Mandarin Chicken vs. Orange Chicken: What Is the Difference?

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The western world has, for a very long time, shown a strong preference for the cuisine of Asia. One of the most common dining choices is Asian cuisine, and this preference extends to both sit-down establishments and quick-service bistros serving Asian cuisine.

Nowadays, ordering Chinese or Thai food is even as frequent as ordering pizza, and it is quite likely that you have also indulged in any of these cuisines within the most recent past.

There is a good chance that at least some of you ordered mandarin or orange chicken, two of the most popular dishes served at establishments like this that serve Chinese food. But hold on, what are they, two plates? Isn’t this the same dish referred to by both of those names?

In spite of the fact that they have a lot in common with one another and, in certain instances, they may in fact be quite similar to one another, they are not the same thing. Hence, at this point, you’re probably wondering:

What is the difference between mandarin chick and orange chicken? The most significant difference between mandarin chicken and orange chicken is that mandarin chicken usually consists of regular chicken pieces, while the mandarin chicken is fried, crispy chicken.

Yet, this was just a short response since the question of what distinguishes mandarin chicken and orange chicken from one another is a difficult one. Now, without further ado, let’s get right down to business and get started!

Is mandarin chicken the same as orange chicken?

No, orange chicken and mandarin chicken are not the same thing, despite the fact that they have many characteristics in common. For instance, both of them include sweet sauce and fried chicken coated in crispy breading, while mandarin chicken is often saltier and sometimes has sesame seeds in it. Other similarities include:

Orange chicken, on the other hand, does not include any salt and places a greater emphasis on the taste of the crispy chicken itself. In most preparations of orange chicken, you won’t find any toasted sesame seeds either.

Having said that, there are no hard and fast recipes for orange chicken or mandarin chicken; as a result, the two dishes may be very similar to one another, and can even taste almost exactly the same.

Nevertheless, Panda Express is responsible for the creation of the most well-known versions of mandarin and orange chicken, and these two meals are not interchangeable. But, we are going to go more into that topic in the following paragraphs.

What exactly is mandarin chicken?

So, tell me, what exactly is chicken mandarin? It is an American cuisine that often consists of fried chicken served with a tangy and sweet sauce, although the specific nature of what constitutes “Mandarin chicken” is still up for debate.

Yet, despite the fact that everyone’s rendition of mandarin chicken is somewhat unique, there is, in fact, one version of mandarin chicken that is more popular than the rest: the one served at the well-known Asian fast-food restaurant Panda Express.

Pieces of chicken breast are combined with sweet teriyaki sauce and tossed together to form mandarin chicken there. This dish is also known as Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken.

What exactly is orange chicken?

Orange chicken is a well-known dish that originated in China but has now become popular in the United States as well. It is composed of fried chicken that has been given a crunchy texture with a sweet orange sauce.

Similar to mandarin chicken, orange chicken may be made using a number of different recipes; however, there is one that stands out as being particularly delicious. Indeed, we are referring about the orange chicken that is served at Panda Express.

Orange chicken is a specialty dish served at Panda Express. It is prepared by mixing their world-famous Asian-style fried chicken with an intriguing sauce that includes soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a number of other ingredients.

What is the difference between mandarin and orange chicken?

There is a distinction between orange chicken and mandarin chicken, despite the fact that both are popular options in the asian fast food industry. The flesh itself is where you’ll find the most significant distinction between orange chicken and mandarin chicken.

The typical ingredients for Mandarin chicken are ordinary chicken breast pieces, which are afterwards roasted before being combined with sweet soy sauce.

On the contrary, orange chicken is prepared by frying chicken in a breading that results in a crispy texture and then adding a sweet orange sauce.

What do orange chicken and mandarin chicken have in common?

You are now aware that orange chicken and mandarin chicken are not interchangeable terms for the same dish. But, despite their differences, these two famous meals have a lot in common with one another.

The use of sugar and soy sauce in the preparation of both mandarin chicken and orange chicken is the primary similarity between the two dishes. Nevertheless, the sauce that is used to prepare orange chicken often consists of a greater number of ingredients, but we have already touched on that a little bit above.

