When it comes to Chinese takeout, General Tso’s Chicken is a favorite dish of many. Unfortunately, those fried balls of chicken are pretty high in fat and calories—and the sticky, sugary sauce is not so great for you, either! The next time you’re craving some General Tso’s but want to keep things a little healthier and lighter, try making this low-fat, low-sugar version at home. It’s not exactly like the dish you’d get from your favorite Chinese restaurant, but served over rice, it’s every bit as delicious.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6 dried red chiles, minced finely
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, grated finely
- 1 teaspoon orange juice
- 2 green onions, sliced
Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken breasts into 3/4-inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Toss the chicken cubes in the cornstarch mixture until each piece is evenly coated. Set the chicken aside while you prepare the sauce mixture.
In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, white sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and chile peppers. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and set aside.
Heat the canola oil in a large skillet or wok. When the oil begins to steam just slightly, drop the chicken cubes, a few at a time, into the pan. Keep adding chicken cubes a few at a time, waiting about 30 second between each addition so you do not overload the pan.
Once all of the chicken has been added to the pan, begin tossing or stirring it to prevent it from sticking. When the chicken is evenly browned and no longer pink in the center (slice into one piece to check), add the sauce mixture to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer. It should begin to thicken. Once the sauce has thickened considerably, add the sesame oil to the pan and stir well.
Remove the chicken from the heat and garnish it with the sliced green onions before serving it over white rice. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This recipe should make enough for 2–3 people to enjoy.
If you don’t have time to make this recipe tonight, save it for later and head over to a Chinese eatery like the Lilac Blossom Restaurant and choose a healthy entree.