Gluten-free General Tso’s Chicken!

Gluten-free General Tso’s Chicken!

One time a few years back I tried this thing….this “Master Cleanse”…You might have heard about it. It’s a liquid fast where you only drink water mixed with cayenne, lemon, and maple syrup. Well, anyway, I was supposed to be on it for a full week, but after three days I started to crave some Chinese food in a…well….lets say…violent manner.
It was the middle of winter and I remember leaving my apartment at nearly 10 at night and roaming the streets of Canada for an hour in search of the perfect Chinese food to satisfy my hunger.
The only thing that would make a woman walk the city streets, alone, in the middle of the night, during a cold winter for an hour is…an MSG addiction. I am sure of it.
I think at that moment my body had  started to detox some serious Chinese food and my body was in total rebellion.

Anyway, the point is that I love Chinese food. I have since started to curb my MSG intake, and now that I have celiac, I can no longer order chinese takeout.
So, the next best thing would be making it myself. (however, I will forever miss ordering Chinese take out… with their massive servings, low prices, and of course…fortune cookies…)
So here we will make General Tso’s Chicken. We will make it gluten-free. But most importantly, we will make it delicious.

I would tell you all about the origins of the recipe, but no one really knows where it originated. There are stories….probably New York. But none of that matters when you are having a violent MSG withdraw…so lets get cooking before you get lost in a winter storm.

 Gluten-free General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

Serves 2 small portions or 1 large portion

Cost per serving $2.50

1 large chicken breast-chopped (or two small)
1 egg
1/2 cup cornstarch plus 1/2 Tbsp
1/2 onion-sliced
3 cloves garlic-chopped
3-5 small red chilis some chopped, some whole
1 green pepper-chopped
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 Tbsp mirin (sweet rice cooking wine)
2 Tbsp Gluten Free soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp Gluten Free oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
oil for frying
White rice for serving

(note: for extra sauceiness try doubling the liquid ingredients.)

Start by mixing your gluten-free soy sauce, gluten-free oyster sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil in a bowl and set aside.
Chop your garlic, onion and bell peppers.

Warm your frying oil by pouring a few cups of oil into a saucepan and place over med-high heat. In a separate saucepan heat a couple of Tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add your onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until browned.
Once your vegetables are browned, add your chicken broth and let simmer until vegetables are tender. (Cook for about 10-15 minutes while you are preparing the chicken. If you need more liquid in the pan, add more chicken broth)

Mix sauce, heat oil, chop veges, cook veges

Dice your chicken and set aside. In a separate bowl whisk an egg. Add a little salt and pepper. Add your cut chicken in the egg mixture. Remove chicken from the egg mixture and add to a container with a fitted lit. Add in your cornstarch, cover, and shake until coated well.
Once your oil is hot, carefully add in your chicken and fry until brown, around 5 minutes.
Once done, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to dry.

Make your Chicken!

Once your chicken is done you can make your sauce. Make sure your onions and bell peppers are tender, then add in your soy sauce mixture to the same saucepan. Also add in your chilis. (leave whole or chop for more heat) Before you finish your sauce, taste. Make any adjustments at this time.  Should be slightly sweet and spicy.

Once mixture is heated through, add 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch to thicken sauce. (mix cornstarch with small amount of hot water first.) Once sauce starts to thicken, immediately remove from heat, and stir in your chicken.

Add cornstarch, let thicken and add chicken. Mix to coat!

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with rice.

Yummy!

General Tso’s…Gluten Free!

YUMMY!

Lastly, I recently met an awesome gluten-free blogger named Chandice who does a lot of GF giveaways…If you are gluten intolerant you can check out her site at www.glutenfreefrenzy.com.

Have a wonderful day!

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Deliciously Gluten-Free Asian Pot Stickers

Gluten free pot stickers

Dumpling, pot sticker, gyoza, jiaozi, dim sum…..

Truthfully, I’m not really sure how to differentiate between these wonderful little packages of bliss.

I would love to waltz into a dim sum restaurant and cozy up to a server to get the lowdown, but due to my gluten allergy, I can’t.

So while I can’t really educate you on all things dumpling, I can offer you a gluten free recipe that tastes yummy, even if it is something of a crossbred mutt.

We will call it……dumpstickgoyadim for now.

I did find some gluten free dumpling recipes online, but to be honest, I didn’t care for them. The dough ended up cracking and turning into something of a mini pie crust, rather than a tender, chewy little dumpling. (This might also have to do with the fact that I didn’t keep my dough moist…)

So I found a different dough recipe that wasn’t actually classified as a gluten free recipe, but because it only contained rice flour and tapioca flour it WAS gluten free, and after having made it….I decided it was the best way to go for me.

Asian pot sticker recipe

Makes 24-28 dumplings (depending on size)

Gluten free pot sticker ingredients

Dough

(thanks to Andrea Nguyen for her brilliant rice dough recipe)
1 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch)
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp oil
2/3 cup boiled water (adjust if necessary)

Filling

15 medium raw shrimp-deveined and chopped
1/4 lb ground pork
¼ cup mushrooms-chopped
2 green onions-diced
1 tsp fresh ginger-grated
1 clove garlic-minced
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp GF soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper

Dipping Sauce

2 Tbsp GF soy sauce
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 Tbsp rice vinegar
¼ tsp sesame oil
Few drops sriracha (optional)

Other tools:
Ziplock bag
Tortilla press-optional
Dumpling press-optional

Start by peeling and deveining your shrimp. Chop them, along with your mushrooms and green onion. Grate your ginger finely and then mince your garlic. Add everything into a bowl then add your soy sauce, ground pork, sesame oil, salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Mix all ingredients and place in fridge.

