Today’s orange shrimp recipe is our adaptation of the classic Chinese restaurant menu item.
Crispy and succulent shrimp are doused in a tangy, sweet, savory, and spicy orange sauce. The combination of different spices creates an irresistible umami flavor that we know you’ll love.
As is traditional, we served the orange shrimp over a bed of hot steamed rice — perfect for soaking up that delicious sauce. Sure, the rice may lift the overall calorie count a little, but don’t worry: the dish is still healthy.
Our Orange Shrimp Recipe Is Healthy
Some of the health benefits are as follows:
- It has a proper amount of calories: Although our orange shrimp recipe contains a few calorie-rich ingredients like shrimp and rice, there are only 498 calories per serving. This is relatively low for a Chinese-inspired dish. In fact, there’s still room for you to add a side dish and drink.
- It’s low in saturated fat: Shrimp contain almost no saturated fat, the remaining amount comes from 2 tablespoons of olive oil that we used for the stir-fry.
- It has an acceptable sodium content: Asian stir-fry dishes tend to have a bad reputation for being loaded with soy sauce, salt, and MSG, but that’s not the case with our recipe. We used low-sodium soy sauce and only a touch of salt to bring out the savory flavor.
- It’s relatively high in protein: This orange shrimp recipe is a powerhouse of protein. There are 42.8 g of protein in each serving — more than 80% of what the USDA recommends to consume daily.
Ingredients for Orange Shrimp
Let’s take a look at the ingredients for today’s orange shrimp recipe:
- Shrimp: Although fresh whole shrimp will always have a better texture, you can get away with using frozen shrimp for this recipe. Be sure to defrost before you cook.
- Vegetables: We used snow peas and red bell peppers for the stir-fry. Adding vegetables is a good way to balance the protein-dense shrimp and sneak more fiber into your diet.
- Cooked rice: Our orange shrimp comes with a delicious sauce that’s perfect for serving over a bowl of hot steamed rice.
- Citrus: We used orange juice and orange zest along with lemon juice for the sauce. We also dotted the dish with orange slices for a garnish.
Our Luscious Orange Sauce
You might think recreating the velvety sauce that your favorite Chinese restaurant makes would be difficult, but it’s actually quite simple. Here’s what you’ll need:
- For savoriness: As mentioned, we used low-sodium soy sauce and a touch of salt.
- For tanginess: We used both lemon and orange juice. Lemon juice is great for its sharp acidity and fresh taste while orange juice is subtly sweet with a floral scent.
- For heat: We used black pepper and sriracha. Keep in mind that sriracha also contains salt so go light on this one.
- For sweetness: Honey is the perfect choice for today’s orange shrimp recipe as it adds not only sweetness but also enhances the texture of the sauce.
- For the velvety texture: Cornstarch is a great thickener as it doesn’t affect the overall flavor profile of the dish and creates a light sauce that clings to the shrimp nicely.
This deeply savory, sweet, and tangy sauce is perfect for serving with rice, turning this dish into a satisfying meal.
If you like Chinese-inspired dishes with a similar flavor profile, you may enjoy our sweet and sour shrimp recipe also.
How to Zest an Orange Without a Zester
Yes, you can zest an orange without using a zester! Here’s how to do it:
- Remove the skin of an orange using a peeler. Try not to cut too deep into the rind (the white part underneath the skin.)
- Turn the skin upside down. Use a paring knife to remove as much of the white rind as possible.
- Once you’re left with the orange skin only, cut it into thin strips and then chop them into tiny pieces. The orange zest is now ready for your orange shrimp recipe.
This technique can also be applied to other citrus fruits such as lemons and limes.
What Can You Substitute for Orange Zest?
The purpose of adding orange zest to the sauce is to give it a floral, citrus aroma. If you don’t feel like zesting an orange for this recipe, you can substitute the orange zest with a tiny hint of orange extract and it will have the same effect.
Since we’re not sure exactly how much orange extract you should add, we recommend adding only ⅛ teaspoon to the sauce and tasting first. If you feel like it needs more, add another ⅛ teaspoon and see how it goes from there.
How to Make Orange Shrimp
Generally, our first step in preparing for a recipe is to rinse all the vegetables and herbs under running water to make sure that they are clean and free of any dirt.
After rinsing, you can use a kitchen towel to pat them dry before prepping them as instructed in the ingredient list below.
You should have all of your vegetables and herbs ready before starting on the raw shrimp. Also, make sure that you use different cutting boards for the shrimp and veggies to avoid cross-contamination.
If you use whole shrimp like we do, you will need to peel and devein it. We leave the tail on for presentation but you can remove it too if you prefer.
Once you’ve finished preparing all of the ingredients, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and you can start making today’s orange shrimp recipe:
Make the orange sauce.
Cook the shrimp.
Cook the vegetables.
Cook the sauce.
Garnish and serve.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Orange Shrimp
Any leftover orange shrimp and cooked rice should be placed in separate airtight containers. They should both last from three to five days in the fridge.
If your leftovers are still warm, allow them to cool before placing them into the containers.
Transfer the orange shrimp and rice to a microwave-safe container. Microwave it for about 2 minutes and hey presto! – a tasty hot meal to enjoy.
What to Serve with Orange Shrimp
While this orange shrimp is delicious on its own, it also makes an excellent dinner when paired with our cabbage potato soup and pear juice.
Our hearty cabbage potato soup will freshen up your palate after eating the flavorful shrimp while our pear juice is a refreshing dessert drink to round out a hearty meal.
We recommend making the juice ahead of time and placing it in the refrigerator. It should be chilled by the time you’ve finished eating the main course.
Here are the combined nutrition facts of this meal:
Orange Shrimp Recipe
- 26 oz whole raw shrimp roughly 13 oz peeled and deveined
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 4 oz red bell pepper cut into chunks
- 4 oz snow peas strings removed
- 2 tbsp scallion cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 oz orange cut into slices
- 3.5 cups medium-grain rice cooked
- Make the orange sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp orange zest, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp honey, 6 tbsp orange juice, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sriracha, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- Cook the shrimp: Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add 26 oz peeled shrimp and stir constantly for 5 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through and turned pink.
- Cook the vegetables: In the same pan, add 4 oz bell peppers and 4 oz snow peas. Stir constantly for 3 minutes or until just cooked.
- Cook the sauce: Add the mixed orange sauce to the pan. Stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Turn off the heat and sprinkle 2 tbsp chopped scallions on top and scatter 2 oz orange slices over the top.
- Garnish and serve: Transfer your orange shrimp to a bowl. Serve immediately over hot steamed rice.