sweet & sour citrus stir-fry from Our Best BitesWe sometimes get emails and comments wondering why we don’t post more _________ (because that blank is always different for everyone) or that it’s been too long since we’ve posted whatever they’re looking for. I always tell them to hold on for a week or two because we’ll probably transition into whatever phase they’ve got a hankering for. We kind of come and go in waves and phases and apparently right now, Sara and I are in a quick-and-easy-Asian-inspired-healthy-dinner kick. Sara posted this Quick and Easy Chinese Orange Beef last week, probably not knowing I had an orange chicken stir-fry in the works (that would be because I’m reallyreallyreally bad at sticking to our calendar!) But that’s okay–I figure the more quick, easy, delicious meals using fresh ingredients I have in my rotation, the better.

This is another recipe that has become pretty much a weekly staple at our house.

sweet & sour citrus chicken stir-fry

I got this recipe from Kitchen Explorers on the PBS website and it was created by Alice Currah, the sweet genius behind Savory Sweet Life. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s like she created it to be adapted and customized to your personal taste. It was such a great jumping-off point and as I’ve made it again and again, it’s evolved into something a little different from how it was written and one of my very favorite meals. That happens to be good for you. Which means I can have that Reese’s Peanut Butter egg (’tis the season for those devil snacks).

For the sauce, you’re going to need soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, brown sugar, orange juice, and the juice and zest of 1 lime. Yes, I did forget the brown sugar in the picture. I’m a 32-year-old delinquent.

orange stir fry sauce ingredients

In a large skillet, whisk together the sauce ingredients. You can also blend it up in the blender, but I hate washing my blender (and even kind of hate washing my immersion blender, although not quite as much) and for me, the smooth sauce didn’t make a big enough difference to outweigh the washing of the blender issue. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a heat-safe bowl and set aside. Rinse out the pan and wipe dry.

For the stir-fry, you’re going to need a pound of chicken breasts, cut into 1″ chunks…

IMG_08291 medium red onion, halved and cut into 1/4″ slices, and then 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, 1 1/2 cups green beans, and a red, yellow, or orange bell pepper cut into strips.
IMG_0838Season the chicken with salt and pepper…
IMG_0843and then sprinkle it with 3 tablespoons of corn starch. Rub it into the chicken.

Over medium-high heat, heat about 1 tablespoon of your favorite high-temperature cooking oil in the skillet you used to heat the sauce. Swirl the hot oil around the pan and then add the seasoned chicken. Stir-fry the chicken until done, then add the onions and other veggies. Stir-fry until the veggies are tender-crisp. Add the sauce, a few tablespoons at a time, to the stir fry, stirring completely and allowing it to bubble before adding more. Serve immediately over hot rice.


Makes 4 servings.

graphic final 1


Calories: 242
Fat: 4.8
Carbs: 27.5
Fiber: 2.9
Protein: 26.3
WW Points Plus: 6




  1. I have noticed that several of your recipes lately have been using ginger paste but the ingredients in the printout for the recipe call for fresh ginger. What is the difference really? I am a college student and LOVE making your recipes with my husband for dinner but being on a college budget we like to buy fresh ginger root since it tends to be cheaper. Is one better than the other and should we just invest in ginger paste? Thanks! We love your recipes! Even my husband (who has never cooked before we started dating) can make them with your simple instructions and pictures. He feels like a pro! Thank you so much!

    1. The tube and fresh ginger are totally interchangeable in every way–you won’t notice a difference taste wise, I just use it out of convenience. I live kind of in the boonies and Asian cuisine isn’t huge here, so a lot of the Greg ginger is withered and stringy, so I always know I’m getting a good product this way. 🙂

  2. That looks so great! Just a quick question- how is the best way to store those beautiful bags of colorful peppers you buy at SAMs or Costco? I got a bag and just used three for your delicious fajitas I have cooking right now, ( with your brazilian lemonade!) but want to use the other three for this later. Should they be kept on the counter or in the fridge?

