For many people, Chinese takeout is a go-to choice when they’re too busy to prepare dishes but want a heartwarming, delicious meal. Thus, while it isn’t an accurate reflection of Oriental cuisine, many have come to love it, including you!
With its sweet and tangy flavors, orange chicken is one of the many Chinese takeout recipes people love dearly; many even make it at home! If you’re making this dish, you might as well prepare the whole banquet. Find some inspiration for what to serve with orange chicken by following these tasty and easy Chinese takeout recipes.
1. Wonton Soup
There’s no banquet without a soup that warms the cockles of your guests’ hearts. With that said, you can fill that part of the menu with this homemade wonton soup. Make this soup from scratch to ensure its freshness and to fill the dumplings with real, no-filler meat. The wontons may look intimidating to mold with your hands, but once you get the technique, you’ll be crimping and filling in minutes!
Admittedly, preparing wontons can take up time and effort. If you can’t offer those two, here is a quicker and simpler alternative: egg drop soup. It’s as warm and delicious as wonton soup but not so meaty since the main element is the egg ribbons swirling the soup’s surface. Besides the eggs, there’s little else you’ll need, like chicken stock, sesame oil, flavorings, water, cornstarch, and scallions.
Crunchy and crispy finger foods make fantastic appetizers, and these chicken egg rolls are no exception. That crunch and crispiness come from the golden brown wrapping, but the tasty filling is another world of its own. It’s packed with veggies, meat, spices, and seasonings, so every bite of these egg rolls is a burst of flavor and juice. Also, remember to dip this in sweet chili sauce!
Another crunchy appetizer you’d love to try is crab rangoons, also known as crab and cream cheese-filled wontons. As fancy as those names sound, the concept is simple: pyramid-shaped wontons filled with a mixture of cream cheese, imitation or fancy crab meat, onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. You can use authentic crab for more intense flavors, but imitation meat is often chosen for convenience.
Rice with orange chicken is standard, and classic choices are white or brown rice, either steamed or boiled. While their plain flavors are great for absorbing the orange chicken’s sauce, yang chow or Chinese egg fried rice is excellent for those who want more complex flavors. It’s known for its unique smoky and umami tastes and tons of tasty toppings like eggs, Chinese ham, shrimp, peas, and carrots.
Noodles are an intricate part of Chinese cuisine, so you should get them as a side dish to complete your banquet. A famous Chinese noodle dish is chow mein, which pan fries the noodles and incorporates deep umami flavors from soy and oyster sauces. Many recipes also include fresh veggies for crisp textures and flavors. Many also have proteins like beef, although this particular recipe does not.
Vegetable side dishes are an excellent way to introduce nutrition into the meal; however, they don’t have to be plain or boring. For instance, this Chinese garlic bok choy is coated with a delicious sauce, resulting in tender textures and several layers of flavor. There’s umami from the oyster sauce, savoriness from the garlic, and subtle sweetness from the sugar and bok choy.
Roasted green beans are a highly recommended side dish to orange chicken. This particular recipe makes them with umami and sesame flavors, which match Chinese takeout cuisine. They also don’t take much time to make – only 30 minutes, tops – and the ingredients are a short list: green beans, oil, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and seeds. It’s a simple affair but makes the meal much better.
A Chinese banquet feels lacking when there’s only one entree, so pair your orange chicken with other protein dishes. Beef and broccoli is a dish you can use to incorporate greens into the meal. Both meat and veggies come out tender and are coated in a flavorful sauce, which is the star of this dish. It’s made from ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, black pepper, and sesame oil.
Beijing beef is a dish popularized by Panda Express and is one of the most well-loved takeout dishes. It’s sweet, savory, sour, and smoky – all the good things you love in an entree. Moreover, the texture of the beef is incredible: a balance between tenderness and crunchiness. All these are achieved by perfecting the three elements of this recipe: the marinade, sauce, and the beef.
If you find beef too dense with your orange chicken, consider seafood as your other entree. Honey walnut shrimp is another Panda Express classic, enjoyed by many for its sweet, creamy flavors and crunchy, tender textures. To make this dish, you’ll coat and fry peeled shrimp and then combine them with a glazed walnut sauce. The latter contributes most of the enjoyable flavors and crunch.
Fortune cookies are one of the most awaited treats after dining in a Chinese restaurant. They’re called fortune cookies because cracking them open reveals a note that predicts your fate or fortune. It’s fun, cute, and delicious, but you don’t have to make a trip to your favorite restaurant to get them. Instead, you can make them at home and fill them with love notes, fortunes, or other special messages.