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Friday, May 4, 2012

Thinking Chinese Take out? Think again!

I just love Chinese food! (at least the American version of it!) I have never been in China to know for sure what real Chinese food is... and being a Mexican in the USA I know for a fact that what people know as "Mexican food" is very (VERY) far from "The Real Thing" (yup, there are things people in the USA think they are "Staples" of Mexican Cuisine and in Mexico we have never even heard of!) but anyway... we are talking "Chinese" right? I was saying... I love Chinese food! But I know that even when it might look "healthy" just because it is lots of rice and vegetables, well... Chinese take-out is not the healthiest (or leanest) option for dinner. Lots of sugar, then the battered (oh! so deliciously battered) chicken and oil (plus all the calories in the white rice) can make you consume at least 800 calories "all at once" (I know! Who am I to "criticize" the amount of calories when I am always posting about decadent desserts!?) but anyway... Last night I found a "lighter" (not light! not the healthiest) but "lighter" version of a famous "Chinese take-out" dish... "General Tso's Chicken"... I wasn't going to eat it anyway (it still has sugar in it! and I am really watching what I eat!)  but I thought hubby would love it (and he did!) and he would also love the fact that it is WAY CHEAPER than the "real deal"... so ... here is the recipe.
Lighter General Tso's Chicken
Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe.


  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced (or 1 tsp. of garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 chicken breasts)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower


  1. Cook rice according to package instructions (if the package doesn't call for salt just add 1 tsp.). Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until smooth. Add snow peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and red-pepper flakes; toss to combine, and set aside.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken, and toss to coat.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Lift half the chicken from egg-white mixture (shaking off excess), and add to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining oil and chicken, and set aside (reserve skillet).
  4. Add snow-pea mixture to skillet. Cover; cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet (with any juices); toss to coat. Serve with rice.


Paloma K.

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