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This orange beef recipe is an easy meal made for weeknights! Crispy skirt steak and tender broccoli are cooked in an irresistible citrus stir-fry sauce in this quick take-out-style dinner idea.

Overhead view of orange beef in a skillet with a metal serving spoon.
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Need a one pan dinner that’s flavorful, filled with protein and veggies, and super easy to make? Orange beef is the one! Beef and broccoli have never tasted so good. This time, they’re cooked together in a flavorful, silky stir-fry sauce made from fresh citrus, brown sugar, and sriracha for a touch of heat. When all of those flavors combine to coat the tender broccoli and crispy fried skirt steak, you won’t be able to stop yourself from going back for seconds! This is a zesty spin on a classic take-out dish that’s totally irresistible.

Why You’ll Love This Orange Beef Recipe

  • Sweet and tangy sauce. Real orange zest and juice give this orange beef its signature “orange” flavor, combined with brown sugar to tame the tangy citrus and add just a touch of sweetness. The flavors are rich, complex, and 100% mouthwatering.
  • Crispy fried beef. I’m sharing all my secrets for the perfect beef stir-fry. Tender skirt steak is pan-fried until it’s melt-in-your-mouth on the inside and glossy on the outside. With a few easy techniques, you’ll have this tantalizing orange beef recipe on the table in no time.
  • Budget-friendly. Not only does this recipe save you the cost of take-out, but the ingredients needed to make this recipe are affordable and easy to come by.
Close up of orange beef and broccoli in a skillet with an orange slice.

What You’ll Need

Below are some notes on the key ingredients you’ll need to make orange beef at home. For the full amounts and detailed recipe instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.

  • Vegetable Oil – Canola oil also works.
  • Steak – Skirt steak is the best protein to use in this easy recipe, as it cooks to the best crispy consistency.
  • Cornstarch – Don’t substitute this with anything else! It’s vital for the texture of the meat and sauce.
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper – Freshly ground black pepper yields the best results.
  • Orange Juice – Freshly squeezed orange juice for the freshest flavor, or a good-quality OJ from the store works also.
  • Brown Sugar – All out? You can make some by simply combining 1 tablespoon of molasses with 1 cup of white sugar.
  • Orange Zest – If you don’t have a zester, just use the smaller side of a cheese grater.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar – It enhances both the sweetness and tangy flavors in this dish.
  • Sriracha – Optional, but highly recommended if you like a little spice.
  • Broccoli – When you steam the broccoli, don’t overdo it! If it’s overcooked it’ll turn mushy.

What Does Baking Soda and Cornstarch Do to Beef?

Tossing beef in a mixture of cornstarch and baking soda is a classic Chinese cooking technique known as “velveting” and it’s the best way to level up your stir-fries! It helps to tenderize tough, chewier cuts and makes them crispy on the outside when fried. American-Chinese restaurants often use this technique in recipes like beef stir-fry, Mongolian beef, and Beijing beef.

How to Make Crispy Orange Beef With Broccoli

Make succulent, sweet-tangy orange beef in just 3 simple steps!

  • Cook the beef. Toss the beef in cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Fry it in a skillet with a little oil until it’s browned. Remove the cooked beef and set it aside.
  • Make the sauce. Add orange juice, zest, vinegar, and sriracha to the skillet. Stir as it cooks for about 5 minutes. Stir the water and remaining cornstarch together, then pour it into the pan and whisk to combine. Allow it to simmer and thicken for 3 more minutes.
  • Enjoy! Add the beef and broccoli back to the pan and give it a good mix. Serve immediately by itself or over white rice, and enjoy!

Tips for Success

Keep these tips in mind for a successful orange beef stir fry:

  • Avoid the pith when zesting. While the bright-colored orange peel has lots of sweet, tangy, zesty flavor, the white pith underneath is often bitter. Do your best to avoid the white pith and any unpleasant bitter flavors that come with it.
  • Preheat the pan. Cooking the beef slices in a hot pan with hot oil is key to getting that delicious crust that locks in all the flavor. Make sure that a drop of water sizzles in the pan before you add your meat.
  • Spread out the beef. Make sure that you spread the beef out in an even layer in your frying pan. This way, more of the meat’s surface area comes into contact with the hot pan, for perfectly crispy beef.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make stir-fry beef soft and tender?

Slicing against the grain is the secret to tender beef in any stir-fry recipe. This means identifying which direction the muscle fibers run in the skirt steak (the “grain”) and slicing across rather than along the grain.

How long should I leave beef in cornstarch before cooking?

You can fry your beef right away, or if you have an extra 10 minutes, let the beef sit after you’ve tossed it in the cornstarch and baking soda for extra tender results.

What kind of beef is best for a stir-fry?

I love quick-cooking skirt steak in this orange beef recipe. Other cuts of beef that are good for stir-frying are ribeye, sirloin, tenderloin, and strip steak.

Overhead view of two bowls of orange beef served over rice.

What to Serve With Orange Beef

Serve your sizzling orange beef while it’s hot with a side of fluffy white rice or fried rice, along with more Asian-inspired sides:

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • Fridge. Store leftover orange beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat the beef on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a little water as needed to help loosen up the sauce.
  • Freezer. This beef stir-fry freezes well. Allow the orange beef to cool completely and then store it airtight in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.

More Homemade Takeout Favorites

5 from 1 vote

Orange Beef

Better-than-takeout spicy orange beef with crispy skirt steak and tender broccoli cooked in a sweet and tangy citrus stir-fry sauce.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 ½ pound (680 g) skirt steak, thinly sliced into ½ inch thick and 2 inch long pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (236 ml) orange juice, freshly squeezed or store bought
  • ¼ cup (55 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha, optional
  • ½ cup (118 ml) of water
  • 3 heads of broccoli, about 4 cups of broccoli florets, steamed for three minutes
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  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Toss the beef, 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, baking soda, salt and pepper together to combine then fry it in the pan until browned.
  • Remove the beef from the pot and set aside for later.
  • Wipe out any excess beef crumbles then coat the bottom of the pan in the remaining vegetable oil and let it heat.
  • Add the orange juice, brown sugar, orange zest, vinegar and sriracha (if using) to the pan and stir to combine.
  • Continue stirring as it cooks down for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir the water and remaining cornstarch together then pour it into the pan and whisk to combine.
  • Continue simmering to allow the sauce to thicken for about 3 more minutes.
  • Stir in the beef and broccoli then serve over rice and with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish.


This orange beef can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 366kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 1027mg, Potassium: 648mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 19g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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