General Tso’s Chicken is one of the best and most requested (at home) Chinese menu items ever. With a perfect sweet and spicy taste that everyone loves, you can pair this authentic recipe with rice, noodles, or simply eat the chicken as a full meal alone.
Let’s get started on making this General Tso’s Chicken recipe for tonight’s gobble up dinner!
Sweet and savory both, General Tso’s Chicken is consists of white chicken breasts, deep battered and fried to perfection. Keto friendly? Probably not with the flour, although I am sure there are some delicious alternatives if you look around.
Even so, the little bit of fried paired with rice makes one of the most hearty meals that make you feel like you are in a Chine restaurant without the drive and bill!
You can serve this chicken along side cauliflower rice if you want to save a few carbs, but I don’t worry about that kind of thing typically.
General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
Chinese restaurant General Tso’s Chicken gets its flavor from ginger, garlic and chilies. The combined spices, paired with the vinegar, make a lightly spicy and lightly sweet flavor that is super comforting. If you need something with a little less kick, Orange Chicken or Moo Goo Gai Pan is a great option.
I also love Cashew Chicken as well. Although keeping the chilies in the General Tso’s chicken makes for a more authentic dish, its just fine to eliminate them as well.
Ingredients for Copycat Chinese Takeout
I realize this looks like a lot of ingredients and it really is because of the entire frying and sauce process, but go ahead and get it all out so its less overwhelming. I try to consider this recipe in 2 parts, one is the chicken batter and one is the sauce.
Go ahead and set up your rice maker FIRST and get that going and it typically all ends around the same time.
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 lb chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 6 whole chilies, ends cut and sliced in half
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (Do not use White Vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
- 4 servings of cooked white rice, warm
Recipe Note: A lot of recipes include a hoisin sauce. Hoisin sauce is a mixture of soybeans, vinegar, garlic and other spices and is used a lot in Chinese cooking. While it is delicious and great for if you want to use it, my kids are a little picky so I tend to try to make sure I don’t get a lot of push back, so I left that one out. You can find it in the International portion of your local grocery store.
Other things you may want to have on hand in your kitchen:
How to make General Tso’s Chicken
In this particular recipe we skipped major breading and used a simple breading. A lot of my at home recipes I love to double batter but since this recipe is pretty time consuming and has a ton of ingredients already, you can skip that and just do the regular breading.
Heat your oil in a saucepan or large skillet.
Beat egg in a small bowl and add salt and sugar and mix well.
In a separate small bowl, combine flour and cornstarch and mix well.
Dip cut up chicken into egg and coat well.
Dredge your chicken in flower mixture and mix well.
Fry your chicken in oil, about 3-5 minutes.
Drain on paper towel. Set aside.
Note: You do want your chicken to be totally cooked but if you over fry, it will get hard as a rock. Test a piece of two out to get the timing right before you throw in a huge batch. Otherwise you will find yourself cutting open chicken after chicken. Remember that chicken tends to cook a little bit longer after you pull it out as well so if you cook it too much, it will be chewy after its rested.
In a large saucepan, combine the rest of your General Tso’s Chicken Recipe ingredients: broth, onions, garlic, chilies, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger.
Mix well and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until bubbly.
Reduce heat and boil for 3 minutes.
Sauce Tip: Stir in cornstarch and water and heat until thick. I find that letting it sit for about 30 seconds and then stirring is the best when I am using cornstarch to thicken a sauce. Repeat until its the consistency you are looking for. Just be careful NOT TO BURN.
Add chicken to sauce mixture and heat for 3 minutes until hot.
A side of broccoli is also a great menu finisher, although (trust me on this one) you will be pretty full and not typically need a secondary side dish.