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.
Serve over rice (protein, white, brown or cauliflower) with your favorite side. Our go-to is this roasted broccoli.
To This Make General Tso’s Chicken You Will Need:
for the marinade:
- baking soda – Used to tenderize the chicken.
- garlic powder – Adds flavor that’s sweeter yet milder than fresh garlic.
- kosher salt – Draws out flavor and will season the chicken.
- low-sodium sou sauce – Lends a salty and savory (umami) flavor.
- boneless skinless chicken thighs – Lend more flavor than white meat. Thigh meat is tender and moist without being overly fatty or oily.
- white pepper – Brighter, a little sharper and more herbaceous notes than regular black pepper.
- cornstarch – Will thicken the sauce when simmered.
- tomato paste – Lends a complex flavor that rounds out the sauce.
- hoisin sauce – A condiment sauce made from fermented soy bean paste.
- honey – Adds 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 sauce – Lends a salty and savory (umami) flavor.
- lime juice – For acidity and subtle bright citrusy flavor.
for the stir-fry:
- cornstarch – Used to coat the chicken and will create a delicate crust once pan-fried.
- avocado oil – Or use any neutral oil meant for high heat cooking (like avocado, grapeseed or sunflower).
- garlic – This adds distinct and punchy flavor to this dish.
- red pepper flakes – Adds some spicy heat to the dish.
- cooked rice – We like to use this protein rice, but white, brown rice or cauliflower rice would also work!
- green onions – For a pop of green and subtle onion flavor.
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.
Stir to combine.
Add in 1-1/4 to 1-1/3 pounds diced boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Toss to coat and set off to the side.
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.
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 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, 3 cloves minced fresh garlic and 3/4 teaspoon 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.
I like to serve this over rice next to my 10-minute broccoli and garnished with sliced green onions.
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!