Baked General Tso’s Chicken is a mouthwatering, lighter version of the restaurant classic. So skip the takeout, and make it at home instead! Easy to make, and on the table in about 30 minutes
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I’m a huge fan of Asian cuisine, and 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.
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 let the sugar/water mixture cook down enough, and I didn’t have cornstarch to thicken the sauce. I used flour, but it didn’t work very well.
After a lot of trial and error, I finally got it right
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 have a love/hate relationship with sesame oil, and a little goes a long way. Pure sesame oil is much too strong for my tastes, so I use regular instead. You can also omit it, if you don’t care for the flavor
- 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.
Adapted from Rock Recipes
- 1/3 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. Shake excess flour off chicken
- 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, add the sugar and 1/4 cup water to a saucepan. Bring to a low boil and cook until it becomes a light amber color. Watch carefully, so it doesn't scald.
- 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