Long time no post but I’m finally back with these amazing General Tso’s chickpeas! I’m quite afraid that’s starting to be a theme. I probably mentioned in the past that I work for a startup company right now. With most startups there comes a point where either A) the company goes down in flames or B) the company starts to grow rapidly and things get really really crazy. I’m happy and grateful that we are thankfully experiencing item B right now.
Of course, that means that I’m busy busy busy (in a good way!). The past week or so hit especially hard and I didn’t find much time to cook and photograph food for the blog. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: all of my respect goes out to the parents of the world because I could not imagine how much of a balancing act it is when children are in the mix. Anyway, I’m back now and hopefully can get back to my regular posting rate.
This recipe for General Tso’s chickpeas is pretty appropriate for the whole ‘time crunch’ thing, especially if you choose to use canned chickpeas. The prep work comes together in a snap and the cook time is under 10 minutes too. I was searching for ‘authentic General Tso’s recipes’ when I learned what I probably should have already realized: General Tso’s is really an American/Canadian dish that emerged in Chinese restaurants here. It’s generally some kind of protein that’s battered and deep-fried, and served with a sweet sauce that has a bit of a kick.
I skipped the deep frying and instead lightly stir-fried the chickpeas along with the vegetables that I added. And I also took some liberty with the sauce recipe to make it more salty, spicy and savory, and less sweet (restaurant versions can be very over-the-top in that regard). I’m happy to eat the General Tso’s chickpeas and veggies on their own as a complete meal, but this can also be served over rice. Enjoy!
General Tso’s Chickpeas
For marinating the chickpeas:
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for GF)
- 1 tbsp mirin (or dry sherry)
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (equal to 1 15-oz. can), rinsed and drained
For the General Tso's sauce:
- 6 tbsp low-sodium vegetable broth (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for GF)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 4 tsp coconut sugar (or other sugar)
- 2 tsp sriracha or other chili sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp prepared mustard (grainier and nuttier mustards are better; if using the bright yellow mustard, reduce to 1/2 tsp)
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper or white pepper
For the General Tso's chickpeas stir-fry:
- 1 tbsp neutral oil (I used sunflower seed oil)
- 1/4 of a large onion (or 1 shallot), thinly sliced
- 1 large broccoli crown , cut into florets
- 1 red bell pepper , cut into thin strips
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- General Tso's sauce (above)
- marinated chickpeas (above)
- (optional) green onions, sesame seeds, and fresh red onion, for serving
- (optional) cooked rice, for serving
For marinating the chickpeas:
Stir together the soy sauce and mirin in a bowl and add the chickpeas. Let sit for 10 minutes (I do this first and let them marinate while I prepare the sauce and veggies).
For the sauce:
Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
For the stir-fry:
If you plan to garnish your dish with extra diced red onion, put the amount you want for garnish in a small bowl with cold water now. This will help to mellow out its flavor.
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, stirring continuously.
Continuing to stir, add the broccoli, bell pepper strips, ginger, and garlic.
Stir in the General Tso's sauce. Drain the chickpeas and stir them in too. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, continuing to stir frequently, or until the mixture is hot throughout and the sauce has coated the chickpeas and vegetables. Add more soy sauce or chili sauce to taste.
Serve over rice if desired; garnish as desired with green onions, sesame seeds, and drained soaked red onion from above.
If your pan is large enough, you can keep the vegetables and chickpeas separate by pushing the vegetables to one side of the pan before you add the chickpeas. But I mostly just did that for presentation 🙂
For this recipe, it's important to do all of the prep work before you start cooking anything because you need to be stirring the whole time.
In a pinch, you can use rice vinegar instead of mirin or sherry.
Nutrition facts exclude rice.
Enjoy these General Tso’s Chickpeas? Try some of my other super-easy Asian-inspired recipes: