General Tso’s chicken

This dish is one that you may have eaten in a Chinese restaurant before – it’s similar to sweet & sour and sesame chicken in that you end up with a crisp sweet coating, but with a more tangy taste. Anyway – here’s how you can enjoy authentic Chinese food at home, without using quite as much sugar as they would! There’s quite a few ingredients but you can prepare everything in advance so you’re not scrambling around for things during the cooking.

The quantities below will serve 4 people.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken (6-8 chicken thighs) – cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 1/2 cup cornflour or flour (or whole cup if you want a thicker glaze)
  • ~500ml oil for deep frying – peanut or sesame oil is best
  • 1 large onion – coarsely chopped
  • 1 green pepper – diced
  • 1 red pepper – diced
  • large broccoli crown – cut into large florets and steamed
  • 3 cups rice
  • 2 tbls. Chinese chili & garlic sauce (or hot chili sauce will suffice)
  • 1 tbls. vegetable oil for veggie stir fry
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger – shredded

for the sauce:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tbls. cornflour
  • 3 tbls. soy sauce
  • 3 tbls. white vinegar
  • 3 tbls. Chinese cooking wine
  • 3 tbls. sugar
  • 1 tsp. hoisin sauce

Directions

  • In a large bowl, blend the 1/2 cup of cornflour and the eggs – add the chicken and toss to coat
  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl or mixing jug
  • Heat a couple of inches of the oil in a wok to medium-high heat (~375°F is ideal)
  • Deep fry the chicken in small batches, ensuring all the chicken is properly immersed, just long enough to cook the chicken through. Remove the chicken to absorbent paper and allow to stand (this step can be performed in advance – refrigerate after cooking)
  • When the chicken is finished, strain the frying oil into a re-usable container (unless you have money to burn and don’t want to re-use it)
  • Reheat the wok, when it’s hot add the vegetable oil and leave to get hot for ~1 minute
  • Add the garlic, chili and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute – be careful not to burn
  • Add the vegetables and stir fry over a very high heat for a few minutes
  • Return the chicken to the wok and stir-fry until the pieces are crispy brown
  • Add the sauce mixture, tossing over the heat until the sauce caramelizes into a glaze. If necessary sizzle with rice wine until finished
  • Serve with the rice and steamed broccoli

Good luck!

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