Chinese Braised Chicken in Mandarin Sauce

This Chinese braised mandarin chicken in mandarin sauce is an easy weeknight dinner. Quick, healthy, and delicious. Served over fluffy basmati rice with some steamed broccoli it is going to be your new go-to family dinner. Let’s make it!

The post has extra tips to make sure the recipe comes out amazing on your first try. If you're in a rush, use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end! πŸ‘©β€πŸ³πŸ”
mandarin chicken thighs served with fresh scallions

Mandarin chicken recipe

Why you should try this recipe:

We all like Asian food, right? However, when ordering takeaway from the local restaurant I can’t stop but wonder what ingredients they use.

Unfortunately, Asian food products often contain artificial ingredients. In particular, MSG is commonly used, which I personally would never consciously consume. This is why this braised chicken dish is perfect when you want some real Asian flavors.

Put the takeout menu down!

A beautiful and delicious dish! Our family devoured this yummy chicken.


Ingredients for mandarin chicken recipe

This recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients:

Ingredients needed to make Mandarin chicken.

Recipe Notes

  • Chicken. I used chicken leg quarters, which makes this recipe very budget-friendly. You can also use chicken thighs or just chicken drumsticks, skin-on, bone-in.
  • Mandarins. This recipe is versatile and can be made with any type of mandarin. If mandarins are not available, you can substitute them with oranges.
  • Dry sherry. You can swap sherry for any sweet dessert wine in a recipe, such as port or Madeira. Keep in mind that each type of wine will have its unique flavor, so the resulting dish may have a slightly different taste.
  • Soy sauce. I use Tamari which is gluten-free soy sauce.
  • Ginger. We need fresh ginger for this recipe, the ground ginger won’t work.
  • Dried Chillies. Use them if you like spicy food. Leave them out if cooking for little ones. It is really optional.
  • Spring onions: Use the white and green parts of the onions.

How to make Mandarin Chicken:

STEP 1: Make the mandarin sauce. Squeeze the juice from a mandarin into a mixing bowl. Add sherry, tamari, and sugar to the bowl and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Add crushed black pepper and stir everything well. Do not through away the mandarin peels as they’ll be used later in the recipe. Set the sauce aside.

sliced mandarin rinds.

STEP 2: Take the reserved mandarin peels and slice them into very thin ribbons. Set them aside for later use in the recipe.

ginger and mandarin rinds in a wok.

STEP 3: Heat a wok over medium heat. Once the wok is hot, add olive oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the wok. Next, add finely chopped ginger, mandarin rinds, and dry chilies (if using) to the wok. Stir the ingredients continuously for about 15 seconds while frying them on medium-high heat. Be sure to stir the ingredients constantly to prevent them from burning.

STEP 4: Add the chicken and fry it for 2-3 minutes or until the chicken pieces are seared and no longer pink.

chicken pieces in a wok.

STEP 5: Next, add the prepared sauce to the wok and cook for a minute or two until the sauce starts to simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the wok with a lid, and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the chicken and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. When cooked the chicken should be very tender.

chicken pieces in a wok with green onions.

STEP 6: After 30 minutes of simmering, open the wok lid and add onions to the dish. Allow the chicken to cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce has thickened. Be sure to watch it closely to prevent burning, as the sauce will reduce quite quickly. Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency, remove the wok from the heat.

Mandarin pieces in a bowl.

STEP 7: Add the prepared mandarin pieces into the wok, gently stir, and sprinkle with sesame oil.

mandarin chicken.

Step 8: Serve and enjoy!

What to serve with mandarin chicken?

Mandarin chicken is a flavorful and satisfying dish that paired with some steamed vegetables and freshly cooked rice (cauliflower rice for low-carb) makes a complete meal. However, if you would like to explore more options, here are some delicious ideas to consider:

  • Fried rice – A classic pairing with Chinese-inspired dishes, fried rice is a delicious way to round out your meal. You can use white or brown rice.
  • Steamed vegetables – To balance out the richness of the chicken, consider serving steamed vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, or bok choy. Season with soy sauce or sesame oil for extra flavor.
  • Stir-fried vegetables – Stir-fry your vegetables with a little oil and garlic, ginger, or soy sauce. This adds a nice crunch and savory flavor to your meal.
  • Noodles – You can also serve your mandarin chicken with noodles such as lo mein or chow mein. These noodles are filling and pair well with the flavors of the chicken.

