Shop our 2024 calendars. Now available for purchase!
Image for Orange Chicken Day

Orange Chicken Day

Orange chicken, a Chinese-American dish beloved at Chinese restaurants in North America, particularly at Panda Express, where it is believed to have been invented, is celebrated today with Orange Chicken Day. Sometimes known as orange peel chicken, orange-flavored chicken, or tangerine chicken, orange chicken consists of chopped and battered chicken that's fried until it's light and crispy and then coated in a sweet orange-flavored chili sauce that thickens and caramelizes like a glaze. The secret to the sweet and sour taste of the dish—at least when it comes to Panda Express—is a contrast of brown sugar, honey, and oil from orange peels with soy sauce and Chinese black vinegar.

Orange chicken is similar to some sweet and sour dishes in China and is often considered to be a Chinese food in America, but it is not regularly found in China. It may be viewed as a variation of another American-born dish, General Tso's chicken. Chef Andy Kao claims to have developed the recipe for orange chicken at a Panda Express in Hawaii in 1987, as a modification of a bone-in dish the restaurant served. While it's an American creation, it may have been inspired by a tangerine chicken dish from Hunan province, China, that translates to "dried citrus peel chicken." The Chinese dish diverges in preparation and taste from orange chicken, however, and is fresh and spicy instead of sweet and sour. Besides Panda Express, where it is the signature dish, orange chicken is regularly found in school cafeterias, at military bases, and in the frozen meal aisles in supermarkets. It is prepared, enjoyed, and celebrated today, on Orange Chicken Day!

How to Observe Orange Chicken Day

Celebrate with orange chicken! Have some at Panda Express or another restaurant, or make your own!

Exclusive Content

Enjoying Checkiday? It takes a lot of support from fans like you to run a free website. For exclusive content and other perks, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Thank you!


This event does not currently have a sponsor. If you'd like to increase visibility for this event while gaining exposure for yourself or your brand, you can learn more here!

Something Wrong or Missing?

We would love to hear from you! Please contact us using this form.

Observation Notifications

Would you like to be notified before the next observation? Add this event directly to your calendar with this link. You may also sign up here to be told when other notifications are available!

Also on this date…