"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Monday, December 03, 2012

Manang's Version of General Tso's Chicken

Manang's Version of General Tso's Chicken
This is not 100% recipe. It's more of a "thinking outside the box" approach to cooking (I do a lot of that, if you have taken a look at my leche flan recipe yet...I bet I was the first food blogger to use the blender to prepare the custard, and to use the microwave to prepare the caramel, and to have come up with creamy smooth leche flan using whole eggs.).  So if you are looking at a recipe that is quick to follow, leave this post.  If you want to be a thinker like me, especially when you want to get some nutrients into your family without them knowing about it, then read on.

Sometimes it is hard for me to post a recipe...because I usually use something from a previous dish I cooked.  Like beef asado siopao using leftover roast beef pares.  But this in particular uses leftover sauce...well, not really leftover, but I wanted my family to get a dose of gelatin-rich chicken feet sauce that I made few days ago using the slow cooker (not to mention it is laden with minerals and vitamins necessary for bone and joint health) without grossing them out.  Here in my family, I am the only one who enjoys chicken feet.  So I figured out a way for them to have their "chicken bone broth" without them turning up their noses.  And it was a success in this General Tso's Chicken style.

See, since I started my Harcombe Diet journey and lost a lot of symptoms I previously attributed to aging (like joint aches), I sought to learn more about the relationship between food and body. One of the books that opened my eyes was the "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon.  Before getting her book, I was already familiar with the Weston Price Foundation, and ever since I defended coconut oil back in 2004 against people who said it was bad because it was saturated, I encountered the group of cholesterol skeptics.  Since then I never really believed cholesterol was bad, so I never really held back on my fatty intake. But through the years, I gained weight even at a time when I was religiously exercising, and the only way I would lose weight was if I did not have a coffee cake (or donut) with my nighttime coffee. But before my Harcombe Diet, it was harder and harder for me to avoid eating such, and I gained more and more weight. I shrugged it off as part of getting old...but really, I was getting desperate because it was harder to breathe while bent forward, it was easier to pant with short bursts of exertion, and I was having symptoms of IBS and GERD.

When I started the change in diet/lifestyle, I finally was able to ditch processed foods at least for a week, which made me lose weight as fast as 1 pound per day.  And I lost the cravings.  And I lost those symptoms that I attributed to aging!  Reading more books to learn how my body reacts to foods, I learned more about how traditional foods actually are the best for health, whether it involves fat, proteins or vegetables.  The more we stick to natural, the better.  Now isn't that common sense? Duh...And being Filipina, it was not hard at all for me...except for having to ditch bread and flour in my diet, because I grew up with them. My father had a bakery before.

I became a member/fan of several groups in fb who are into such kinds of traditional food (some are into paleo, some are into High-Fat, Low Carb Diet, some are gluten-free).  One thing that many are having a hard time with is drinking a cup of broth prepared using chicken feet.  I have the same problem with my family.  So I switched on my creative mind, and used a different approach to feed my family the nutrients we get from chicken feet, without them really knowing about it. (Just like how I would sneak in liver pate into the fried rice or gravy).

Anyway, here's what I did:

First, I had about 1 pound of chicken breast tenders pre-salted and peppered.  I drained them well.

Then I mixed 3 eggs and 1/2 cup cornstarch really thoroughly, then placed that in a bag with the chicken tenders to coat.  Then I let the excess coating drain.
draining excess coating
Then I deep-fried them until browned nicely (cornstarch coating does not brown as readily as flour, and it renders a better crunch). I used schmaltz I rendered from my own chicken when I made chicharon. I only would put 3-5 pieces at a time to avoid lowering the temp too much.
Deep frying
Then I drained them on paper towels.
Then I prepared my sauce. I had the sauce in the fridge for two days now, so the gelatin has set. The fat has floated, which I scraped off (I used 3 tbsp of that to sautee the veggies and the fried meat before pouring the sauce).  I then reheated the sauce with some water, adjusted the taste with more salt, oyster sauce, maple syrup (you can use sugar), and a little bit of teriyaki sauce (just to use up what remains in the big bottle we had inside the fridge), then thickened that with a mixture of cornstarch and water).
Finished sauce
Then I heated up a big sauce pan, used some chicken fat (as mentioned above), stir-fried sliced celery, some diced previously-frozen bell peppers (red and green), some whole dried red hot peppers, slivered almonds, and the fried chicken pieces, transferred them to a plate, then poured the sauce over.
Pouring the sauce on top of the stir-fried chicken and veggies
Everyone LOVED it.

Finished product


  1. Nice recipes, can I post this to my blog?

    Best Regards
    Kyla Alinno

    1. Hi Kyla, Thanks for consideration, but I would rather not have my recipes copied onto another blog unless the blogger actually has tried my recipe and provides a link back to mine.

  2. Hi Manang, I tried this today for lunch and it turned out to be so yummy!
    I will be making it again as soon as tonight lol :) thanks so much for sharing*** Darly C


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