This Recipe Is Just like Panda Express’ Orange Chicken—but Instead of Chicken, It’s Broccoli

July 21, 2019

We did it. We hacked Panda Express’ famous Orange Chicken. Okay, not really. We took out the chicken, taking our cue from Yardbird Hong Kong’s KFC (Korean Fried Cauliflower); and used some veg—in this case, broccoli—instead. See, that’s us watching out for your health. (Maybe just forget that it’s fried…)

Let’s just take some time to admire these fried veg beauties pre-sauce.

The batter is light and crunchy, complementing the softness maintained by the broccoli. While the sauce keeps the natural sweetness of the oranges, the garlic gives it a nice bite that cuts through the sugar. It’s an easy appetizer to snack on—and it’s actually quite filling. Add some meat (chicken, maybe?) if you want to make it a full meal.

Fried Broccoli with Orange Sauce

  • Serves: 4-6 people
  • Active time: 30 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy


Orange Sauce

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, sliced into rounds
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch + 2 tbsp. water

Fried Broccoli

  • 4 cups broccoli, cut into large florets
  • 2 cups flour + 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup soda water
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil, for frying


  1. In a pot over medium heat, add orange juice, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and soy sauce.
  2. Stir until combined and heat until sugar is dissolved and ginger and garlic have softened, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Once mixture comes to a rolling boil, add in cornstarch mixed with water and stir immediately to prevent lumps.
  4. Cook sauce until thickened about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Heat oil in a pot to 350F.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, salt, and baking powder until combined.
  8. Whisk in soda water until smooth.
  9. If batter is too thick, add a tablespoon of soda water at a time.
  10. In a separate plate, add 2 cups flour.
  11. To bread, coat broccoli in flour and tap off excess.
  12. Next, dip in batter until fully coated.
  13. Tap off excess batter then fry the broccoli in the oil until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes.
  14. Remove from oil and let drain on paper towels.
  15. While broccoli is frying, rewarm sauce on the side.
  16. Add fried broccoli to a large bowl and coat in sauce, using a little at a time, until fully coated but not soggy.
  17. Serve immediately.​
Jica Simpas Jica Simpas

Jica hopes that by writing about food she'll actually learn how to cook. But for now, she'll happily just eat everything—especially cookies.

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