Yes, you read that correctly, Healthy General Tso’s Chicken. If you’ve ever ordered this from your local Chinese restaurant you know that General Tso’s Chicken is a delicious concoction of crispy fried chicken chunks bathed in a spicy, sugary sauce. Definitely not the healthiest choice on the menu but if you’re like me and enjoy fried fat coated in sugar, it’s a winner!
I enjoy delivery food, especially Chinese and other Asian cuisines. As a chef one of my biggest struggles has always been finding the motivation to feed myself. After cooking all day the last thing I want to do is go home and cook some more. So my partner and I fell into this trap of take-out and delivery, just like millions of other Americans who are tired and dread having to get a meal together.
Of course my life-long weight problem was compounded by years of unhealthy delivery and take-out. Now that I’ve been participating in this amazing State of Slim small group class the option of delivery and take-out is pretty much gone. So I wanted to re-create some delivery classics as healthy SOS approved dishes, both for myself and my clients who also follow this program or other healthy diets.
This is what I came up with and I like to call it General SOS Chicken. It isn’t fried and the sauce is sugar free, but it is still plenty delicious! It’s also easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of special ingredients so you can quickly whip this up after a long day of work. You can also make this dish with shrimp or pork, you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time of the meats. Shrimp will only take a few minutes, whereas chicken and pork will take a few more.
General SOS Chicken, aka Healthy General Tso’s Chicken
Serves 3 to 4, depending on the size of your portions
1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized chunks (or pork, or peeled/de-veined shrimp)
2 tablespoons reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce (I prefer this one)
5 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry
1 to 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce (more or less depending on your taste)
½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional if you want it more spicy)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 packets sugar substitute, I like Truvia (more or less depending on your taste)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
Combine all of the ingredients except the chicken in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Place the chunks of chicken in a bowl and add ¼ cup of the sauce, stirring to coat all the meat. Allow to marinate 15 minutes. If using chicken or pork you can marinate longer, but with shrimp stick with 15 minutes as they can get over-marinated and mushy very quickly.
Heat a non-stick wok or large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry until nicely browned all over, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the chicken to a bowl and set aside. Pour the rest of the sauce into the pan and boil until the liquid is reduced and thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. It will look syrupy and should be reduced by about half. Add the chicken back into the pan and stir well to coat with all the sauce. Heat another minute or two if needed to ensure the chicken is fully cooked (165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, or just cut open a piece and make sure it is white inside).
Serve with cauliflower “fried rice” if you’re cutting carbs, or regular white or brown rice.