This recipe is part of Crispianity: a column devoted to all foods crispy and crunchy, two of the most underappreciated attributes of a great dish. Author Adeena Sussman is a food writer and recipe developer, pairing here with her photographer friend Evan Sung. Sussman’s most recent cookbook, coauthored with Lee Brian Schrager, is America’s Best Breakfasts: Favorite Local Recipes From Coast to Coast.

Between battered proteins, crunchy wok-fried veggies, and pan-crisped noodles (to name a few), Chinese food is a haven for those who, like me, insist on texture as a part of every meal. That’s why crispy orange beef has always loomed large in the Chinese takeout canon. I’ve always loved the dish, but wanted something a little lighter and more citrus-intensive. I started by battering the protein using a technique I cribbed from one of my favorite Asian chefs, Dale Talde. A coating of egg whites, powdery cornstarch and seasonings primes the beef for pan-frying, resulting in deeply crispy meat. I swapped in tangerines for oranges — I love their tangy sweetness — and included the thin-skinned rinds for a slightly bitter edge that cuts through the dish’s richness. (Of course, feel free to revert to oranges if that’s your preference). A classically tangy-spicy-sweet sauce lightly coats the crisped beef and veggies, resulting in a dish that’ll take you off takeout for good.