Skip the takeout and the extra calories. Make your own Baked General Tso’s Chicken at home instead! You won’t be able to resist the amazing flavors.
I’m a huge fan of Chinese food, and I could probably eat it every day. But that would not be good for my waistline. For years, General Tso’s chicken was my go-to dish. No, the breading and deep-fried chicken chunks aren’t the healthiest, but they sure taste good. Eventually I started making better choices, and now I regularly order healthier options. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had General Tso’s chicken at a restaurant.
This blog has helped me branch out and try so many recipes I never would have thought of on my own. But for some reason, I hardly have any Asian recipes in my collection. For a long time I had this irrational fear that Asian dishes would be hard to make. That really makes no sense, especially since there are so many pre-made sauces available at the grocery store.
Pinterest is my life-line when it comes to new recipes, and one day I came across Low Fat Baked General Tso’s Chicken. It looked fabulous, and I loved the idea of making one of my favorite recipes.
My very first attempt at Baked General Tso’s Chicken
Man, this looked so sad, and absolutely nothing like the original recipe photo. But it smelled delicious and I certainly wasn’t letting it go to waste. So I took a bite, and it took me right back to the restaurant. The sauce is spicy, but not overwhelming, and extremely flavorful. I failed in several areas: I didn’t make enough of the sugar/water mixture, I didn’t let the mixture cook down enough, and I didn’t have cornstarch to thicken the sauce. I used flour, but it isn’t the same.
A few months later I made Baked General Tso’s Chicken again
Much better, but still not quite what I wanted. Then, somehow, I completely forgot about this Baked General Tso’s Chicken recipe for over a year. I have no idea how that happened, because it’s one of my favorite dishes.
Last Christmas I began to go back through my old blog posts, to edit and update them. When I came back across Baked General Tso’s Chicken I immediately added it back to my meal plan, and was on a mission to get it right. I fixed all previous errors, and doubled the amount of sauce
Now that is how Baked General Tso’s Chicken should look. The sauce is a deeper color than some I’ve had at restaurants, but that’s because I cooked the sauce low and slow.
KEY SAUCE INGREDIENTS IN BAKED GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN
The sauce is what makes Baked General Tso’s Chicken so special. The sauce is easy to make, and takes ingredients you probably have in your pantry anyway
- Soy Sauce – I use low sodium soy sauce whenever possible, and it’s widely available in grocery stores
- Rice Wine Vinegar – you can find it in the vinegar section and the Asian section of the grocery store
- Toasted Sesame Oil – I’m not personally a fan of sesame oil because it’s too pungent. I don’t use sesame oil in this recipe, and I really don’t taste a difference. But if you like it, definitely use it
- Hot Chili Paste – you can find this paste in the Asian section of your grocery store. In an Asian market you will find a wide variety of chili pastes, both hot and sweet. If you use hot just be careful, because it packs a punch…and once you add too much, it’s too late
One of my favorite things about this Baked General Tso’s Chicken is that it’s a quick and easy recipe. In the time it takes to cook the rice, you can make the chicken from start to finish. I always make Baked General Tso’s Chicken for lunch, and have never felt rushed.
I won’t forget about Baked General Tso’s Chicken again. It’s back near the top of my list, and is a regular on my meal plan rotation.
Adapted from Rock Recipes
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- 2 boneless/skinless chicken thighs (cut into bite size pieces)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 4 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil (optional)
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 Tablespoon hot chili paste (more or less to taste)
- 2 clove minced raw garlic
- 1 clove roasted garlic
- 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoon corn starch
- 2 spring onions, cut into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
Combine the flour, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground ginger, salt.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dip them in the egg wash to dredge them in the flour mixture.
Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and lightly drizzle or the tops with a little more olive oil.
Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes.
While the chicken is baking, prepare your sauce.
In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, water, paprika, chili paste, salt, minced garlic and freshly grated ginger. Whisk to combine
In a medium saucepan, boil together the 1 cup of sugar and ¼ cup of water over medium heat
Watch constantly, until the caramel starts to turn a light amber color.
Carefully add sauce mixture to saucepan, and simmer for 4-5 minutes
Combine water and cornstarch, and mix to dissolve cornstarch. Add to sauce mixture, and mix for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened
Add the chicken to the sauce, and toss to combine
Serve chicken over steamed rice. Top with sesame seeds and spring onions
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