Orange chicken is a sweet and juicy American Chinese dish.
It’s a popular dish in the US and is served at many restaurants and events.
It’s also a versatile dish and makes a lovely pairing with many items.
If anyone reading this has come looking for what to serve with orange chicken, they’re at the right place so don’t go anywhere.
We’ll list the ten best dishes to serve with the spectacular chicken dish like cucumber salad, cauliflower fried rice, hot and sour soup and sautéed bok choy.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Orange Chicken?
No matter how flavorsome a dish may be, one item doesn’t make a complete meal.
It’s necessary to have side dishes comprising different ingredients like veggies, grains, meat, herbs and spices.
It’s also never fun to eat only one dish.
Dinner or any meal becomes more fun and exciting when you have several dishes to enjoy simultaneously.
If orange chicken is the main dish at your party, you’ll require several side dishes to have enough food for everyone.
What to Serve with Orange Chicken? 10 BEST Side Dishes
These are the ten best items to have with orange chicken.
1 – Hot and Sour Soup
We’ll begin the list with one of the most popular soups in Chinese cuisine.
It’s a hot and sour soup that complements orange chicken nicely.
When you have the combo, you’ll feel satisfied and full.
Hot and sour soup is usually made of chicken stock with bamboo shoots, mushrooms, tofu, egg, and pork (optional).
A chili paste, rice wine vinegar and ginger are typical items for seasoning along with herbs.
While any edible mushroom can work, shiitake mushrooms, also called Lentinula edodes, are primarily used.
They have a meaty texture and release an earthy, umami flavor when cooked.
2 – Cucumber Salad
An Asian-inspired cucumber salad can also make a fine pairing with orange chicken.
It’s crunchy, and juicy, and has a lovely balance of sweet, sour and hot flavors.
Hence every bite is explosive.
Cucumber salad in Asian style comprises few ingredients but you’ll be amazed at the taste.
The veggie is the primary item and the rest serve as seasoning or dressing.
Include a little chili paste for some heat.
It’s best to make the salad with a thin-skinned variety like English, Persian or Turkish cucumber.
However, overly ripe cucumbers can be too watery, so avoid any with yellow spots and choose dark green and firm cucumbers without blemishes.
3 – Chinese Spare Ribs
Adding another meat dish to the list may seem odd, but it’s here for two reasons.
First, it complements orange chicken and second; you’ll need one more meat dish if you have many guests.
Chinese spare ribs are flavorful with juicy, hot, sweet and tangy flavors.
We promise that you and your guests won’t want to stop eating the spare ribs and want more of them.
Along with the other spices, a little bit of Chinese five-spice powder, hoisin sauce and sake add more taste to the spare ribs.
So don’t forget these three items.
4 – Cauliflower Fried Rice
How can you have orange chicken and not cauliflower rice? The two make an excellent combo and taste fantastic too.
Plain cauliflower rice is also delicious, but you can make a fried version for more taste.
Adding veggies like carrots, peas, and scrambled eggs will make the dish even more flavorsome.
You’ll not only get to experience the lovely taste but also have a complete meal.
Cauliflower is a perishable veggie and can spoil quickly.
So when buying, avoid heads that show signs of softness or have spots.
If you buy it in advance, store it properly and use it as soon as possible.
5 – Stir-Fried Vegetables
Your menu will be incomplete when serving orange chicken without adding stir-fried vegetables.
They taste fantastic and complement the superb chicken dish.
You also have the opportunity to work with numerous vegetables depending on availability.
Stir-fried veggies are also easy to make and need only everyday ingredients.
Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers and snow peas make a nice combo.
Salt, sugar, oyster sauce, ground white pepper and cornflour are sufficient for seasoning.
6 – Egg Drop Soup
Soup combines nicely with chicken, and everyone has a different preference, so here is another delicious soup and a favorite with almost everyone.
It’s egg drop soup and when combined with chicken, you’ll feel full and it will please your senses too.
Egg drop soup is a popular Chinese soup that’s loved worldwide.
It looks pretty elegant but making it is so simple and you need only common ingredients.
Chicken broth, eggs, chives, salt, ginger and cornstarch are the only items needed for the soup.
But you must use fresh eggs or the yolk won’t hold its shape.
If you aren’t sure how to choose, look for the USDA-grade shield and expiry date.
7 – Sautéed Bok Choy
Bok Choy is a common veggie used in Asian cuisine and frequently accompanies meat dishes.
Sautéed bok choy makes a great pairing with orange chicken, so here it is.
Bok choy is native to China but you can find it in many places across the globe.
So you won’t have trouble getting the veggie.
But like other veggies in the Brassica family, it can smell and taste bad when it’s decayed so make sure to buy the freshest leaves.
You’ll find many recipes for sautéed bok choy.
But it’s best to keep it simple to obtain the best flavors.
Besides the veggie, salt, garlic, oil and red pepper flakes are sufficient.
Drizzle lemon juice on top right before serving.
8 – Fried Wontons
Who doesn’t love wontons? They’re typically boiled or steamed dumplings filled with various ingredients.
These tiny snacks are also versatile and pair well with many foods, including orange chicken.
Here we have included fried wontons for a change.
They have the same ingredients but you have to fry them instead of boiling or steaming them.
Fried wontons make the perfect sides at parties so you’ll have a hit dish.
When it comes to filling, you can use meat, seafood, veggies, cheese or tofu depending on the menu.
Any variant will taste lovely.
9 – Steamed Broccoli
It’s one of the most straightforward items on the list but is on par with all the other dishes regarding taste.
Steamed broccoli can add a fresh element and complement orange chicken perfectly.
You’ll have a full meal and the veggie will refresh your palate.
There are several recipes for steamed broccoli with some containing many items.
But as you have a rich chicken dish, it’s best to follow a simple recipe.
Besides the veggie, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice will be enough to make delicious and healthy steamed broccoli.
Cook the veggie florets until they’re crisp-tender or they can get mushy which will ruin the dish.
10 – Spicy Sichuan Green Beans
We have arrived at the last part of the list with a lovely item.
Spicy Sichuan green beans are hot, sweet and slightly sour and make an excellent pairing with orange chicken.
The green beans dish looks mouth-watering and it tastes flavorsome.
But cooking the beans is so effortless and that too with few ingredients.
But you must use the right items or you won’t get the desired flavors.
You must also use the freshest beans for the dish for the best results.
Fresh beans should have a bright color and break when folded.
When you have such exceptional items as the ones above, there is no need to worry about serving side dishes with orange chicken.
You can select 4-5 at one event and another 4-5 at the next.
But you should ensure not to use the same item twice in a row.
Else, it can make you feel bored.
But when you serve different dishes each time, it will keep your menu more interesting.
You may add more dishes at any event if there are more guests.
You can lower the number of items when you don’t have to feed many people.