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General Tso's Chicken

  • 4 servings
  • Mins
    Prep Time
  • Mins
    Cook Time

I also like using boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for a juicier bite. (Dark meat is juicier and much more tender than white meat, and contrary to widespread belief, not much higher in fat.) Chicken stock adds a bit more flavor, but if you don’t have any handy feel free to substitute water. Sauce may taste a little tomato-y on its own, but trust me, mixed with the fried chicken it will taste positively delicious. The sauce, with tomato paste, chicken broth, vinegar, and hoisin sauce, thickens up quite nicely in the wok. It’s sweet but not overly so, with a mild kick and smoky flavor from the chilis and a good amount of tanginess. Meanwhile, the cornstarch coating results in a brash, proudly crisp exterior. It may not be authentically Hunan, but there’s a reason it continues to be such a beloved dish in the U.S.


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into 1-inch cubes
cups cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 peanut or vegetable oil for frying, plus 1 tablespoon for stir-frying
8 dried whole red chilis, or substitute ¼ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, for garnish
Scallions, green parts thinly sliced, for garnish
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 egg whites
¼ cup chicken stock, or substitute water
tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

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