General Tso’s Chicken is a sweet, spicy and tangy Chinese dish. Crispy tender pieces of chicken in a addictive sauce is served over rice and topped with sliced green onions. Serve with roasted broccoli or chow mein. Not only is this recipe lighter than the traditional recipe but super easy too! Serves 4 to 6 depending on serving size.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I love recreating our favorite chinese dishes.

From black pepper chicken and kung pan chicken to steak kow, spicy ginger cashew pork and sweet and sour chicken. Another one of our favorite dishes to order from our local chinese restaurant is General Tso’s Chicken. It’s sweet and slightly spicy addictive sauce coats crispy pieces of chicken.

This took me quite a few tries before landing (what I think is) the perfect, healthier and lighter version of General Tso’s.

General Tso's Chicken

Serve over rice (protein, white, brown or cauliflower) with your favorite side. Our go-to is this roasted broccoli.

ingredients for General Tso's Chicken

To This Make General Tso’s Chicken You Will Need:

for the marinade:

  • baking sodaUsed to tenderize the chicken.
  • garlic powderAdds flavor that’s sweeter yet milder than fresh garlic.
  • kosher saltDraws out flavor and will season the chicken.
  • low-sodium sou sauceLends a salty and savory (umami) flavor.
  • boneless skinless chicken thighsLend more flavor than white meat. Thigh meat is tender and moist without being overly fatty or oily.

the sauce:

  • white pepperBrighter, a little sharper and more herbaceous notes than regular black pepper.
  • cornstarchWill thicken the sauce when simmered.
  • tomato pasteLends a complex flavor that rounds out the sauce.
  • hoisin sauceA condiment sauce made from fermented soy bean paste.
  • honeyAdds sweetness to the sauce.
  • bone broth or chicken stock – I like to use bone broth for its rich flavor and health benefits.
  • low-sodium soy sauceLends a salty and savory (umami) flavor.
  • lime juiceFor acidity and subtle bright citrusy flavor.

for the stir-fry:

  • cornstarchUsed to coat the chicken and will create a delicate crust once pan-fried.
  • avocado oilOr use any neutral oil meant for high heat cooking (like avocado, grapeseed or sunflower).
  • garlicThis adds distinct and punchy flavor to this dish.
  • red pepper flakesAdds some spicy heat to the dish.
  • cooked riceWe like to use this protein rice, but white, brown rice or cauliflower rice would also work!
  • green onionsFor a pop of green and subtle onion flavor.

ingredients for marinade for chicken

Marinate The Chicken:

In a bowl measure and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce.

stirred ingredients for marinade

Stir to combine.

chicken thighs added to bowl with marinade

Add in 1-1/4 to 1-1/3 pounds diced boneless skinless chicken thighs.

chicken thighs tossed in marinade

Toss to coat and set off to the side.

general tso's sauce

Make The Sauce:

In a bowl, measure and add in 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 3 tablespoon hoisin, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 cup bone broth or chicken stock, 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce and the juice from a medium lime. Whisk to combine.

oil in pan

Add 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other oil safe for high temp cooking. Heat on medium-high. Check to see if the oil is hot enough, by placing the end of a wooden chop stick in the oil. If bubble surround it, it’s ready.

cornstarch in bag

Once the oil is hot, measure and add 1/3 cup cornstarch into a resealable bag.

marinated chicken added to cornstarch

Add in the marinated chicken.

marinated chicken coated in cornstarch

Seal the bag and toss to get every piece coated. Do this right before you start cooking and not any earlier to avoid the chicken from absorbing the cornstarch and clumping together.

add coated chicken to pan with oil

Once coated, immediately add the chicken to the prepared pan in an even layer. If you need to work in batches of two, you can do that with great results.

cooked chicken in pan

Cook 2 to 3 minutes on all sides or until golden and the chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink. Add a little more olive oil (1/2 a tablespoon) if needed.

cooked chicken on lined plate

Transfer the chicken to a paper towel lined plate.

add oil, garlic and red pepper flakes

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add in the remaining oil, 3 cloves minced fresh garlic and 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

add remain oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to pan

Stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until soft.

pouring in sauce

Pour in all of the sauce and increase the heat to medium-high.

simmer sauce until thickened

Stir often until thickened. Meanwhile, add rice to bowls.

toss to coat

Add the chicken to the thickened sauce, stir and toss until coated.

serve immediately

Serve immediately.

General Tso's Chicken

I like to serve this over rice next to my 10-minute broccoli and garnished with sliced green onions.

General Tso's Chicken

Enjoy! And if you give this General Tso’s Chicken recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

General Tso's Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso’s Chicken is a sweet, spicy and tangy Chinese dish. Crispy tender pieces of chicken in a addictive sauce is served over rice and topped with sliced green onions. Serve with roasted broccoli or chow mein. Not only is this recipe lighter than the traditional recipe but super easy too!

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1⅓ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup bone broth, or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, or low-sodium tamari
  • 1 medium lime, juiced

FOR THE STIR-FRY:

  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil, or other oil safe fro high temp cooking
  • 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 3 green onions, sliced, for serving
  • 2 cups cooked rice, for serving (see notes)

MARINATE THE CHICKEN:

  • In a bowl measure and add baking soda, garlic powder, kosher salt and low-sodium soy sauce. Stir to combine.

  • Add in diced boneless skinless chicken thighs. Toss to coat and set off to the side.

MAKE THE SAUCE:

  • In a bowl, measure and add in white pepper, cornstarch, tomato paste, hoisin, honey, bone broth or chicken stock, low-sodium soy sauce and the juice from a medium lime. Whisk to combine.

MAKE THE STIR-FRY:

  • Add 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other oil safe for high temp cooking. Heat on medium-high. Check to see if the oil is hot enough, by placing the end of a wooden chop stick in the oil. If bubble surround it, it’s ready.

  • Once the oil is hot, measure and add 1/3 cup cornstarch into a resealable bag. Add in the marinated chicken. Seal the bag and toss to get every piece coated. Do this right before you start cooking and not any earlier to avoid the chicken from absorbing the cornstarch and clumping together.

  • Once coated, immediately use tongs to add the chicken to the prepared pan in an even layer. If you need to work in batches of two, you can do that with great results.

  • Cook 2 to 3 minutes on all sides or until golden and the chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink. Add a little more olive oil (1/2 a tablespoon) if needed.

  • Transfer the chicken to a paper towel lined plate.

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add in the remaining oil, minced fresh garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until soft.

  • Pour in all of the sauce and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir often until thickened. Meanwhile, add rice to bowls.

  • Add the chicken to the thickened sauce, stir and toss until coated. Serve immediately over rice with a sprinkle of green onion.

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 509kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 144mg, Sodium: 1381mg, Potassium: 560mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 213IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 2mg

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Laurie McNamara

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