20 Minute Meals: General Tso's Chicken

The Starving Chef Blog
20 Minute Meals: General Tso's Chicken

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Did you know that General Tso was an actual person? Actually it was a dude named Zuo Zongtang, but because we Westerns have difficultly saying names harder than "Smith," he simply became known as General Tso. He did things and stuff in the 1800's that I'm sure we're important, but it wasn't until the 1970's that he became synonymous with Chinese food. And let's be honest, that will always be his greatest accomplishment. You also may be wondering why my General Tso's is sharing a box with a happy roll of Panda Bear Onigiri. In truth, this recipe was made to honor week 18's Bento Box challenge - and I can't wait to enjoy eating it all week! This recipe is quick, simple, and delicious. From prep to table, dinner is ready in about 20 minutes.

Start by combining the egg whites, cornstarch, and a touch of salt and pepper into a small bowl. Cube the chicken and add to the egg bath. The mix should be goopy and thick.

Grease a wok with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and bring to a medium high heat. Let the excess egg bath drip off the chicken before adding it to the hot pan. Let brown on each side, about 8-10 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, in a measuring cup or bowl, combine the water, soy sauce, remaining cornstarch, brown sugar, Chile peppers, hoisin, and ketchup and whisk together.

After the chicken is cooked through, add the chopped broccoli, peppers, and ginger to the wok with an additional tablespoon of sesame oil. Stir to coat the veggies in oil and start the cooking process for about 2 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and veggies and bring to a bubbling boil for 2-3 minutes then reduce the heat and let the sauce thicken. Serve alongside a nice bowl of rice and fresh steamed veggies!


Tags: 20 Minute Meals , Chinese , Bento Box

The Starving Chef Blog

20 Minute Meals: General Tso's Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Makes 2 servings


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  • 2-3 thin chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
  • 3 chile peppers, chopped
  • 2 T ginger root, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 egg, whites only
  • 4 T corn starch (separated in half)
  • 1 T fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Here's How:

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  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the egg whites and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir together completely. Cube the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces then add to the bowl with the egg mix with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a wok (or large skillet) over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Let the excess egg mix drip off the chicken chunks before adding to the hot wok. Let brown on each side by stirring every 2-3 minutes until chicken is cooked through, or about 8-10 minutes total.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl combine the water, brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin, ketchup, parley, Chile peppers (or flakes) and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk to blend together.
  4. Chop your broccoli and pepper, then peel and slice the ginger. Add to the wok with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and stir gently to coat. Cook for about 2-3 minutes then pour the sauce into the wok.
  5. Bring sauce to a boil then reduce the heat, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender and cooked - about 2 more minute. Remove from heat completely. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve alongside rice. Enjoy!

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Need More Bento? Check out some of my other creations for the Bento Box Challenge!