Orange Beef (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

March 12, 2014

Orange Beef (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

When it comes to healthy food in a flash what beats a stir-fry?
Right, nothing beats a stir-fry.Vegetables and proteins mingle together over high heat until just crisp with a swirl of savory sa uce that makes everything so very special.
Quick, healthy, delicious: what’s not to love about it?

Chili Peppers

Alright...I know, this is like the hundredth Asian-Chinese-inspired recipe I’m posting on here; but when it comes to stir-fries, there are endless combinations for making delicious meals.
And honestly, I feel like I’ve touched just the tip of the iceberg, there is still so much more to discover underneath.
Orange Beef (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

So today, we’re making Orange Beef, also known as Chun Pei Ngau Yuk.
A classic dish from the province of Hunan, Chun Pei Ngau Yuk, translates as "old beef"; very old, so old it gathers dust.
The main reason for this name, is that this dish is most often cooked with old, dried, hard orange peel.
“But there’s no reason to use old oranges when you have yummy fresh ones” my friend Xue told me the other day.

Orange Beef (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)
The authentic Chun Pei Ngau Yuk recipe calls for deep frying the beef, stir-frying the veggies and combining everything together with a delicious savory citrus sauce.
But you guys know how I feel about deep for this guy it’s stir-fry everything instead.
Maybe less authentic, still very, very good.
But then again, it’s crucial to remember that word “authentic” is misleading in itself.
Authenticity in the realm of food is subjective to one’s personal memories and opinion.
However, if authentic to you means Chun Pei Ngau Yuk as made in the streets of Changsha (the capital city of Hunan) then this recipe might be that authentic.
If however, authentic means beef doused in a savory sauce and paired with stir-fried veggies and pepper well my friend, then this is the right dish for you.

Orange Beef (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

It may look like many steps and many ingredients; but it all comes together in 20 minutes with proper time management. Remember that stir-frying is a fast and hurried affair – have everything ready to go the minute you start heating that wok.
If you're after a healthy meal to serve the family this week, this is it, and you might as well skip plating all together.
Bring the wok to the center of the table and allow everyone to serve themselves – family style… easy, lazy, and quick family style.

Orange Beef (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)
Orange Beef (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)                                                                Print this recipe!

Serves 4 

¾ lb / 340 gr flank steak, cut across the grain into thin strips
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
2 medium celery ribs, stringed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
3 chili peppers, chopped (adjust according to taste)
Peel of 1 orange, white pith removed and cut into thin strips
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided


½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 egg white
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder*

*arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch


2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons wheat-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 teaspoons ketchup (make your own paleo ketchup with this recipe)
1 ½ teaspoons raw organic honey (or raw coconut palm sugar such as Madhava)
Juice of 1 orange


In a small bowl combine all marinade ingredients. Add marinade and beef strips to a Ziploc bag (or a shallow dish), shake well and refrigerate.
In the meantime, in a bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Heat a wok (or a large skillet) over medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, when it sizzles add beef and stir-fry until it changes color and it’s nearly cooked. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the celery strips, stir-fry for 1 minute and transfer to a plate.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add chili peppers and orange peel and saute’ briefly until the chiles darken, then add garlic and ginger and saute’ for 1 further minute until everything is fragrant.
Finally stir in scallions and celery strips.
Push the vegetables up the side of the wok, add sauce in the middle and cook for 1 minute.
Add beef and stir-fry until heated through.
Serve hot!

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 280 calories, 19 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs and 20 grams of protein.


  1. Forget the plates Mike, my daughter and I could tackle this straight up from the wok!
    I've said it before and I will say it again - your Chinese inspired dishes are AH-MAZING! I am so intrigued by this sauce - don't think I've ever had a combination of ketchup, soy, orange and honey before...since I am A Non (not anon like I mis-typed before) beef eater, you think this dish would work with some free range chicken?

    1. Hey Shashi, you should definitely try it with chicken, it works perfectly!
      And thanks for all the compliments, you're making me blush... ;)

  2. You're like the king of Asian-inspired-quick-and-healthy stir fries and I'm not complaining. I love each one of these recipes and this one looks especially delicious. That marinade is calling my name!

  3. I just love Asian inspired food, there is always a little protein and lots of veggies, another great one Mike.

  4. Looks amazing Mike, can't wait to try it!

  5. And there he goes again with the Asian fare. Orange, beef, garlic, ginger? Yes please, is all I can say.

    1. I have this thing for Asian-themed food lately, I just can't help myself!

  6. Ok, I am convinced that you officially make the best healthy asian food ever! Great recipe and pics Mike! As always. :)

    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

  7. So, I m not so good at following a recipe word for word. I used leftover shredded roast. added broccoli and carrots. no oranges but had tangerines. it was great. the boys inhaled it. thanks for the recipe.

    1. That is so awesome A, I'm super happy you've liked it that much!

  8. wow.. it is look delicious. yummy :')

  9. Hi Mike, your bowl of orange beef is calling my name. It look so delicious. Excellent photography skill. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great week ahead.

  10. You're the asian recipe king lately dude! Loving all the asian-inspired recipes you've been posting! Orange beef is one of my faves.

  11. Never in my life's career have I eaten Orange Beef. When I ate Chinese Food back YONDER.... I would stick with the shrimp or chicken fried rice baby. OHH YAAA. But to be honest, I was never really a Chinese Food type of girl. Japanese any day of the week.

    1. But you have to give this orange beef a chance Gigi, it's so worth it!

  12. I hear you on the deep frying (messy as well as not so healthy)! All your stir-fries looks so good - easy and healthy is always awesome!

  13. i want to try it.. like indonesia food

  14. hi mike, add onions definitely better .. yummiii