No matter what you choose to serve with your mandarin chicken, be sure to enjoy it with friends and family for a truly delicious and memorable meal.

mandarin chicken served with rice and broccoli
Mandarin chicken

❄️ How to store

  • Refrigerate: If you have any leftovers, storing them is easy. Simply put the remaining portions in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: To freeze, store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To use the frozen chicken, remove them from the freezer the night before and let them defrost in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat: When you’re ready to eat, reheat it on the stove or in the microwave as needed. In my opinion, rice doesn’t freeze well, so it’s best to make fresh rice on the day.
Have you tried this recipe? If so, I'd greatly appreciate it if you could leave a star rating and share your thoughts in a comment. Your feedback means a lot to me, and it can also help others who are interested in trying it out. Thank you! πŸŒŸπŸ‘©β€πŸ³
mandarin chicken.

Chinese Braised Chicken in Mandarin Sauce

Elena Elliott
This Chinese Braised Chicken in Mandarin Sauce is the perfect weeknight dinner. Quick, healthy, and delicious. Served over fluffy basmati rice with some steamed broccoli it is going to be your new go-to family dinner.Β 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people


  • 500 g chicken Maryland
  • 3 mandarins
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce I use Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon organic raw sugar
  • 1/2 crushed black peppercorn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 fresh hot chilies sliced optional, leave out if cooking for kids or you are sensitive to spicy food
  • 1/4 cup spring onions sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • To make the sauce, start by squeezing the juice from one mandarin into a mixing bowl. Add dry sherry, soy sauce, and sugar to the bowl. Whisk or stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Crush green peppercorns and mix them into the sacue.
  • To enhance the mandarin's flavor and texture for the recipe, carefully remove the pith from the mandarin halves using a spoon or small knife. Next, finely slice the rind into delicate shreds. To maintain their freshness and prevent them from drying out, promptly cover the shreds with a damp cloth or plastic wrap until they are ready to be incorporated into the dish.
  • Heat up the wok over medium heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Once the oil shimmers, toss in the finely chopped ginger, dried chilies, fresh chilies (if using), and the mandarin rind. Stir-fry briskly for about 10 seconds, just until the fragrant aromas are released and the ingredients are lightly toasted, being cautious not to overcook and risk imparting a bitter flavor.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the wok. Increase the heat to high and stir-fry the chicken continuously, pressing it against the sides of the wok, until it's no longer pink inside. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour the previously prepared sauce (the mixture of mandarin juice, sherry, soy sauce, and sugar) into the wok and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover the wok with a lid, and allow the chicken to simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until tender and cooked through.
  • While the chicken is simmering, peel the remaining mandarin and segment it into pieces. To segment the mandarin, cut off both ends of the fruit. Then, carefully cut along the sides of each segment, separating the fruit from the white pith. Repeat this process until all the segments have been removed. Set the segmented mandarin aside until ready to add to the wok.
  • Once the chicken is cooked and tender, add the sliced spring onions to the wok and cook over high heat, uncovered, for a few minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
    Then, gently fold in the segmented mandarin slices, ensuring they are well combined with the chicken and sauce. Cook for another minute or so, just until the mandarin slices are heated through.
    Turn off the heat and drizzle with a little sesame oil to finish.
  • Happy cooking and enjoy your delicious mandarin chicken! If you have any further questions or need any more assistance, please leave a comment below.


  1. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar and chili peppers based on your personal preference for sweetness and spiciness.
  2. I used chicken marylands but you can use chicken legs or chicken breasts in this recipe.Β 
  3. To make the dish gluten-free, you can use tamari sauce instead of soy sauce.
  4. Be sure to keep an eye on the chicken as it simmers with the sauce, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.
  5. Garnish the dish with chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, and sesame seeds.
  6. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to reheat thoroughly before serving.
Keyword braised chicken
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