View Full Version : Recipe for Trader Joes Mandarin Orange Chicken?

04-07-2013, 07:22 AM
Well, coming back to Sweden in general been in an ok experience. Left a lot of things we miss behind but that is what's to be expected. Since i travel to the states fairly frequent i can still bring back most of what the family wants (think leaving Sweden with 15lbs of bags and clothes and returning with over 100lbs... each trip.

So, one thing that i have not been able to solve or substitute is the Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken (you buy it in a frozen plastic bag with pieces of chicken and 2 bags of sauce inside if i recall correctly) that my 5 year old loved to have in his lunchbox to school. No week was acceptable without it at least once for 3 years...

Last week (consider it's been almost a year) my son broke down crying asking for his "favourite food".... Does any of you skilled chefs/cooks/dudes know how to make something similar? We have tried most alternatives available commercially in Sweden and they have all been disappointments.

Even ideas to put me in the right direction is appreciated.


04-07-2013, 10:58 AM
Got a bag in the freezer -- I can copy the ingredient list if you want.

04-07-2013, 01:24 PM
You have a PM.


04-07-2013, 09:39 PM
just emailed you a pic of the label. The file is a little over 9 MB, so please let me know if you do not receive it and i will try and reduce the file size.

04-07-2013, 10:21 PM
Maybe this could help:


04-07-2013, 10:34 PM
That has to be the most annoying web site in the world. The constant flashing from one thing to another makes it very hard to follow the content. it makes me want to get a gun and shoot it!!

04-08-2013, 02:07 AM
just emailed you a pic of the label. The file is a little over 9 MB, so please let me know if you do not receive it and i will try and reduce the file size.

Received all well and good!


04-08-2013, 02:14 AM
Maybe this could help:


thanks! Can't believe that didn't come up in my searches. Been through the 3 first pages of results for mandarin orange chicken on the (i guess this might be the issue) Swedish Google site.

Now i'm all set!

04-08-2013, 02:23 AM
wrong post

04-08-2013, 02:47 PM
i think my stepdad would forego the egg yolks for a crispier crust.

04-08-2013, 03:48 PM
Thanks to all!

05-13-2013, 01:16 PM
OK, so i finally got around to trying this out and with a reference bag from a TJ:s pack (brought the sauce bags home from last trip to the US and threw out the chicken) I got pretty close. Next time is for the sons birthday so i hope I'll get even a bit closer still.

Anyway the youngest had 3 helpings and shone like the sun! :biggrin:

So, BIG THANKS to all for the help!

05-13-2013, 01:35 PM
Did you discover any improvements to the ingredient list or the web recipe we found? (I think my son might be a fan also...)

05-14-2013, 04:53 AM
Well, this may not be applicable to you since i basically use Swedish ingredients and not all are the same. My boy is 5 and not too fond of spices, mind you.

For the glaze i mainly went by the web recipe.
Next time i will (for the glaze):
- Back off a little on the chilli bean paste
- Exchange the mandarin peel zest and use fresh squeezed mandarin orange juice instead (we added juice this time to, but the bitterness of the zest came through a bit anyway)
- We used a bit more sugar (that may be from my miscalculating cups to deciliters and approximating though)
- We increased the amount of broth
- Maybe find a lighter soy sauce

I'll also use bigger chicken pieces, less batter and a wider pan (this was our first time ever deep frying anything, tells you a bit about Sweden, doesn't it?)

05-14-2013, 02:01 PM
OK, so i finetuned the recipe for the glaze while i had yesterdays version fresh in memory.
Compared to the web recipe found by ajrh above :
- No mandarine orange zest
- Add juice from 1 1/2 mandarine orange (wife squeezed so not until dry)
- Slightly less soy
- 1/2 of the chilli bean paste

I let the glace reduce a bit (not much simmered for like 15 minutes)

This brought us very close to the TJ:s version.

We had a bonus kid here today and all ate with good apetit. The connoiseur (my 5 year old) said this version was better than yesterdays.
Good luck!

05-14-2013, 02:31 PM
I'll have to save this recipe for the future. Nowadays we pretty much eat vegetarian but I hope, when our small one grows up, the carnivores will outnumber the vegetarians :)
Thanks for this, Robin!

05-14-2013, 03:28 PM
Relatively cheap way to have Chinese in Sweden and i gotta admit. The home deepfry version is a lot better (albeit less good looking) than what we are used to.
I might actually try to make proper french fries one day...

Good luck on turning the girlfriend!

05-14-2013, 03:32 PM
Oh, while i remember, the recipe and TJ:s ingredient list calls for brown/thigh chicken meat. I tried this and breast and the thighs i feel were better.