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This Keto Chinese Orange Peel Shrimp is my remake to the classic sweet and spicy orange peel shrimp or chicken recipe that you can pick up at P.F. Chang’s. Using keto-friendly sweeteners and orange extract instead of orange juice, this is easily one of my favorite keto Chinese takeout recipes to make at home. Perfect for those who want shrimp or chicken with orange sauce minus the carbs and sugar!
What is Orange Peel Shrimp?
P.F. Chang’s orange peel chicken and shrimp entrees inspired me to create my own version. It is basically shrimp or chicken covered in a sweet and spicy orange sauce that is served up with rice.
Since traditional orange chicken and shrimp recipes rely on sugars, it’s not typically a keto-friendly option. In this recipe, I’m using keto substitutes to achieve the flavors without adding sugar.
Are oranges keto-friendly?
Many people following a strict keto lifestyle choose to skip oranges. They do this because oranges have a lot of sugar, something that might knock them out of ketosis. In fact, one medium-size orange has over 12 grams of sugar. And, a cup of orange juice has over 17 grams of sugar. So, you might be wondering how can you make orange shrimp with the big orange flavor without using oranges?
Keto Orange Peel Sauce without Oranges
My keto orange sauce uses orange extract instead of orange juice. The orange extract contains a lot of orange flavor in two teaspoons of liquid.
In addition to the orange extract, you’ll notice in the recipe card below that I’m using Keto Brown Sugar Replacement to get sweetness without added carbs or sugar.
To get the savory or spicy component, I use a thinly sliced habanero pepper or red pepper flakes. But if you want all the sweetness and none of the spice, you can leave the pepper out of the recipe and it will still taste great.
The remaining ingredients help round out the flavor a bit and include chicken broth, ground ginger, garlic cloves, soy sauce or Coconut Aminos, Xanthan gum, butter, optional sesame seed oil, and unseasoned rice vinegar.
Orange Extract vs. Orange Juice
Orange extract provides a concentrated orange flavor. You really only need one or two teaspoons in most recipes to give the dish an orange flavoring. It also contains no extra carbs or sugars, so it is very keto-friendly.
Orange juice is full of extra sugar. Using orange juice in the orange peel shrimp would increase the carbs in this dish. So, if your goal is to stay in ketosis, I’d recommend avoiding orange juice and using the orange extract.
How to Make Orange Shrimp or Orange Chicken
Shrimp is super easy to make. Use a raw, thawed shrimp in this recipe. It doesn’t matter if you use fresh or previously frozen shrimp.
To cook the shrimp:
You can just add them to the pot with the sauce and heat them for 1-2 minutes until they are cooked.
To make keto orange chicken instead:
If you swap the shrimp with chicken, then you should absolutely cook them before adding them to the sauce since they take much longer than shrimp to cook. All you need to do is:
- Cut your chicken into cubes
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat
- Melt 1-2 tbsp of butter or another fat if you prefer in the pan
- Add the chicken and cook on each side for ~2 minutes.
When the chicken is white and no longer pink, you can add it to the sauce.
What to Eat this Chinese Orange Shrimp recipe with
Asian dishes like keto Chinese orange peel shrimp pair well with fried rice. But just like with using orange extract instead of orange juice, I have a keto-friendly alternative. You can make keto-friendly cauliflower fried rice instead of using white or brown rice, both of which would add carbs to the meal.
Another alternative side for orange shrimp is steamed broccoli. Steamed broccoli mixes well with the orange sauce and provides some low carb veggies to your meal.
Other Keto Asian Inspired Recipes
I’ve got lots of Asian inspired keto dishes to choose from if you are looking for others. Here are some of my favorites that you could cook up for a keto-friendly Asian feast:
- Keto Sweet Chili Chicken Wings
- Easy Keto Teriyaki Salmon Recipe
- Keto Eggroll in a Bowl (Keto Crack Slaw) Recipe
- Low Carb Bang Bang Shrimp
Keto Chinese Orange Peel Shrimp Recipe
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Keto Orange Sauce
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 tsp Orange Extract
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 tbsp Unseasoned Rice Vinegar, Unseasoned
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce, or Coconut Aminos. You can add up to 1 more additional tbsp of soy sauce or coconut aminos at the end if you wish.
- 1/3 cup Keto Brown Sugar Replacement
- 1 tbsp Pure Sesame Oil, optional
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1 lb Shrimp
For the Keto Orange Sauce
- Add the first 8 ingredients to a skillet on medium heat.
- Whisk the ingredients with a silicone whisk (to not scratch your pot). Bring the sauce to a boil.
- Turn the heat to medium-low. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes so that the flavors can come together.
- Whisk in the Xanthan Gum slowly. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes on medium-low to give the sauce time to thicken.
For the Shrimp
- Add the shrimp to the pan with the sauce and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side.
- Enjoy with cauliflower fried rice or a steamed vegetable.
Quick Note about shrimp & cholesterol:Shrimp is naturally high in cholesterol. You should read more about the cholesterol in shrimp if you're interested. You can substitute chicken for the shrimp. Please see the post for how to swap chicken in this dish.
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!