Bring takeout-level flavor to your kitchen with this General Tso's Chicken recipe that features chewy chicken, sweet and spicy flavors, and the perfect balance of textures.
Ready to make a delicious General Tso's Chicken dish at home? This simple recipe will give you restaurant-level flavor with chewy chicken, sweet and spicy flavors, and the perfect balance of textures.
Gather the Ingredients.
To make your General Tso's Chicken, you'll need 1/2 cup cornstarch, 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and oil for frying. For the marinade, you’ll need 1 egg white, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder and salt to taste. Finally, the sauce requires 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce or vegetarian stir-fry sauce, 2 teaspoons chili flakes (optional), 2 cloves of garlic minced or grated for garnish.
In a bowl, combine the cornstarch, egg white, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, ginger powder and salt. Whisk until they’re fully combined. Place the chicken into the mixture and make sure it’s completely coated before moving on to the next step. Heat your oil in a wok or deep pan over medium-high heat (about 350°F). Fry your chicken according to package instructions or until golden brown and just cooked through. Drain the chicken on paper towels to remove any excess fat. Then create your sauce by combining all ingredients for the sauce together in a clean bowl.
Marinate the Chicken.
To marinate the chicken, mix together the egg white, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic powder, ginger powder and salt in a Ziploc bag. Cut the chicken into cubes and add it to the bag, pressing out any excess air before sealing. Shake until all the pieces are evenly coated by the marinade. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes before moving on to your next step.
To ensure that the marinade penetrates deep into the chicken, put the bag in a bowl and place it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. This helps break down the proteins, making them softer and more succulent when fried. After removing from the freezer, take out the chicken cubes and let them sit on a plate for 10-15 minutes at room temperature. Once done, you’re ready to move onto the next step – coating and frying your General Tso's Chicken!
Make the Coating and Fry the Chicken.
Now, it's time to make the coating! Mix together the cornstarch, all-purpose flour, garlic powder, and salt. Take your marinated chicken cubes out of the fridge and dredge each cube in the mixture until evenly coated. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat then add in your chicken pieces and fry for 3-5 minutes or until crispy on the outside and cooked through. Drain on a wire rack before serving.
To make General Tso’s chicken, you will need to first marinate the cubed chicken with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and a bit of sugar. Once fully marinated, it's time to make the coating which is a mix of cornstarch and all-purpose flour. This gives the chicken a crunchy exterior and helps lock in moisture when frying. Heat some oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat then add in your cubed chicken pieces and fry for 3-5 minutes until they turn golden brown and crispy on the outside while still being soft and juicy inside. Be sure to keep an eye on them as they cook and take them
out once oh so slightly before they reach your desired level of crispiness since they will continue to crisp up after being taken out. Finally, serve with steamed white rice!
Prepare the Sauce and Simmer with Chicken and Vegetables
To make the sauce, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, honey, chili garlic sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl and stir to combine. In the skillet you used to fry the chicken – or in a separate skillet if you prefer – heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger then sauté for 1-2 minutes. Next, add in bell peppers and broccoli florets to cook for 1 minute before adding back in your fried chicken cubes. Pour the prepared sauce over everything and reduce to low heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Serve warm with white rice if desired.
If you’d like to add a bit of crunch to the finished dish, garnish with toasted sesame seeds. You can also switch up the vegetables used in this recipe if you prefer. Carrots, mushrooms, onions and snow peas work just as well as bell peppers and broccoli. For an extra touch of sweetness and spice, feel free to also add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes when sautéing the garlic and ginger. General Tso's Chicken is a delicious balance of sweet & savory flavors that your whole family will enjoy!
Serve with Rice or Noodles and Enjoy!
Once the chicken has cooked and simmered in the General Tso's sauce, all that's left is to serve it with a side of rice or noodles if desired. Plain white rice or fried rice make for great accompaniments, as do chilled lo mein noodles and egg rolls. Once ready to eat, top each dish off with sliced green onions for added color and flavor, then enjoy your homemade takeout-style meal!
General Tso's chicken is a classic Chinese-American stir-fry dish that consists of bite-sized pieces of chicken coated in a sweet and savory sauce, fried until golden and crisp, then simmered with vegetables. The traditional recipe calls for dried red chili peppers to give it an extra kick of spicy flavor, but these can be omitted if you prefer a milder version. As with most stir fry dishes, the cooking process is relatively quick and simple – the longest step being coating the chicken in the sauce before frying. The best part? All you need are some pantry staples and an hour or less to make this delicious takeout favorite in the comfort of your own home!