Lighter General Tso's Chicken

"I'm not a big fan of Chinese food, but I will eat this popular dish when I'm with others who want to eat at a Chinese restaurant. I found this recipe in Martha Stewart's Food Everyday and it tastes really good! This is one of my husband's favorite dish so he was thrilled when I made it at home. This lighter version uses skinless chicken breasts, a light batter, and just a bit of oil for pan-frying to get the right texture with less fat."
photo by CookingONTheSide photo by CookingONTheSide
photo by CookingONTheSide
photo by casey photo by casey
photo by CookingONTheSide photo by CookingONTheSide
Ready In:




  • Cook rice according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir together 1 T cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until smooth.
  • Add snow peas or sugar snap peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and red pepper flakes; toss to combine and set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining 3 T cornstarch, 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper.
  • Add chicken and toss to coat.
  • In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 T oil over medium-high heat.
  • Lift half the chicken from egg-white mixture (shaking off excess) and add to skillet.
  • Cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 6-8 minutes.
  • Transfer to a plate, repeat with remaining oil and chicken, and set aside (reserve skillet).
  • Add snow pea mixture to skillet.
  • Cover and cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Return chicken to skillet (with any juices); toss to coat.
  • Serve with the rice.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Ransomed by Fire
    I am going going to leave a star rating because I made quite a few changes. But here are my thoughts: I made this, leaving out the ginger because I do not have fresh and have read that ground ginger is not an acceptable substitute. I also just floured the chicken pieces instead of using the suggested batter because I was also out of eggs and hadn't realized it until after I'd already started making it. Regardless, my husband and I both really liked it. For the first few bites, the flavor hadn't fully hit me yet. I thought it was good though. But by the time my husband and I both finished eating it, we both wanted more! This stuff is addictive! It will definitely be going into our regular rotation. Thank you!
  2. Josh G.
    A pretty good alternative to the take-out restaurant. The batter was interesting as it was essentially the "non-Newtonian fluid" from science class (solid when compressed, liquid when not). If you like less sauce, reduce the recipe by a quarter or by half. Up the chili (and leave the seeds in) if you like it hotter. Overall, a pretty respectable attempt at Chinese food at home.
  3. Fiona L.
    Tastes rather good, and is of course good and healthy, compared with the usual deep-fried version!
  4. cathyfood
    This is delicious! Much better than the hidden chicken covered in batter you get from restaurants. The fresh ginger gives it a nice spicy warmth without being too hot. I reduce the sugar by half, and add more vegetables - usually small broccoli florets, sliced carrots and sweet red pepper, along with the snow peas. This is one recipe that you really must do your "mise en place" - start cooking the brown rice first, then prep all your other ingredients, before starting to cook the chicken. The dish will be ready by the time the rice is done. Now that my husband and I are watching our calories, we enjoy this dish because it's a little different from our regular fare. UPDATE 6/25/14: I didn't have any fresh ginger today so I used pickled ginger, like we have with sushi - it was a great substitution. I also used frozen vegetables, some broccoli and some stir-fry mix. It was very good, and I always have them on hand, but fresh are better.
  5. cindymvbs
    Excellent!!! I used seasoned flour instead of batter. I prefer it to batter. This is way better than the sticky stucky stuff at a restaurant. Really it was totally different but oh so good.


  1. cindymvbs
    Excellent!!! I used seasoned flour instead of batter. I prefer it to batter. This is way better than the sticky stucky stuff at a restaurant. Really it was totally different but oh so good.


I want to thank all of you who review the recipes I post - good or bad. It's always good to get feedback and helpful tips and I really appreciate them all! I try to send a note when someone reviews one of my recipes, but I don't always get the chance. Please know that I really enjoy reading the reviews. I also love all the photos everyone posts, too! Thanks so much. Happy Cooking!
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