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Orange Beef Recipe in the Air Fryer

There’s no reason to order takeout when you can make your favorite Chinese dishes at home with the help of your air fryer! This simple orange beef recipe is packed with flavor thanks to the crispy beef strips and zesty homemade sauce. And since it’s made with just a handful of fresh ingredients, you can whip up this classic takeout dish with just a few minutes of prep work!

There’s no reason to order takeout when you can make your favorite Chinese dishes at home with the help of your air fryer! This simple orange beef recipe is packed with flavor thanks to the crispy beef strips and zesty homemade sauce. And since it’s made with just a handful of fresh ingredients, you can whip up this classic takeout dish with just a few minutes of prep work! Air Fryer Orange Beef Pin

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What Do I Need to Make Orange Beef?

My favorite part about this easy copycat recipe is that you only need a few simple ingredients to prepare it. The key to creating delicious orange beef at home is using fresh ingredients. To make this simple air fryer recipe, you’ll need:

  • Thinly sliced top sirloin beef
  • Cornstarch
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Orange zest
  • Fancy molasses
  • Rice vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Minced garlic
  • Ginger powder
  • Sesame oil
  • Green onion

Air Fryer Orange Beef Ingredients.

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How Do I Make This Orange Beef Recipe?

You can whip up your own Chinese takeout at home in a matter of minutes when you use your air fryer! Just follow these three quick steps to prepare this simple orange beef recipe:

Step One: Prepare the Sauce

Start by preparing the orange sauce on the stovetop. Combine two tablespoons cornstarch with the orange juice, orange zest, molasses, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger powder, sesame oil, and green onion in a small saucepan. Cook the sauce over medium heat, allowing the ingredients to simmer for around five minutes. Once the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and set aside.

Orange Sauce

Step Two: Air Fry the Beef

Add the beef and ¼ cup of cornstarch to a large bowl. Coat each strip of beef in cornstarch, making sure to mix the two ingredients well so that each piece is fully coated. Place the coated steak in the basket of the air fryer and spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray or oil. Cook the meat at 380 degrees for six minutes.

Beef in air fryer basket

Step Three: Toss the Beef in Sauce

When the steak is finished cooking, transfer the cooked meat to a bowl. Pour the sauce over the top of the steak and toss until all the pieces are coated. Serve the orange beef over rice or noodles, topped with sesame seeds and chopped green onion.

Beef tossed in orange sauce in a white bowl.

Orange Beef Tips & Tricks

You’re going to love how quick and easy this orange beef recipe is to make! And with these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to whip up your favorite Chinese takeout dish at home in no time.

  • Substitute chicken for beef. This recipe can also be made with chicken! Simply substitute thinly sliced chicken breast with the sirloin beef in the recipe, then follow the instructions as written to create a whole new dish.
  • Add some veggies. Serving your orange beef with veggies is a great way to add even more flavor to your dinner. While your beef is cooking in the air fryer, saute some fresh vegetables in sesame oil to create a simple side dish. You can use bell pepper strips, cauliflower, broccoli, or snow peas to complement your beef and rice.
  • Don’t overcrowd the basket. While it may be tempting to toss all your steak strips in the basket at once, this method will actually increase the cook time. That’s because the steak won’t fully cook if the basket is too crowded. When you put too much in the basket at once, the air won’t be able to flow properly inside your air fryer. That means the food won’t cook as quickly and won’t be as crispy when it’s finished cooking. Instead of attempting to cook all your beef at once, cook the meat in batches to prevent over-filling your air fryer basket.
  • Toss the steak halfway through cooking. To ensure all your beef cooks evenly, it’s a good idea to remove the air fryer basket halfway through the cook time. Use a fork or spatula to toss the beef strips, making sure to flip the strips over as you toss. Then, return the basket to the air fryer to continue cooking.
  • Make it spicy. You can easily add some spice to your orange beef with the help of red pepper flakes. Add ½ to one full tablespoon of red pepper flakes to the rest of the sauce ingredients to easily spice up the dish.
  • Substitute flour for cornstarch. If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, you can use a light coating of flour on your steak strips instead. Just toss the steak in flour before adding it to your air fryer basket to create a crispy coating without the need for cornstarch.

Air Fryer Orange Beef with white rice.

Do You Need to Preheat the Air Fryer Before Cooking?

If you’re wondering if preheating your air fryer is necessary, it really depends on the recipe. While some dishes benefit from preheating before cooking, there’s no need to take the time to heat up your air fryer before cooking this recipe for orange beef. Since the cook time for this recipe is relatively short, the coated beef can be placed directly in the cold air fryer basket without preheating.

Overhead view of orange beef and white rice in a white bowl with chopsticks on the side.

Orange Beef Recipe in the Air Fryer

There’s no reason to order takeout when you can make your favorite Chinese dishes at home with the help of your air fryer! This simple orange beef recipe is packed with flavor thanks to the crispy beef strips and zesty homemade sauce. And since it’s made with just a handful of fresh ingredients, you can whip up this classic takeout dish with just a few minutes of prep work!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Air Fryer, Chinese
Keyword: Orange Beef
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 230kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients

  • 1 pound top sirloin beef thinly sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup corn starch + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger ground
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped (plus more for garnish)

Instructions

For the Orange Sauce:

  • Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch with the orange juice, orange zest, molasses, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger powder, sesame oil, and green onion in a small saucepan.
  • Cook the sauce over medium heat, allowing the ingredients to simmer for around five minutes. Remove from heat once thickened and set aside.

For the Beef:

  • Add the beef and ¼ cup of cornstarch to a large bowl. Coat each strip of beef in cornstarch, making sure to mix the two ingredients well so that each piece is fully coated.
  • Place the coated steak in the basket of the air fryer and spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray or oil. Cook the meat at 380 degrees for six minutes, shaking the basket half way through cooking time. When the steak is finished cooking, transfer the cooked meat to a bowl.
  • Pour the sauce over the top of the steak and toss until all the pieces are coated.
  • Serve the orange beef over rice or noodles, topped with sesame seeds and chopped green onion.

Nutrition

Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 599mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 168IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg
Recipe Rating