Let’s face it, General Tso’s is the best darn thing on the Chinese takeout menu. We might deviate from it every now and then, ordering the chicken and string beans or vegetable lo mein when we’re trying to be healthier (if that’s even possible on a takeout Chinese menu). But when it comes down to it, that sticky, sweet, delicious sauce will not be forgotten and soon enough, it’s back in our takeout bag next to the fortune cookies.
Surprisingly, General Tso’s is actually simple enough to make at home! And since we’re doing that, we might as well make it a bit healthier too. There’s no frying going on here, but you still get that perfect crispy exterior, thanks to panko breadcrumbs and cornmeal. The ingredient list might look complicated but it’s easy – while the chicken is baking (gasp!) just whisk together the sauce.
Healthier General Tso's Chicken
- 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into approximately 1 inch cubes
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- green onions for garnish
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the wire rack with baking spray.
- Place the buttermilk in a small bowl. Combine the panko and cornmeal in a shallow dish and the flour in another shallow dish.
- Coat the chicken pieces in the flour, then dip in the buttermilk until coated, then toss in the panko mixture, pressing down until all sides are coated. Place the chicken on the wire rack.
- Give the chicken a quick spray with baking spray and bake for about 10 minutes until the breadcrumbs start to brown and chicken is cooked through.
- While the chicken cooks, whisk together the water, soy sauce, apricot jam, hoisin sauce, cornstarch and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl, set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the coconut and sesame oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper and cook for 1 minute, careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add in the sauce mixture and whisk for 2-3 minutes until thickened.
- Add the cooked chicken into the sauce once thickened and toss until the pieces are fully coated in the sauce.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and serve with rice.