I browse food photography sites every day and the one recipe that I see most often (other than delicious baked goods) is General Tso’s Chicken. Not knowing what on earth this was, I started investigating and came to understand this as a dish with American-Chinese roots.
No one is completely sure where it’s originally from but it’s generally accepted that this is a Westernised version of a similar Chinese dish (quite similar to Sweet & Sour Chicken). I was intrigued by the sauce you coat the chicken and vegetables in as it was clear that it would be sweet, sour and spicy…3 of my favourite flavours.
The one thing I didn’t like about this recipe was that the chicken is deep-fried. I saw a few ‘healthy alternative’ recipe but as I’d never made it before, I thought I’d just pan fry the chicken to minimise the oil usage. That would also make sure that the chicken was crispy which was something I wanted.
I chose to add sugar snap peas in this dish but any vegetables can be substituted. I just love the subtle crunch and sweetness the sugar snaps add to the dish. Also, this is usually served with steamed rice but I found some lovely Hokkein noodles at my supermarket and decided to use them instead. Over-all, this dish was a massive hit with my entire family and I will definitely be making it again.
For the sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce (ketchup)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 heaped tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water
for the chicken
6 chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
3 egg whites, beaten until foamy
1 1/2 cups cornflour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb (baking soda)
oil for frying
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ginger, crushed
1 tsp dried chilli
200g (7.05 ounces) sugar snap peas, sliced
500g (17.64 ounces) cooked noodles or rice
- Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and allow to come to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the sauce is thick and the cornflour has cooked through. Set aside.
- Combine the cornflour, salt and bicarb and place in a bowl.
- Coat the cubed chicken first in the egg white and then in the seasoned cornflour. Make sure it’s thoroughly coated.
- Fry the chicken in a large, hot wok in a bit of oil until browned all over and cooked through. Remove and set aside.
- In the same wok, fry the onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant and translucent and add the dried chilli and sugar snap peas. Fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken and the noodles and the sauce. Toss to combine everything and serve.