    1. I’m not Kate, but I would recommend the fridge (for several days or so) or freezer for longer. They won’t have that super crunchy texture whenn you use them from the freezer, but will do fine for things like stir fries. We freeze our whole (if I’m too lazy to cut them up) or sliced (if you’re feeling extra motivated to be productive). 🙂

  3. Great timing! I just opened my “Savoring the Seasons” cookbook this morning and since it is March, after all, I decided to go straight to the Spring section. I picked Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry to make tonight! This one looks tasty too!

    1. I get mine near the herbs in the produce section–they have garlic, cilantro, lemongrass, basil, etc. I usually only get the other herbs if I can’t find them or if they’re in a sad state, but I actually prefer the ginger like this–the flavor isn’t impacted at all and when I buy fresh ginger, it often winds up being stringy and dry, so this stuff is always consistent. It’s awesome! 🙂

      1. I agree with Kate! I buy this same exact tube of ginger love it better than fresh because you avoid that woodiness sometimes ginger has. You can totally pop this in the freezer and pull it out when you need it (just stick it on the counter for a few minutes while you prep).

  4. I am sure this will be a hit in our house! I needed something else to spice up the menu this week and this sounds like the perfect addition! Thanks!

  5. Thanks for getting me excited about dinner tonight! I was not excited about the chicken broccoli rice casserole I had planned on making.

  6. My kids didn’t go for the orange beef, but I have rice vinegar to use up, so I think they’ll be trying this soon. By the by, how do you two get your kids to eat “weird” stuff like stir-fry? Mine automatically assume such things are gross, even though we’ve been giving them a wide variety of foods, including stir-fries and such, ever since they could chew. (That whole thing the parenting magazines say about needing to introduce foods 10-12 times before they’ll accept them? Try 40-50 (or more) and they still hate it.)

    1. Ummmmm, yeah, those Parenting people have obviously never met my kids. There is literally not a meal that isn’t a) pancakes/waffles or b) Domino’s that everyone in my house will happily eat. There is always SOMEONE who hates dinner. The catch with us is that there is no rhyme or reason to it; my super picky kid loves seafood and chili but hates chicken nuggets and hamburgers (well, in all honesty, I’m not sure he’s ever eaten a hamburger). My daughter hates chili and seafood, but loves hummus and all sorts of funky cheeses. They both hate stir-fry. The night we had this was an epically bad dinner night at the Jones house. So we just keep truckin’ and I hope that someday it will click that I am not indeed trying to poison them.

        1. Several years ago we had a “food appreciation week” and I made all the favorite dinners for a week and we practiced eating without complaining about the food. The next week I did something new every other night, with old favorites in between and we practiced eating without complaining even when we were trying new things. Dinners still aren’t perfect at our house, but they are a lot better than they used to be.

          Oh, we also have “fact” dinners. When dinner conversation starts heading down that “why are you trying to poison us” direction we come up with some interesting topic and tell the kids we’ll tell them facts about it each time everyone has a bite. The first time we did it was with Red Beans and Rice and we did facts about New Orleans and by the end of dinner everyone at least “kind of” liked the red beans. We have done fact dinners with lots of places and with some other topics, too. Again, it’s not a perfect solution, but it often works.

          This stir fry looks fantastic!

    2. When my kids were little and got whiny about their food, I would simply take their plate away and tell them they didn’t have to eat it. They would quickly figure out that they weren’t being offered an alternative and ask for their plate back. After an apology to the cook, they would get it. When my daughter was really little, she developed the habit of gagging on food she didn’t like – until the day I threatened to make her eat it if she threw up on it. Fortunately, she didn’t take me up on my bluff, but she never did it again!

      They are 19 and 21 now. One still can’t stand mushrooms, and the other can’t stand anything squash, but they eat without complaining. (They’re allowed to dislike food, as long as they’re respectful about it.)

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