(Last Updated On: April 26, 2023)
This homemade General Tso’s chicken recipe is amazing. Chunks of chicken smothered in soy sauce and hoisin sauce that is absolutely delicious. Unlike this easy General Tso chicken recipe using a Sun Bird seasoning packet, this recipe we are making today is made completely from scratch. Both of these recipes have great flavors, but in this homemade version, the flavor is just a little bit more intensive. You can also enjoy the benefit of knowing all of the ingredients in the recipe.
We serve General Tso chicken over a bed of cooked white rice, then sesame seeds and sweet peas (optional) are sprinkled on top. We also serve pepper steak, Korean-style ground beef, and spicy chicken stir-fry with frozen vegetables over a bed of white rice. So good!
🍴 Key Ingredients
- 4 to 5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1/3 cup of corn starch
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons of minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons of red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds (for garnish)
- 5 tablespoons of rice vinegar (more to taste if needed)
- 8 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
- 1/3 cup of water
- 8 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons of corn starch
👩🍳 How to Make General Tso’s Chicken (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
Step 1. Cut up the Chicken
On a cutting board or work surface, cut the chicken into bite size pieces, about 1-inch cubes with a sharp kitchen knife. Each piece of cut chicken doesn’t have to be exactly the same size but should be close to it. Put the cut chicken cubes into a large mixing bowl.
Note: We love white meat but if you like dark meat you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Step 2. Coat the Chicken with Corn Starch
Add 1/3 cup of corn starch to the same large bowl the cubes of chicken are in and fold the mixture until all of the pieces of chicken are coated with corn starch. Set the chicken mixture aside for a minute.
Step 3. Put Olive Oil in the Frying Pan
Pour 1/3 cup of olive oil into a large skillet or deep skillet and heat the oil for just a minute or so on medium-high heat. If you don’t have olive oil in the kitchen, you can use your favorite vegetable oil.
Step 4. Add the Chicken to the Frying Pan
Place the coated chicken pieces we set aside earlier into the frying pan together with the olive oil.
Step 5. Fry the Chicken
Turn each piece of chicken over as it fries on medium-high heat. Keep turning and frying the chicken for about 30 minutes until all of the chicken pieces are thoroughly cooked and a golden brown starts to appear.
Note: If medium-high heat is getting too hot, then turn the burner down and cook the chicken over medium heat.
Step 6. Make the Sauce Mixture
In a medium bowl, add 5 tablespoons of rice vinegar together with 8 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, 1/3 cup of water, 8 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and 3 tablespoons of corn starch. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or a spatula, then set aside for just a minute.
Step 7. Sauté the Minced Garlic, Minced Ginger, and Red Chili Flakes
Remove the fried chicken pieces from the frying pan and put the pieces of chicken in a bowl for now while we make the sauce. You can also put the cooked chicken on a paper towel-lined plate if you prefer to do so. Any excess oil will be absorbed by the paper towels. But, leave about a tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan for the sauce mixture.
Add 2 tablespoons of minced ginger, 2 teaspoons of chili flakes, and 2 tablespoons of minced garlic together with the olive oil that is left in the frying pan. Then, sauté it all together for about one minute or so.
Step 8. Add the Sauce
Pour the sauce we made earlier into the frying pan with the minced ginger, red chili flakes, and minced garlic. Heat the sauce for about 10 minutes or until it just starts to bubble a slight bit and thicken.
Step 9. Mix the Sauce with the Chicken
Put the chicken back into the frying pan together with the sauce. Mix thoroughly until all of the sauce is blended well with the chicken. Heat for about 5 more minutes or just until hot enough to eat. Serve over white rice and sprinkle some sesame seeds and sweet peas (optional) on top.
✨ Recipe Variations
- Sprinkle just enough red pepper flakes on the top of your General Tso chicken for a little bit of spicy hot flavor.
- Try adding some chopped green onions for added flavor.
- Use golden brown sugar instead of granulated sugar for the sauce.
- You can add some sesame oil to the sauce if you prefer to do so.
- Instead of frying the chicken in a skillet, try deep frying the chicken in hot oil.
🙋 FAQs for General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
Put any leftover General Tso chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
No, you don’t have to use chicken breasts for this recipe if you don’t like white meat. You can use any part of the chicken you like the best. Some of the other parts of a chicken will be thinner pieces to work with though, for example, the thighs or wings.
💭 Final Thoughts
The next time you are craving Chinese food, why not try making a homemade version of this classic Chinese-American dish instead of driving to the local Chinese restaurant?
Or, instead of calling in for Chinese takeout, whip up this recipe for General Tso’s chicken in the comfort of your own kitchen. Not only is it an easy recipe to prepare, but its bold spicy flavors are sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling satisfied!
💖 More Serious Eats You Will Love
- Polish Cabbage Rolls – This Polish cabbage roll recipe is so good with lean ground beef, salt, ground black pepper, uncooked white rice, onion, cabbage, and tomato sauce, topped with green beans, and carrots.
- Hamburger Soup with Cabbage – A hearty and delicious soup with lean ground beef, salt, ground black pepper, ketchup, potatoes, yellow onions, cabbage, green beans, carrots, and whole-kernel corn. So good!
- Chicken Soup Dumplings – A delicious chicken soup with plenty of dumplings and chicken pieces. The taste is amazing.
📄 Recipe Card
General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
- Cut the chicken into bite-size cubes (about 1 inch in size). Put the chicken pieces into a bowl.
- Add the corn starch to the bowl with the chicken. Coat the chicken pieces with the corn starch.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high for about 1 minute, then add the chicken pieces to the frying pan with the oil.
- Cook the chicken on medium-high heat for about 30 minutes or until all of the sides are browned.
- Remove the chicken from the frying pan and put it in a separate container. Set it aside for now, but leave about a tablespoon of oil in the pan.
- Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside for now.
- Add the minced ginger, minced garlic, and red chili flakes to the frying pan.
- Sauté the minced ginger, minced garlic, and red chili flakes for about 1 minute on medium-high heat.
- Add the sauce ingredients to the frying pan with the minced ginger, minced garlic, and red chili flakes. Cook the sauce for about 10 minutes or until it starts to bubble and thicken.
- Put the chicken back into the frying pan with the sauce ingredients.
- Heat for about 5 more minutes or just until hot enough to eat.
- Serve over white rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and sweet peas (optional).
A wife, a mother to a son and a daughter, and a grandmother to three granddaughters. Flo loves sharing recipes passed down from her own mother, her mother-in-law, and her grandmother as well as new recipes created with her daughter, Tamara Ray.
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