Homemade General Tso’s Chicken!? Yes please! Just look at that perfect, luscious sauce on the crispy, double-fried chicken… All we need is a bowl of rice with it and we got ourselves the perfect, comforting meal! Seriously though, just look at that sauce!
What’s amazing is that it looks AND tastes just like the ones in the restaurants. We’ve always thought General Tso’s Chicken is hard to make, but it really isn’t, at all!
On a side note, in Canada we call this dish General Tao Chicken, which is slightly different than General Tso’s Chicken in America. But both dishes are exactly the same and delicious!
Making the Crispy Fried Chicken
Having perfectly crispy fried chicken is very important for General Tso’s Chicken. You don’t want soggy chicken that becomes even more soggy once you put in the sauce. So here are some important tips to have that yummy, crispy chicken!
The batter It is important to first combine the chicken and beaten egg in a bowl, and then add the cornstarch into the bowl. This is important if you want the batter to stick well onto the chicken and to coat them evenly. The batter should be really thick and sticky. If you combine the egg with the cornstarch before adding the chicken, the batter will be so thick that it would be harder to coat the chicken with it.
Frying the chicken Now, I know some of you may skip on double frying the chicken to make it a bit healthier. Believe me, we tried it too! But frying the chicken once is just not enough to make the perfect, crispy General Tso’s Chicken. If you fry it only once, the chicken will not be able to stay crispy and on top of that, will become extremely soggy once you add the sauce. While double frying may not be the healthiest thing, it does give the best results for a crispy chicken. And we only make this dish when we crave some guilty pleasure, comfort food. So double frying once in a while is okay as long as you don’t overdo it! Our motto is, if you’re gonna do it, do it right!
Another important thing to consider is the oil temperature. It’s important that the oil is hot enough so that the exterior crust can crisp up and become golden brown. If the temperature of the oil is too low, since the chicken are cut into smaller cubes, the chicken will be done cooking before the crust can crisp up and turn golden brown.
The sauce is basically the easiest part of this General Tso’s Chicken recipe, and it tastes like it’s a lot more complicated than it really is! If you like your food spicy, feel free to add more fresh small red chillies (if you can handle the spiciness!).
If you haven’t noticed, we’ve been on a roll with our obsession to make Chinese takeout dishes at home. With this General Tso’s Chicken recipe, our Beef Chow Fun Noodles recipe, and our Chinese Scallion Pancakes recipe, you can basically have a whole takeout menu at home.
We hope you enjoy this General Tso’s Chicken recipe and happy cooking!
General Tso's Chicken Recipe
Fried Chicken Batter
- 1 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken thigh cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 whole egg
General Tso's Chicken Sauce
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- 2 stripes orange peel
- 3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 fresh small red chilli de-seeded, chopped
- 5 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp green onions chopped
- sesame seeds for topping
Place the cubed chicken in a mixing bowl. Add the low-sodium soy sauce, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the beaten egg into the chicken bowl and combine well. Add 2/3 cup of cornstarch into the chicken and egg mixture. Combine until the cornstarch is well mixed into the eggs and all the chicken cubes are well covered with the batter. Let marinade and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
To make the General Tso sauce, combine the low-sodium soy sauce, chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Prepare the cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch and water in a bowl. Heat two tablespoons of oil on a pan or a wok on high heat and stir fry the garlic, ginger, chillies, and the strips of orange peel for about 30 seconds or until the ginger and garlic and fragrant and tender. Put heat on medium high and add the sauce mixture into the pan. When the sauce boils, add the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and mix well. Once the sauce boils and becomes thicker, remove the orange peel strips, remove sauce from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Fill a deep saucepan with about 1 1/2 inch of oil and heat over high heat. Once the oil reaches about 375 degrees Fahrenheit, slowly and gently add the chicken into the oil one by one. We recommend to work in batches in order to not overcrowd the pan and lower the temperature of the oil. Let fry for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden. Remove chicken from oil and drain off excess oil using paper towels. Place the fried chicken on a drying rack and let cool for about 5 minutes. Put the chicken back into the hot oil and fry for another 1 minute and a half or until golden brown and crispy. Repeat steps with other chicken batches. Note cooking time may vary depending on the size of the chicken cubes and the temperature of the oil. If you do not have a meat thermometer, we suggest to cut one chicken in half after the first batch of frying to ensure that it is well cooked.
Add the fried chicken into the mixing bowl with the General Tso sauce. Toss until well combined and every fried chicken is evenly covered with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add warm water one tablespoon at a time into the sauce before mixing in the chicken until it reaches the desired consistency. Top with toasted sesame seeds and green onions and serve with rice.