General Tso’s Chicken

Chinese food is one ethnic food I have probably never had in “traditional” form. Or at least I don’t think so. Maybe a little bit in Singapore, actually. But anyways, my main exposure to Chinese food (or should I say “Chinese food”) has been in the way of take-out. I usually opt for egg foo yung while Mr. Prevention has historically favored lemon chicken, orange chicken, or some other deep-friend chicken dish.

I hedged my bets and figured this recipe would suit his preferences just fine.

Correct.

I bulked up the nutrition of this meal and shaved off some calories by adding vegetables and lots of them. And not only broccoli, but snap peas, too. A take-out meal at home for 8 grams of fat? If that’s not impressive, then I don’t know what is.

As with any dish containing soy sauce, it’s hard to control the sodium. With this plentiful portion, I do feel the 778 milligrams of sodium in this dish was more than worth it. Sure, that number seems steep, but I can say with near certainty that most ANY meal out (especially Chinese take-out) will exceed that total by…quite a bit.

Who needs take-out when you have a wok? 😉

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General Tso’s Chicken adapted from Cook Like a Champion, So Tasty, So Yummy and originally from Food and Wine, May 2011

1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 large egg white
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup cornstarch, divided
1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/3 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp Chinese chile-garlic sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
2 cups snap or snow peas
1 1/4 cup dry brown rice, cooked according to package directions

Directions:

Cook rice according to package directions.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, egg white, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp cornstarch. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together chicken broth, chile-garlic sauce, sugar, remaining 1/4 cup soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken to the pan and saute 4 minutes. Add the broccoli and peas. Saute an additional 2-3 minutes.

Whisk the broth mixture, then add it to the pan. Cook about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and glossy, and the vegetables have softened. Serve with green onions as a garnish. Yield: 5 servings (about 3/4 cup rice served with 1 1/3 cups chicken/vegetable mixture).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 471 calories; 8 g. fat; 55 mg. cholesterol; 778 mg. sodium; 40.5 g. carbohydrate; 4 g. fiber; 35 g. protein

Result: This was a hit! Simple to make and ready in about 40 minutes — the rice is what slows down the meal, not the chicken. Of course, if you opt for quick-cooking rice, I would place this meal closer to 30 minutes. Take-out at home? Can’t beat it!

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After a near 7-hour trek (grrr traffic….grr) after class yesterday, I am in Chicago! I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for the day, but certainly a workout, some lesson planning, shopping, and catching up with friends & family 😀

Question: What’s your favorite thing to order from Chinese take-out?

TGIF!

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16 Comments

  1. September 23, 2011 / 6:45 am

    General Tso’s Chicken is one of my favorite Chinese food dishes! I order it all the time when we get take-out. It’s that sweet and spicy sauce they put on it – LOVE! 😀

  2. September 23, 2011 / 6:46 am

    This looks so good! I love you nutrition boost you added with the extra veggies, and how easy this looks to make. Your pictures are fabulous, as always!

    I typically order something spicy with chicken, though I try to get sauce on the side so I can control the amount (and try to make it healthier).

  3. September 23, 2011 / 6:58 am

    I’m not big into rice for some reason or another, so Chinese is usually one of the last on my list of places to order from. However, I do love me some General Tso or Kung Pao chicken!

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 23, 2011 / 9:50 am

      I’m not a rice person, either. Maybe because I can’t make rice? 😉 I ate all the veggies and chicken and left most of the rice.

  4. September 23, 2011 / 7:20 am

    Sounds so good!! I will have to make this one night for Nick (I doubt I could make it without the garlic sauce…. maybe garlic oil instead? I can eat that!).

    So 7 hours to Chicago? I have been debating flying or driving up there for a wedding in June. I think I should fly. Any tips on good rates to Chicago from C-bus?
    Have a great weekend!!

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 23, 2011 / 9:49 am

      It SHOULDN’T take 7 hours…the traffic was just horrible. I got out of class late and into Chicago right at rush hour. No idea on flights, I’m sorry! I’ve never flown that route, but it shouldn’t be more than $200! I would think closer to $120-150.

  5. September 23, 2011 / 10:28 am

    This recipe is much simpler than it looks in the pictures… very do-able for a weeknight dinner. I love chinese food, (the “real stuff” like you get from family places in Chinatown that don’t advertise and you only know about because your Chinese uncle took you there once) but making it at home has always been really intimidating to me. I’ll have to give this a try! Looks like a much better plan than paying $25 for soggy egg rolls and mediocre sesame chicken from the place down the road. 🙂

  6. September 23, 2011 / 11:58 am

    When it comes to Chinese food, Im all about the noodles. Any kind of noodles too. I dont discriminate, I love them all. 🙂

    7 hour drive AFTER class? Thats almost an entire work day, after the work day. That sucks! At least its dont though right?

  7. September 23, 2011 / 12:48 pm

    My favorite thing to order Chinese take out would be General Tso’s chicken…but I almost NEVER do because it is soooo high in fat and cals! I am not a huge chinese food fan…but my brother and sil just spent three weeks in China…and I am not certain anyone here would like authentic Chinese food….live scorpions on a stick anyone? I’m totally NOT kidding! Enjoy your time in Chicago, Nicole!

  8. Liz
    September 23, 2011 / 1:57 pm

    I’m not a big fan of Chinese food (unless my friend’s mom makes the homemade variety), but my husband loves it, especially General Tso’s. I’ll definitely make this for him!

  9. September 23, 2011 / 2:29 pm

    Your General Tso’s chicken sounds good! One of my favorite Chinese dishes is eggplant in garlic sauce. I’ll have to try to recreate it at home as I know the restaurant version isn’t good for me…

    Have fun in Chicago!

  10. Sue Hess
    February 24, 2012 / 7:17 am

    I am very impressed with your healthy recipes. Keep up the nice work…please. 🙂 and Thankyou.

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