Try this healthier spin on an Asian takeout classic. No air fryer? My Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken and Rice can be made without one too!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by USA Rice & The Feedfeed. As always, all opinions are my own.
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I’m hopping on the air fryer train with one of my favorite Asian meals- General Tso’s Chicken. With roots in Hunanese cuisine, General Tso’s chicken is beloved by many around the world. I was inspired by the flavors in creating this variation for the air fryer! This dish has the same flavors you know and love from the classic takeout meal, but has significantly less saturated fat AND requires less clean up! Certainly a win in my book! Plus, it’s sitting on a bed of whole grain, fiber- filled, long grain brown rice and served with a big side of steamed broccoli.
I love cooking with U.S.-Grown long grain brown rice. It’s an excellent whole grain source that can actually help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Rice eaters even have a lower risk of high blood pressure!
Oftentimes, our takeout meals can be high in saturated fats and can be lacking veggies and fiber-rich grains. That’s why I love my take on General Tso’s Chicken. It still has those sweet and spicy flavors that you know and love, but with a healthier twist. The sauce is super easy to make and the chicken is nice and crispy. Even without a deep fryer! Health reasons aside, deep frying can be messy! That’s why I’m loving the air fryer! It’s much easier to clean, it doesn’t stink up the house, and you never have to worry about splatters or burns.
If you don’t have an air fryer, no worries! I’m late to the air frying game so I have included directions for you too!
How to make Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken and Rice:
Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken and Rice
- air fryer
- 3 cups cooked U.S.-Grown long grain brown rice
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 large egg
- 6 chicken tenders cubed or about 3 medium chicken breasts, cubed
- Nonstick cooking spray
General Tso’s Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 head broccoli cut in bite-sized pieces
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- Cook rice as recommended on the rice package. 1 cup of uncooked rice yields 3 cups of cooked rice.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Dredge the chicken in beaten egg. Toss chicken in the cornstarch mixture until each side is fully coated.
- Spray an air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the chicken inside the basket, evenly spaced apart. Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and cook for 6 minutes. Remove the basket from the air fryer and shake. Cook the chicken another 6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest piece of chicken.
- Make a slurry by whisking together the soy sauce and cornstarch, set aside. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and chili flakes, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown, about 1 minute. Stir in ¼ cup water, brown sugar, vinegar, hoisin, and sesame oil. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened to the consistency of syrup, 30-60 seconds. Turn off the heat, add the air fried chicken and toss to coat.
- Once the chicken is complete, quickly steam the broccoli. Place 1-inch of water in a saucepan with a steamer and bring to a boil. (Note that if you don't have a steamer, you can put the broccoli directly into an inch of boiling water.) Add broccoli, cover, and steam for 5 to 6 minutes or until broccoli is tender, bright green, and can be pierced with a fork. Serve the chicken over a bed of brown rice with a side of steamed broccoli. Garnish with green onions.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the cubed chicken in the pan in a single layer (if the pan isn’t big enough for a single layer, do a second batch) and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional minute or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Make the sauce as instructed and toss with the chicken.