so it doesn't clump up!), and whisk it into your orange sauce. Allow it to simmer until it thickens up nicely, remove from heat and set aside while you prepare yor chicken.

Make the chicken

  • Prepare your frying station by adding enough oil to a dutch oven (or pot) to make it about 2-inch deep. You can save a lot of oil by using a narrower pan and frying in batches. Heat up oil over low heat while you batter the chicken.
  • Mix the whey protein, arrowroot (optional), baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a shallow plate or dish. In a second plate or dish, whisk the egg with cream and vinegar. 
  • Coat the chicken by dipping in the egg mix, followed by the whey protein mix, and immediately frying in the hot oil (350F to be precise) for 2-3 minutes until golden (and if you have a thermometer around, internal temp should read 165F). You want to work in batches small enough so that they're not overcrowded.
  • Toss the chicken in the orange sauce and serve right away over a bed of cauliflower rice.

Notes

*Since most of the flavor for your orange sauce comes from the orange zest itself (yes, seriously!), you really can leave out the orange juice completely (and save yourself 3g net carbs). But if your macros allow, it does make it a tad bit better.

For the keto fried chicken 'batter'

We're doing something very similar here (if not near identical) as the batter for my fish tacos and fish 'n chips. But I've heard back from you guys that unless you fry in a generous amount of oil, the whey protein isolate batter essentially just sticks to the pan (though I suppose this would happen with any type of batter right?). 
Still, I hear ya- we needed to make the batter a little sturdier. Adding a touch of xanthan gum helps so (so!) much for that, as does adding a tablespoon (or four, lol) of arrowroot starch. Though *really* keep in mind that adding the latter will increase your carb count, possibly taking your orange chicken more into the low carb and paleo territory depending on how much you add (per usual, you do you!). 
Having said that, given that the whey isolate batter is essentially carbless... you do have a little wiggle room here. Just a thought, as adding just a tablespoon of arrowroot does improve the texture quite a bit and adds just 3g net carbs a serving. 
Oh and while we're in the subject of possibly adding some carbs, I've always noticed 'asian inspired' keto dishes benefit greatly from a touch of blackstrap molasses as its one of those ingredients that packs a whole load of punch (i.e. you know, the famous umami)(and p.s. I'm talking about 1/4 of a teaspoon, so the carb increase is really negligible per serving)(p.s. 2 I didn't have any on hand here, otherwise my sauce would've come out darker... and even a tad bit better). Still, totally optional and one of those 'if you have on hand it would be great' sorta thing. 

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 427mg | Potassium: 802mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword homemade orange chicken, keto orange chicken, low carb orange chicken
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!

o

7 comments

  1. Karen Olayo says:

    Amazing!! I did 5 pounds of chicken breast. Needs about 6 times the sauce recipe and about 6 cups total of the breading recipe. I actually did half egg white protein powder and half a keto/low fat flour blend I make.
    Worked wonderful and I didn’t have to use so much protein powder. My Family LOVED LOVED it! They’re big Panda fans!! 5 ⭐’s

  2. Susan says:

    Even though I haven’t eaten it in years, I love Panda Express orange chicken. I think it’s the only thing I’ve ever ordered from them, so I’m happy to see your copycat recipe. I don’t like anything resembling deep frying, so I’ll probably leave off the batter, and just sauté the chicken. But I’m looking forward to trying this when I want something Chinese. I’m grateful to have this option.

  3. Ellery says:

    I just want to say that I’ve made your pad thai both with and without the molasses and can attest that they do make it better with a tiny amount. Can’t wait to try this one too thanks!

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