Finely chop all the filling ingredients and mix by hand

Next, start your dough by adding your rice flour, tapioca flour and salt into bowl. Pour in your oil. Add in your just-boiled water and start to mix with a chopstick. After water cools down a bit, start to knead the dough until it has a play-dough consistency.

mix your pot sticker dough

Now your dough is ready to be divided. Roll it out into a foot long rope (lightly dust the counter with rice flour) and cut in half. Place half your dough directly into a ziplock bag to keep moist. With the remaining dough, cut into 12 pieces. Place the pieces into the bag except a few that you are working with to keep everything moist. Repeat with remaining dough.

Divide your dough into 24 pieces

Now you are ready to start pressing your dough into the dumpling wrappers. This can be done quickly and easily with a tortilla press.

Cut a ziplock bag in half. Open your tortilla press and place half of the ziplock bag on the base. Lightly dust this with rice flour. Add one of your dough discs and cover with the other half of the ziplock bag. Close your tortilla press. When you open it, handle your wrapper carefully, as it is very delicate.

Press out your dumpling wrapper

Now you are ready to fill the wrapper with your meat. This is done very easily with a dumpling press.

Place the wrapper in your hand, and fill with a small ball of filling. Around 1/2-1 tsp. Place your wrapper in a dumpling press and gently press closed. Easy!

Filling your wrapper

–if you don’t have a tortilla press

you can press it out by hand the old-fashioned way. Take one of your dough discs and flatten it by hand. Cut a ziplock bag in half. Lightly flour half of the zipock bag and place your flattened dough disc on it. Cover with the other half of the ziplock bag and roll out with a rolling-pin. Gently take your wrapper and place your filling in it. Lightly wet the edge of the wrapper and close in half. Pinch shut, and work your way around the rest of the dumpling to close.

Press out your dumpling by hand

Place your pot stickers on a clean surface as you are preparing them.

POT STICKERS!

Once you have filled your wrappers, you are ready to cook. Heat your oil in a large saucepan. Add in your pot stickers. Let them brown for a few minutes. Add in 1/4 cup of water and cover with tight-fitting lid. Let the pot stickers steam for 6-8 minutes. You may have to cook them in two batches.

Browning the bottom

Once your pot stickers are done, then you can plate them. Mix your dipping sauce and enjoy!

Pot Stickers!

Yummy!

There are some other amazing dumpling recipes online with some pretty awesome instructional photos…so here are some blogs to visit when you get the hankerin….

  1. userealbutter-Chinese dumplings and pot stickers
  2. lafujimama-steamy shrimp pork dumplings
  3. asiandumplingtips

Happy dumpling eating!!!

Gluten Free Asian Lettuce Wraps

I worked at Chilis a long time ago…like 10 years ago, and one of the dishes they offered was the lettuce wraps. They were AMAZING, but apparently not amazing enough for the general population, as I noticed a few years ago they were no longer a part of the menu. I have also had cheesecake factory’s lettuce wraps, which I thought were good…not awesome. Then there is P.F. Chang’s (or Pei Wei’s) lettuce wraps…very good, but a little salty for me. I am sure there are other amazing lettuce wrap to be found around the globe, but for celiacs, or anyone with gluten intolerance, the soy (and other possible glutinous ingredients) will cause a serious reaction. The hardest part of Asian cuisine is the gluten laden sauces. So, here I find myself making my own. Something I have done for years. (FYI-P.F. Chang’s does have lettuce wraps on their gluten free menu)

These lettuce wraps are gluten free, as well as low carb, and fairly good for you. You can even substitute the gluten free soy (or tamari) for a low sodium one, if you want to cut back on salt.

While my husband and I were eating these, he said to me, “babe, I am so proud of you for doing something so awesome after being kicked in the gut.” I didn’t really understand what he was saying at first, then I realized that he was referring to me starting a food blog after the frustration and devastation of a celiac diagnoses. Yea, I think “kicked in the gut” is a great description. And, yes, I am awesome.  🙂

Hope you like this recipe!

Asian Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Feeds 3-4

Cost $3.25 per serving

2 Tbsp canola oil

1.25 lb package of ground turkey (I use Jennie-O because it’s GF)

1 cup pre-shredded carrots

1 cup chopped mushrooms (shiitake if available)

1 can water chestnuts-chopped

2 cloves garlic-chopped or pressed

2 green onions-chopped

1 Tbsp ginger-grated

5 Tbsp GF soy or tamari

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 ½ Tbsp agave nectar (or sugar if you don’t have agave)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp cornstarch

1 head lettuce- bosten lettuce forms nice cups, however, iceberg is much crisper, but not as classy

2 Tbsp sliced almonds-for garnishing

Extra shredded carrots-for garnishing

2 Tbsp cilantro-chopped for garnishing-optional

Dipping sauce-recipe following

Mix together your GF soy, rice vinegar, agave, and sesame oil in bowl. Set aside.

Cook the turkey in saucepan until almost browned. Pour out extra liquid. Add in carrots, mushrooms, water chestnuts, garlic, green onions, ginger and the sauce mixture. Mix together well and let simmer a few minutes. Mix cornstarch with a few teaspoons of hot water and mix. Add to saucepan. Continue to let simmer another 5 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat. The longer you let it rest, the better the flavor becomes.

Dipping Sauce

1 ½ Tbsp GF soy sauce

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp grated ginger

½ Tbsp green onion-chopped

1/2 clove garlic-chopped or pressed

1 Tbsp agave nectar

1/8 tsp sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together and whisk. Divide into smaller ramekins or bowls for dipping.

Spoon a few Tablespoons of lettuce wrap mixture into individual leaves of lettuce. Top with raw shredded carrot, sliced almond, and cilantro. Dip into sauce and enjoy!