Which do you prefer, mandarin chicken or orange chicken?

It is difficult to choose between orange chicken and mandarin chicken since the answer mostly relies on you and how your palate react to different flavors.

It’s likely that the popularity of Asian-style fried chicken contributed to the spread of orange chicken, but just because it’s more well-known doesn’t mean you have to like it too.

On the contrary, if you, like many other people, like the crisp flavor of chicken that has been simply roasted, then you should probably go for mandarin chicken rather than regular roasted chicken.


Orange chicken and Mandarin chicken are two of the most well-known chicken dishes in the United States, and both may be found on the menus of a wide variety of Asian restaurants there. Both of these dishes are made famous by the sweet sauce that is combined with the chicken before being served.

Orange chicken often has sugar and soy sauce blended with orange and other ingredients like ginger and garlic, but mandarin chicken typically only has soy sauce and sugar mixed together. Each of these varieties of chicken utilize a distinct sauce.

And even the chicken that is used is different in these two dishes; fried chicken is used in orange chicken, whereas roasted chicken is the only kind of chicken used in mandarin chicken.

Hence, orange chicken and mandarin chicken are two very distinct forms of chicken dishes.

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What’s the difference between orange chicken and tangerine chicken?

The chicken in orange chicken is breaded in the same manner as the chicken in General Tso’s chicken, and then it is stir fried in a sweet orange chili sauce. Tangerine chicken, on the other hand, is created using pieces of chicken that are stir fried in a tangerine spicy sauce.

What is mandarin chicken made of?

orange juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce are the three ingredients that go into making this glaze’s salty brown color. This delicious and nutritious Chinese dish, Mandarin Chicken, was inspired by a takeout order from Panda Express. Chicken breast pieces smothered in a sticky and delicious

Why is it called mandarin orange chicken?

It’s possible that the “tangerine chicken” meal that’s popular in Hunan region in China was the inspiration for this dish. This meal is called as “” in Chinese, which literally translates as “dried citrus peel chicken.” The “citrus peel” in this case refers to dried orange or tangerine peel. Nonetheless, the flavor and preparation of this meal might vary greatly from one culture and geographic location to the next.

What is similar to mandarin chicken?

There is a lot of overlap between orange chicken and mandarin chicken. The cuisine originally hails from China, but orange chicken is essentially an Americanized take on it. Deep-fried chicken is the basis for orange chicken, which also has a sauce that is often created with orange juice and has a more substantial consistency.

Is General Tso and orange chicken the same?

Orange chicken often has a glaze that is lighter in color and has a sweet, tangy, and savory flavor profile than General Tso’s chicken. While dried red chilies aren’t used as often or to the same extent in this recipe, the spice level isn’t quite as intense. Every recipe calls for orange in some capacity, whether it is the juice, the zest, the dried peel, or any mix of these.

Which is better General Tso or orange chicken?

Since it contains more chili peppers and spices, General Tso is a superior choice for those who like eating food that is very fiery. Orange Chicken is a dish that combines sweet and sour flavors, so you should try it if you enjoy that combination.

What flavor is Mandarin?

The taste of mandarin oranges is characterized by undertones of vanilla as well as spiciness. In addition to that, they have a strong citrus scent that is uplifting and invigorating to the nose. The fruit also has scents that are nutty, woody, and flowery, although these fragrances are much more muted than the citrus aroma.

What is another name for orange chicken?

Some people believe it to be an adaptation of the meal known as General Tso’s Chicken (another popular Americanized-Chinese dish). Andy Kho, a former chef at Panda Express in Hawaii who came up with their signature dish in 1987, is credited with creating what is now considered to be the most well-known version of the meal.

Is Trader Joe’s mandarin chicken fully cooked?

The Mandarin Orange Chicken sold at Trader Joe’s has already been precooked. You only need to reheat the portions, and they will be ready to eat in just fifteen minutes! According to the instructions provided by the manufacturer, you should heat the sauce in the microwave and not the chicken.

What is Panda Express orange chicken called?

Orange sauce that is sweet and spicy, thrown in a wok with chicken that has been fried to a crisp.