I documented on earlier posts how I was trying to uncover a recipe for the brown gravy used in Mandarin chicken (found in Louisiana Chinese restaurants) despite the name, it is in no way an orange flavored dish. After a lot of trial and error, I have finally figured out a recipe that gives me great results nearly every time.


All purpose flour – 1/2 to 1 full cup (quantity depends on things like humidity and altitude, you have to play around with it to get the thickness of the gravy to what you want)

5 cups water

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup karo syrup (light or dark)

1tsp anise

And optional 1/4 tsp crusted red pepper


1: Crush anise and red pepper in mort and pestle

2: mix flour and 1 to 2 cups of the water

3: add in anise and red pepper

4: pour into pan. Add remaining water. Mix well

5: stir constantly over medium heat until thickens

6: add soy sauce, stir over heat until thickens

7: add karo syrup. Stir until sauce is desired thickness. Take off heat. Let cool.

8: pour sauce over breaded chicken breasts or grilled chicken and rice. Can serve over lettuce for restaurant touch. Add crushed peanuts to top. Enjoy!

And that is it. This is the closest I’ve come to the Mandarin chicken from our Chinese restaurants. Of course every place had its own unique Mandarin chicken, so some may be a little different, but this recipe makes a very tasty dish, nonetheless.

– Amanda