General Tso's Chicken - A Chinese Cuisine Classic

April 19, 2021

General Tso's chicken leads an army of flavor into your mouth. After tasting this recipe for this classic Chinese dish, you will think again before ordering it from your local takeout spot.

General Tso's chicken has been a staple in the Chinese culinary scene for centuries. It can be found on just about every single Chinese restaurant’s menu or buffet. It is almost irresistible because of how many flavor notes and senses it hits.

With the juicy chicken smothered in that sweet, tangy, spicy sauce, you will not be able to get enough. You might want to go ahead and double this recipe because as good as it is, you will thank yourself.

General Tso's ChickenPhoto By Petite Gourmets
Taste Score: %89
Difficulty Medium
Servings 4-6 people
Preparation 25 mins
Cooking 20 mins
Total 45 mins

Recipe Video: General Tso's Chicken

Tips

  • Do not over crowd the fryer so that the oil does not cool too fast and cause the chicken to be soggy.
  • Feel free to adjust the sweetness or the spiciness by adding more pepper flakes or more brown sugar.
  • Be sure to blend the flour corn starch mixture together well. They will turn out better if coated evenly.
  • When breading something it is always best to keep a dry hand and a wet hand.
  • If sauce is not thick enough for, add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place the eggs in a bowl; add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Mix together the flour and cornstarch and place in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
  3. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees.
  4. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then coat in the flour mixture. Repeat the process for all of the chicken pieces.
  5. Fry 8-9 pieces of chicken at a time for 5 minutes or until browned. Repeat with all the remaining chicken.
  6. Heat the 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Whisk together the chicken broth, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch.
  8. Add the liquid mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  9. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 General Tso's Chicken
Serves 4-6
Amount Per Serving
Calories804
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 241 mg80.3%
Sodium 810 mg35.2%
Potassium 388 mg8.3%
Protein 34.8 g69.6%
Total Fat 57.6 g73.8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

What's the difference between sesame chicken and General Tso's chicken?

Sesame Chicken is typically salty with a hint of sweetness, served with sesame seeds. General Tso’s is typically sweeter with a little more heat and served with broccoli and carrots. The sauce is usually redder in color than the brown sauce served with sesame chicken.

Is General Tso's chicken spicy?

Yes, general tso’s chicken is supposed to be a little spicy. General Tso’s is the spicier cousin of sesame chicken and orange chicken.

What is General Tso's sauce made of?

General Tso’s sauce can be made using several different ingredients. For the most part however, it contains but is not limited to some oil, garlic, pepper flakes, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and some chicken broth.

There are some who like to put sesame oil in the mix, fish sauce, and even oyster sauce for a bit of funkiness. Like most things in cooking, you can add or take away anything you like to make it your own.

Why is it called General Tso's chicken?

General Tso's chicken is named for Tso Tsung-t'ang, a formidable nineteenth-century general who is said to have enjoyed eating it. He was born in 1812 in Xiangyin county, Hunan province, and died in 1885 after a glittering career in the Qing dynasty civil and military administration. He led successful military campaigns against various rebel groups but is best known for recapturing the great western desert region of Xinjiang.

Which is more spicy, General Tso or Kung Pao?

While kung pao and General Tso’s chicken are both delicious spicy and sweet Chinese stir fries, they are very different dishes. General Tso’s chicken is breaded and fried and usually does not contain vegetables.

Kung pao chicken is not breaded and is pan cooked with delicious veggies like bell peppers and onions. Unlike General Tso’s chicken, kung pao also features peanuts. Since the sauce is very similar it is hard to say which one is actually hotter.

Does General Tso Chicken have gluten?

Due to the fact that the chicken is breaded, the answer is yes, general tso chicken contains gluten. There are methods to make the recipe to not have gluten. At that point you might as well make Kung Pao chicken because the breading is the only real difference between the two.

Did you make this recipe?

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