This recipe for General Tso’s chicken is battered crispy chicken pieces tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. A take-out classic that’s simple to make at home and even better than what you’d get in a restaurant!
General Tso’s chicken is one of my all time favorite Chinese food dishes. I love that it’s crispy, with a hint of sweet and a hint of spicy. I’ve started making this recipe at home when we’re craving Asian food, but don’t want to take the time to go to a restaurant. It’s been a huge hit, both with the kids and the adults!
What is General Tso’s chicken?
This chicken dis is a popular Chinese entree made with fried chicken pieces coated in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce. This chicken is similar to sesame chicken, but the sauce has a little more heat and a more complex savory flavor. It is often served with a side of steamed broccoli.
How do you make General Tso’s chicken?
This dish starts with cubes of chicken that are battered and deep fried until golden brown. The chicken pieces are tossed in a sauce made with soy sauce, garlic, red chili flakes and hoisin sauce. The final step is to add a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for this chicken recipe
- Be careful not to fry too many pieces of chicken at the same time to avoid the pieces sticking or clumping together. I typically fry about 6-8 pieces at a time.
- To increase the spiciness of your chicken, feel free to add more red pepper flakes. If you want, you can also include some whole dried red chili peppers.
- This chicken is best served immediately, as the coating will absorb the sauce and get softer as it sits.
- Use a frying thermometer to make sure your oil stays at 350 degrees F. If the oil is too hot, the outside of the chicken can burn before the inside cooks through. If the oil is too cold, the chicken will absorb more oil and be heavy and greasy.
- You can use chicken breasts instead of thighs if you prefer, although thighs are the more traditional choice.
What is the difference between orange chicken and General Tso’s chicken?
While, General Tso’s chicken and orange chicken are both delicious Chinese stir fries, they are very different dishes. They both have golden fried chicken pieces in a sweet sauce, but General Tso’s chicken has a more savory flavor relying on soy sauce, chili flakes and chicken broth. Orange chicken is sweeter, has orange juice in the sauce and has a lighter colored sauce.
I love to make this sweet and spicy chicken at home. There is something about enjoying those crispy chicken pieces hot and coated with freshly made sauce that I can’t resist. Don’t bother with take out and instead give this recipe a try!
More delicious Chinese food recipes
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Korean Fried Chicken
- Mongolian Chicken
- Chicken and Green Beans
- Sweet Chili Chicken
General Tso's Chicken
For the chicken:
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- vegetable oil for frying
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons green onions sliced
For the orange sauce:
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Place the eggs in a bowl; add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix together the flour and corn starch and place in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
- Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees F.
- Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then coat in the flour mixture. Repeat the process for all of the chicken pieces.
- Fry 8-9 pieces of chicken at a time for 5 minutes or until browned. Repeat with all the remaining chicken.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce.
- 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.
- Whisk together the chicken broth, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce and corn starch.
- Add the liquid mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions and serve.