Chinese General Tso’s VegChicken

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General Tso’s Chicken is my favorite Chinese dish.  I love, love, love it.  When I visit a city with a Chinatown, I go on the hunt for a vegetarian Chinese restaurant that serves General Tso’s vegetarian chicken.  There aren’t many who make it, and none in Hawaii, so I had to learn how to make it myself.  Below is the best we’ve made so far, a vegetarian-modified version of a few recipes we’ve found on the web.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs vegan chicken, torn apart into 1 inch pieces with a fork
  • 2 cups green onions, sliced
  • 5 small dried chilies, seeds removed or 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 red pepper, chopped in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 8-oz can of sliced water chestnuts, chestnut slices chopped in half
  • 1 head of broccoli florets, split into bite-sized pieces (optional)
  • 6 cups of vegetable oil for deep frying

Batter:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup cornstarch

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3 T orange juice
  • 1½ t fresh garlic, minced
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • ½ c soy sauce
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • ½ t sesame oil
  • ½ t chili paste
  • 1 t ginger
  • ¼ t MSG (optional)
  • 2 cups veggie broth (1 Knorr Vegetable Bouillon with 2 cups of water)

Instructions

Mix the Sauce ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Mix the Batter ingredients in a large bowl. Add all chicken pieces at the same time into the bowl and toss to coat.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or deep fryer. Drop the coated chicken pieces in the wok/deep fryer and cook until golden brown.  Separate the pieces after they are dropped in, so they don’t stick together.  Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Blanche the broccoli florets in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

Heat 2 T of vegetable oil in a wok.  Add red peppers/flakes, onions, peppers, and water chestnuts and stir fry for 2 minutes.  Add the Sauce mixture and mix well, and continue cooking until the sauce is thick, hot, and bubbly.

Add the battered chicken and blanched broccoli to the sauce in wok.  Stir until thoroughly coated.  Turn off heat.  Garnish with sliced green onions.  Serve immediately.

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