General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
General Tso’s Chicken is saucy, juicy and crispy. The signature sauce is thick and loaded with flavor. If you are a die-hard orange chicken fan, you must try this dish! Make it all in one dish in the comfort of your home for a sweet and spicy treat!
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Hi there! My name is Natalya and I run the blog Momsdish. If you already follow me, you know I can’t get enough of easy meals that require simple ingredients. My family loves ordering in Chinese takeout, but lately, I’ve been having a blast recreating my favorite dishes at home.
Not only is homemade “takeout” healthier, but you’ll save money. That’s a win-win in my book. Let’s get started!
General Tso’s Chicken
General Tso’s Chicken is a Chinese-American dish of fried chicken pieces that are breaded and tossed in a tangy sauce. This dish is very similar in style to sesame or orange chicken. But, like in much of Chinese food, it’s the sauce that makes each dish unique.
Typically, General Tso’s Chicken is served with a bed of steamed rice and a side of steamed broccoli. If you want to make a full spread of takeout favorites, try your hand at making some chow mein too. Don’t forget the chopsticks!
How to Make General Tso’s Sauce:
The sauce for General Tso’s chicken is so simple to make with pantry staple ingredients: rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water, sugar, and some corn starch to thicken the sauce. Simply add the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine.
How to Prepare General Tso’s Chicken
Don’t be intimidated about making your own General Tso’s Chicken! It’s so easy, you’ll never call it in again. Follow these easy steps to nail it every time:
- Cut chicken into 1-inch size cubes. Toss the chicken with corn starch.
- Cook your chicken until all sides are golden brown.
- Remove the chicken from the pan.
- Saute garlic, ginger and pepper flakes in the pan.
- Add the sauce and bring to a simmer then add chicken.
- Toss the chicken, making sure to evenly coat each piece. Serve hot to hungry people!
Tips for the Best Tso’s Chicken
- Prepare ingredients ahead of time. This recipe will have you moving fast. Prep all your ingredients ahead of time so you can add them on the fly.
- Adjust the Spice. Add more or less red pepper flakes according to your spice preference.
- Use Fresh Ginger and Garlic. It might be tempting to use the powdered stuff, but great Chinese food is defined by the freshest ingredients.
- Opt for Low Sodium Soy Sauce. I always purchase low-sodium soy sauce just in case I want to tweak the salt levels before serving. It’s just perfect for this recipe, as it also calls for hoisin, a salty, and garlicky sauce used frequently in Chinese cooking.
- Chicken Thighs Bring the Most Flavor. Chicken thighs make for the juiciest pan-fried chicken. I find chicken breast tends to be too dry for this recipe.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Pan. Cook chicken in small amounts or use a very large pan. Be sure to give the chicken a good stir here and there to prevent it from sticking.
- Use a non-stick pan. The coating can be a bit delicate, so use a non-stick to ensure it stays intact.
- Hot Tip: Serve and enjoy General Tso’s Chicken immediately. The sauce tends to absorb into the crispy outer layer, leaving it a bit soggy if it sits around too long.
More Asian-Inspired Dishes:
- Beef Stir Fry: This simple stir fry is perfect for a hectic weeknight with a sneakily high serving of veggies.
- Chicken Stir Fry – easy, saucy and loaded with veggies and cashews
- Chicken Fried Rice – a genius way to use up leftover rice and frozen vegetables
- Yakisoba Noodles: This quick-and-easy noodle dish is always on my rotation.
- Lo Mein: Your vegetarian friends will love you. These noodles are great hot or cold.
General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
General Tso’s Chicken is a Chinese takeout go-to. Make it all in one dish in the comfort of your home for a sweet and spicy treat!
- 2 lb chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1/4 cup extra light olive oil, for frying, plus more as needed
- 2 tbsp minced ginger, from a 2-inch piece of ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, or 1 Tbsp grated or finely minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or added to taste
- 1 tsp sesame seeds, optional for garnish
General Tso's Sauce
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar, or more to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Toss chicken in batches with cornstarch, tapping off the excess. Set dredged chicken on a platter and set aside.
In a separate dish, combine all the ingredients for your sauce and whisk to combine.
Preheat a non-stick skillet with oil. Cook chicken in 2 to 3 batches, sauteeing until golden on both sides and cooked through then remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil as needed. Leave at least 1 Tbsp oil in the pan.
Add the garlic, ginger and pepper flakes. Sautee for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the sauce to the skillet and bring it to a simmer while stirring. Let it simmer for 1 minute to cook off the vinegar a little. Taste the sauce and add more soy sauce or rice vinegar to taste if desired. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Serve garnished with sesame seeds if desired.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen