Air Fryer Crispy Orange Beef

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Tender sirloin in a tangy orange sauce, this Air Fryer Crispy Orange Beef is just as tasty as your favorite take-out. Made in the air fryer, crispy orange beef is a delicious recipe that pairs great with vegetable stir fry, steamed rice and your Favorite Chinese Sides.

Air Fryer crispy orange beef

Why You’ll Love This Recipe?

I love my air fryer! In fact, it has been a life saver when it comes to busy weeknight dinners. This Air Fryer Orange Beef Recipe is an easy Chinese inspired dinner that we absolutely love, and here’s why:

  • Ready in 30 Minutes– Including prepping, you can have my main course ready in less than 30-minutes which is perfect for those busy evenings.
  • Delicious Sauce– The savory orange sauce is a sour flavor that is famous in Chinese take-out. Although its made for the steak, it’s just as delicious over veggies and rice, too.
  • Kid Friendly– My kid loves orange beef, orange chicken, and well anything Chinese. But, if your kids don’t like the sauce, you can easily give them a few pieces of sirloin without it.
Air Fryer Orange Beef

Recipe Ingredients

Most of the ingredients for this crispy orange beef recipe are going to be for your delicious orange sauce. Get our your shopping list and jot these ingredients down:

  • Top sirloin– You’ll need 1 pound of top sirloin beef that’s cut 1/4 inch thick.
  • Corn starch– This is coated on the beef and used as a thickening agent for the sauce. If you want a gluten free option, you can use Arrowroot starch, instead.
  • Orange juice and Zest– You can get a container or orange juice, or use 4 clementine’s freshly squeezed. Additionally, you can use a cheese grater to grate 2 tablespoons of zest from the clementine peels.
  • Fancy molasses– This is a lighter, sweeter molasses.
  • Rice vinegar– This helps with the flavoring of the sauce. If you don’t have rice vinegar, you could also use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
  • Soy sauce-Soy sauce is sweet and salty giving your sauce a deliciously complex flavor.
  • Sesame oil– This gives your sauce a nutty flavor. If you don’t have any, you can use sunflower oil, olive oil, or walnut oil. Keep in mind substitutes will change the flavor slightly.
  • Minced garlic– I use minced garlic from a jar in the seasoning aisle, but fresh minced garlic is even better.
  • Ginger powder-You can easily swap this out for allspice, nutmeg, or cinnamon.
  • Garnish– we use chopped green onion to garnish this dish, but it’s totally optional.
Air Fryer Orange Beef Ingredients.

How To Make Air Fryer Crispy Orange Beef

Quick and easy, this air fryer orange beef is one of my favorite meals to make during the week. Follow the steps below for a quick, easy, and delicious take-out style dinner!

Step One: Coat The Steak

First, cut your steak into bite-sized pieces or strips. Then, place it in a bowl and mix it with 1/4 cup cornstarch. You want the steak to be fully coated.

Step Two: Put Steak In Air Fryer Basket

Put a layer of steak in your air fryer basket, and spray it with cooking oil. You do not want to overcrowd the steak. Depending on the size of your Air Fryer, you will need to do 3-batches.


Step Three: Air Fry

Cook your steak in the air fryer at 380°F for 6 minutes per batch. The hot oil will make your beef nice and crispy.


While the steak is cooking, mix all of the remaining ingredients including the brown sugar molasses into a small saucepan. Then, cook the sauce on medium high heat for about 5-minutes.

Step Five: Mix Sauce And Steak

When all the batches are cooked, transfer your fried beef to a large bowl. Then, pour the orange sauce over the steak until completely coated.

Step Six: Garnish And Serve

Garnish with sesame seeds or green onions. Serve and enjoy.

Air Fryer Orange Beef

Expert Tips

  • Orange Flavor: Use a zester or cheese grater to create your orange zest from orange peel. You could also add a spoon of Orange Marmalade to this tasty chinese beef recipe.


  • Spicy Kick: For a sweet and spicy kick add some red pepper flakes or chili paste to your orange sauce.
  • Peppers: Feel free to add some bell peppers to the dish for a little extra veg. Green bell peppers create a great contrast.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

  • Refrigeration: Allow your air-fried crispy chicken to cool to room temperature before storing. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking. Consume within 2-3 days for optimal freshness.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the crispy chicken pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid. Transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container, label with the freezing date, and store for up to 2-3 months.
  • Reheating: When ready to enjoy, reheat the refrigerated or thawed crispy chicken in the air fryer for a few minutes until it regains its crispiness. Monitor closely to prevent overcooking. For frozen pieces, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before air frying.

Enjoy the delicious crunch of your Air Fryer Crispy Chicken with these simple storage and reheating instructions!

What to Serve With This Recipe?

Eat this Air Fryer orange beef alone as a low carb option, or serve it over White Rice or cauliflower rice. It also pairs well with other Asian cuisines and Chinese food recipes like:

Air Fryer Orange Beef


What Is Orange Beef?

Orange beef is a Chinese-American dish that consists of tenderized beef fried in oil with orange zest, and often times other vegetables. The flavor of the dish comes from just a few simple ingredients and is a real hit in many household because of its simplicity and great taste.

The dish is similar to many other orange flavored dishes such as Instant Pot Orange Chicken or Mongolian Beef, but its deep fried nature makes it unique in its own way.

Do You Need to Preheat the Air Fryer?

No, you don’t. Many recipes recommend preheating your air fryer, but that is not a requirement with this particular recipe.

What Type of Beef Is Best for Orange Beef?

This orange beef recipe calls for sirloin steak, and I think it is the best for this recipe. You could also use flank steak. Thinner cuts of meat work best for these recipes, so no matter what steak you use, make sure it’s 1/4 inch thick.

Air Fryer Orange Beef

Air Fryer Orange Beef

Yield: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

Air Fryer Orange Beef is delicious and easy to cook


  • 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 or 4 clementine’s freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1.5 tablespoons fancy molasses
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped (plus more for garnish)


  1. Mix your steak and 1/4 cup cornstarch together in a bowl. Mix well so that the steak is fully incorporated with the starch. Place in air fryer basket and spray with oil.
  2. Cook in the air fryer at 380°f for 6 minutes per batch, do not over crowd the meat. 
  3. While your steak is cooking, mix all of the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook on medium for about five minutes allowing the flavors to simmer.
  4. Once your steak has finished cooking in the air fryer, transfer to a large bowl. Add your sauce over the steak and mix well.
  5. Serve over rice, or noodles. Top with sesame seeds or green onions and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 552Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 387mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 19gProtein: 43g

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