Low-Carb General Tso’s Chicken

Low-carb General Tso's Chicken from Ching's Everyday Easy ChineseIf I want Chinese food around here, I usually have to make it myself. We have one restaurant with a few decent Chinese dishes, but it’s only open a few months a year (when the tourists are here). I used to love eating General Tso’s Chicken, but it’s often fried first and then coated in a sticky sweet sauce that doesn’t really make it heart-healthy or diabetic-friendly. When I saw this recipe for a healthier version in Ching’s Everyday Easy Chinese by Ching-He Huang, I knew I had to try it.

Ching’s recipe is quick and easy, always a plus, but it calls for yellow bean sauce, which I couldn’t find in any of my local markets. In the back of her book, Ching includes a glossary that says yellow bean sauce is “made from fermented yellow soy beans, dark brown sugar and rice wine.” Once I read that, I decided hoisin sauce would be a decent substitute. If you can find yellow bean sauce, by all means, use it.

This low-carb General Tso’s Chicken is both sweet and spicy. It has some heat, but it’s not overpowering. (The Grillmaster’s head didn’t even sweat while he was eating it.) You should serve the chicken with the chiles, but you shouldn’t actually eat the chiles. I’m sure you already knew this, but just in case …

I hope you’re sitting down for this next part. An order of General Tso’s Chicken in a typical Chinese restaurant has more than 844 calories, 40g fat, 2100mg sodium and 60g carb! Ching is my kind of chef – she has managed to shave off more than 570 calories, 30g fat, 970mg sodium and 20g carb without sacrificing taste. Her low-carb General Tso’s Chicken is still a bit high in sodium due to all of the bottled items in the sauce. Using low-sodium tamari or soy sauce will help. I prefer tamari to traditional soy sauce because it seems less salty to me and it contains no wheat. You could also skip seasoning the chicken with salt at the beginning.

This recipe is a good source of Protein, Vitamin K, Niacin, Vitamin B6 and Selenium. Serve it with some steamed broccoli, edamame or snap peas. It’s so much healthier than what you’d get in a restaurant and almost as easy as ordering take-out!

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of Ching’s Everyday Easy Chinese by Ching-He Huang from HarperCollins Publishers. This post contains at least one affiliate link.

Low-Carb General Tso's Chicken
Quick and easy, low-carb version of General Tso's Chicken
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 2
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 dried red chiles
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  1. In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the sauce. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, place chicken and season with salt and white pepper. Add cornstarch and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat, then add peanut oil. Add garlic and red chiles, stirring for a few seconds, then add chicken. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes. When chicken begins to turn opaque, add the sherry. Cook for another couple of minutes, then add the sauce and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken is done and sauce has thickened, another minute or two. Turn off heat and stir in scallions. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 271 Fat: 9g Saturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 18g Sugar: 8g Sodium: 1,122mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 29g Cholesterol: 69mg


  1. says

    Yum! Now you have me craving Chinese food!!! I don’t eat much Chinese food out either because most dishes contain gluten from the soy sauce. This looks delicious-now I have to see if I can track down some gluten-free Hoisin sauce!

  2. diabeticFoodie says

    EA – You won’t believe how good this is! A GF friend turned me on to Tamari and I like it so much better than regular soy sauce now. Let me know if you find GF hoisin sauce.

  3. Wendy says

    Sounds great. I like that I can control the heat and sweetness of this dish. Usually the restaurant versions are too sweet for me. I’m glad you found a use for your newly found cookbook :)

  4. diabeticFoodie says

    I totally agree, Wendy. Not only are restaurant versions too sweet, but they have that fried breading on them too. Control is good :)

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