Recipes » General Tso Chicken

General Tso Chicken

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General Tso Chicken is a popular dish in Chinese-American cuisine, renowned for its perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors.

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This classic recipe features crispy, deep-fried chicken chunks coated in a vibrant, sticky sauce made with ingredients like soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and a touch of sugar, often garnished with dried red chilies and spring onions.
crispy saucy bite of general tso chicken

The origins? Well, it’s named after General Tso from Hunan Province, China, although the dish itself is more of an American culinary creation than something you’d find in a traditional Hunan kitchen.

So, why does this matter? Because knowing a bit about its roots makes every bite that much more interesting. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good backstory with their meal?
delicious homemade general tso chicken on plate

How to Make General Tso Chicken

Prep Time- 10 minutes
Cook Time-20 minutes
Total Time-30 minutes
Servings-4 people

You’ll Need
2 boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
3-4 dried red chillies
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup corn-starch +1 tablespoon
½ cup water +2 tablespoon
Oil for frying +1 tablespoon
2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Garnish
Chopped spring onions
Sesame seeds

DIY Hoisin: If you don’t have hoisin sauce, you can make a quick substitute by mixing soy sauce with a little honey and a pinch of garlic powder.

    Prepare the Chicken

  1. In a shallow bowl, place the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  2. step 2 season the chicken pieces

  3. Pour the cornstarch over the chicken and stir to coat, ensuring each piece is evenly coated.

    This coating helps to seal in the juices and provides a crisp texture once fried.
  4. step 3 add the cornstarch

  5. Pour the beaten egg over the coated chicken and fold to coat
  6. step 4 beaten egg mixed with seasoned raw chicken ready to fry

  7. Fry the Chicken:
    Heat enough oil in a pan over a medium flame to cover the bottom. Fry the coated chicken pieces until they turn crisp and golden brown, ensuring they are evenly cooked.

    This should take about 3-4 minutes each side depending on size. Transfer the fried chicken onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil and set aside.
  8. step 5 fry the chicken pieces in hot oil

    Prepare the Sauce

  9. Using the same pan, reduce the oil to about 1 tablespoon. Add minced garlic, ginger, and dried red chilies.

    Sauté these ingredients for a few seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant but not burnt. This is crucial as it forms the flavor base of the sauce.
  10. step 7 garlic and chilis in hot oil

  11. Quickly stir in the soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and hoisin sauce along with ½ cup of water.

    Allow the mixture to come to a slight boil for a few seconds to let the sugar dissolve and flavors meld.
  12. Thicken the Sauce: Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 2 tablespoons of water to create a slurry. Pour this into the simmering sauce.

    Stir continuously and let it simmer for about 2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.

    This thickening step is vital as it helps the sauce cling to the chicken pieces.
  13. step 9 add fried chicken pieces to the sauce

  14. Finish the Dish: Add the fried chicken back into the pan with the sauce. Toss well to ensure all pieces are generously coated.

    plate of general tso chicken with chopsticks
    If using, sprinkle red pepper flakes over the chicken to add a spicy kick.
  15. step 10 add chili pepper flakes

    Garnish and Serve

  16. Garnish the dish with freshly chopped spring onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for added texture and flavor.
  17. Serve hot alongside steamed rice or your choice of side for a complete meal.
Serving Tip: Serve your General Tso Chicken over a bed of jasmine or basmati rice, which complements the flavors and soaks up the sauce beautifully.

How to Properly Store Leftover General Tso Chicken

There are a couple of ways to store leftover General Tso Chicken, referigeration or freezing.

Refrigeration

1 Allow the General Tso Chicken to cool down to room temperature after cooking.

2 This prevents condensation from forming inside the storage container, which could lead to sogginess.

3 Transfer the cooled General Tso Chicken into an airtight container or a sealed plastic bag.

4 Ensure there are no air pockets to maintain freshness.

5 Place the sealed container of General Tso Chicken in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking.

6 General Tso Chicken can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Beyond this time, the quality may deteriorate
delicious homemade general tso chicken on plate

Freezing

Follow the same steps to cool down the General Tso Chicken after cooking.

Transfer the cooled chicken into a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Remove excess air to prevent freezer burn.

If possible, use a vacuum sealer (the chicken will last 1 year if properly vacuum sealed).

Label the container with the date of freezing to keep track of its freshness.

General Tso Chicken can be stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 months without significant loss of quality.

However, for the best taste and texture, it’s advisable to consume it within the first month.

General Tso Chicken Recipe Print Now

general tso chicken on serving plate
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General Tso Chicken

Budget101.com by Melissa 'Liss' Burnell
General Tso Chicken is a crispy, sweet, and spicy dish with deep-fried chicken coated in a tangy sauce, garnished with chilies and spring onions.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian Fusion
Servings 4
Calories 322 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3-4 red chillies, dried
  • ½ tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • spring onions (Chopped )
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sesame seeds

Instructions
 

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken pieces with salt, black pepper powder, and corn starch until the chicken is evenly coated.
    2 boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
    1 teaspoon black pepper powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Pour the beaten egg over the chicken and stir to coat
    1 large egg beaten
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Fry the coated chicken pieces until they turn crisp, golden, and evenly cooked. Transfer the fried chicken onto a plate and set aside.
    Oil for frying
  • In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add minced garlic, ginger, and dried red chillies. Sauté for a few seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant.
    3-4 red chillies, dried
    ½ tablespoon minced ginger
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Stir in soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, and ½ cup water. Allow the mixture to bubble for a few seconds.
    2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 tablespoon rice vinegar
    1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
    1 tablespoon oil
    ½ cup water
  • Add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce. Mix well and sauté on high flame for 1 minute.
  • Combine 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 2 tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Stir the corn starch mixture into the sauce and let it simmer for 2 minutes until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 tablespoons water
  • Sprinkle chilli flakes over the chicken and toss to coat properly.
    2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Garnish the dish with chopped spring onions and sesame seeds. Serve hot with your choice of rice.
    spring onions
    1-2 tablespoons Sesame seeds

Equipment

Recipe Size Alteration Note

If you altered the ingedients above by doubling or tripling the recipe, you may also need to change the pan/dish size and adjust the cooking/baking time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 322kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 28gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 1321mgPotassium: 537mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 506IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 2mgNet Carbs: 28g
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General Tso Chicken is a crispy, sweet, and spicy dish with deep-fried chicken coated in a tangy sauce, garnished with chilies and spring onions.

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