Chef Jet Tila and His Wife Ali Share ‘Better-Than-Takeout Orange Chicken’ Recipe From New Cookbook

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Jessica spent some time in the kitchen recently with celebrity chef Jet Tila and his wife Ali.

The two shared the story about how they met and Jet talked about how his family became the first Thai food business family in the U.S.

Jet made his famous orange chicken recipe, just one of the dishes featured in the pair’s new cookbook: “101 Epic Dishes: Recipes that Teach You How to Make the Classics Even More Delicious.”

For more information about Jet, visit his website, and you can also follow Ali on Instagram.

If you’d like to meet Jet and Ali, they’ll be signing cookbooks at the Barnes & Noble at The Grove at 2p.m.  May 11. For more info, click here.

This segment aired on California Cooking With Jessica Holmes Episode 31.

Jet Tila’s Better-Than-Takeout Orange Chicken

Ingredients, serves 4:

For orange-flavored sauce:

  • ½ cup of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 6 tablespoon of orange juice
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoons of ground paprika
  • ½ tablespoons of minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 drop red food coloring (optional)

For chicken:

  • 1 quart, plus 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 pounds of chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch dice
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 2½ cups of tempura flour, divided
  • ½ onion, cut into large dice
  • 4 scallions, sliced into 2-inch lengths


  1. I like serving this with white rice. The rice should be cooked and resting while you are making the orange chicken, so if you’re serving with rice, start that first.
  2. To make the sauce, add all the sauce ingredients to a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk gently as it comes to a simmer. Allow to simmer, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. To make the chicken, heat 1 quart of the oil in a 4-quart Dutch oven to 165°F using a frying thermometer. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. In a medium-size bowl, combine the water and 1½ cups of the tempura flour into a thick batter; it should look like a thick pancake batter. Spread the remaining 1 cup of tempura flour on a plate. Dredge the chicken cubes in the tempura flour, coat in a thin layer of the batter, knock off the excess batter and fry in two batches until golden brown and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels or a rack.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When you see the first wisps of white smoke, stir in the fried chicken, onion and scallions and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in the sauce and allow to coat and simmer for a minute or two. Cook, folding with a spatula, until all the ingredients are well coated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe reprinted with permission from “101 Epic Dishes: Recipes that Teach You How to Make the Classics Even More Delicious” 






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