Healthy Mongolian Chicken
Healthy Mongolian Chicken made with a sweet and spicy sauce is just as good as your favorite Chinese takeout and ready in less than 20 minutes.
This recipe for Healthy Mongolian Chicken tastes just like your take-out favorite and only has 250 calories per serving. We love it with Healthy Fried Rice and alternate between serving it or this Healthy Mongolian Beef.
Last week I decided I really wanted to make Mongolian Chicken at home since it has long been one of my favorite Asian take-out staples. Then a funny thing happened: I realized I had absolutely no idea what actually was in Mongolian Chicken, outside of the chicken (of course) and green onions. And that led me to think about how I rarely actually know what goes into making so many of the Asian dishes that I love.
I mean there is almost always soy sauce and many times rice vinegar, but I would be hard-pressed to explain what is in lots of Asian dishes, you know? I just know what I like and what I don't like, like most everyone else, I assume.
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It's a good thing I was really craving this dish because that made me set off to find out what made Mongolian Chicken so yummy. And, it turns out, like so many Asian dishes, it actually isn't too complicated.
Traditionally it is made with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, a touch of chili paste, and then some combination of hoisin sauce or oyster sauce. Then, the thin slices of chicken are coated in cornstarch and flash-fried in oil in a wok. Yummy, right? However, not so healthy since that requires quite a bit of oil, and not the good kind.
With that knowledge, I decided to make my Mongolian Chicken with ground chicken instead since it is healthier, easier, more affordable, and doesn't require a quick-cooking wok. It still has all the flavors you love about Mongolian Chicken, but with about half as many calories. We call that a win-win-win-win-win-win in our house.
Can I Make Mongolian Chicken in the Slow Cooker?
The short answer is yes! However, I think it would be easier to cube the chicken for the slow cooker rather than chop it. To make this Mongolian Chicken in the slow cooker:
First cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Add them to a Ziploc bag, along with the cornstarch. Shake this cup to evenly coat the chicken in the cornstarch (if you don't have enough to coat, you can add another teaspoon of cornstarch). Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Mix together the rest of the sauce ingredients (except for the green onions). Add this mixture to the slow cooker on top of the chicken. Set to low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Add chopped green onions during the last 30 minutes to hour of cooking. Mix and serve.
Ways to Serve Healthy Mongolian Chicken
This chicken dish goes great over the usual grains — rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa. Challenge yourself to mix it up with a new grain this time if you want to get creative!
I'd add veggies to this dish as well. Steamed broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, snap or snow peas, mushrooms, or cabbage are all great veggies that go well with Mongolian Chicken. (You can also often find pre-mixed bags of Asian veggies in the freezer or produce section of your grocery store.) Make the veggies up on the side while your chicken cooks or add them to the chicken dish (you'll have to double the sauce).
Try adding veggie noodles as your base. Zucchini, sweet potato, carrots, and other summer squashes make great veggie noodles.
This dish would go great over a noodle too, like spaghetti, angel hair pasta, or an Asian noodle like udon, cellophane, or ramen.
What is Mongolian sauce made of?
Mongolian beef or chicken is served in a lot of Chinese and Chinese-American restaurants. It usually contains beef or chicken and a savory brown sauce. The sauce is typically made with hoisin and soy sauces and some sort of spicy pepper and green onions. From there, there are almost too many different variations to count as to how to make this sauce.
I, like many Asian restaurants, like to experiment until I find one that is perfect for me. That's why mine also includes rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger. I also like to add just the tiniest bit of sugar to make it a tad on the sweet side and to help balance out the spicy. You could also leave out the sugar or use Stevia if you are worried about your sugar consumption.
What does Mongolian Chicken taste like?
Mongolian Chicken is both savory and sweet, and a bit spicy. All the oils together really make the flavors of this dish sing. The ground chicken makes for a great texture as well (though you could substitute chopped chicken breast as well if you like). You could also marinate this chicken for a little more depth of flavor.
Healthy Mongolian Chicken
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- 3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. ginger, minced (more to taste)
- 2 tsp. sugar (leave out for low carb)
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1.33 lbs 99% lean ground chicken
- 12 green onions
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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