Eating Light: General Tso’s Chicken

Photo Credit: Kate Mathias, 2011

This sweet and spicy dish is absolutely one of my favorite things to eat and it is  Chinese-American restaurant staple. The version featured here, is lighter than your normal take-out or restaurant style recipe, mainly because the chicken is only lightly coated in cornstarch and is pan-fried rather than deep-fried.

Serves 4

1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 large egg white
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Steamed broccoli and white rice, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the toasted sesame oil with the egg white, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch. Add the chicken, stirring to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the chile-garlic sauce, sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

In a large saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir the broth mixture, add it to the pan and cook until thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until shimmering. Carefully add the chicken, one piece at a time, and fry over high heat, turning once or twice, until very browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain the chicken on paper towels and immediately add to the sauce along with the scallions. Cook just until coated, about 30 seconds.

Serve right away, with steamed broccoli and rice. Parenting Team FC Contributor