Our homemade General Tso’s Chicken recipe includes crispy pan-fried chicken in a sweet, sticky sauce made with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar.
Why I love this recipe:
- Family Favorite – General Tso’s Chicken is one of my family’s favorite dishes when we get takeout, so everyone gets excited when I attempt to make it from home! I can’t say this recipe is authentic (here’s a truly authentic General Tso’s recipe), but my version is a little healthier (pan fried chicken) and has the same flavors, using basic ingredients.
- Affordable – I was excited to create my own version of this popular dish in my kitchen to save us money on eating out without sacrificing any flavor.
- Easy – You just batter and pan fry the chicken and toss it in a General tso’s sauce. It’s a fun, simple recipe even beginners will enjoy making.
How to make General Tso Chicken:
Make Sauce: Whisk together hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, ginger, cornstarch and red pepper flakes (reduce amount for less spice, if desired).
Prep Breading: In a large ziplock bag, combine cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper then shake, shake, shake. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites.
Bread Chicken: Coat chicken pieces in egg whites, lift and allow to drip off, then drop into breading bag. Shake until coated.
Fry: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then add half a cup of oil. Once oil is hot, fry the chicken in batches (don’t crowd), 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a plate.
Combine: Add sauce to same pan and simmer until warm and thickened. Toss the chicken in the sauce just before serving.
Serve this easy General Tso Chicken recipe with white or brown rice (or for some Pan-Asian fusion, Kimchi Fried Rice) garnished with green onions and/or sesame seeds.
- Vegetarian: Sub extra-firm tofu for chicken. Press excess moisture out of the tofu by putting it between paper towels then putting something heavy like a cast-iron skillet on top, leaving it for a few minutes. Proceed as with the chicken.
- Air-Fryer: Preheat to 400 degrees and, after breading, spread chicken pieces evenly so they don’t touch, spray with olive oil, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Slow Cooker: Mix sauce ingredients together. Prepare the chicken the same, but cook on very high heat for only 1 minute on each side, to brown the coating but not cook the chicken through. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and add chicken, then pour half of the sauce on top. Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours then stir in the remaining sauce then garnish with chopped green onions.
More Chicken Recipes:
- Chicken Casserole
- Dirty Rice
- One Pan Jambalaya
- Chicken Divan
- Southwest Egg Rolls
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Orzo Salad
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General Tso’s Chicken
- Make General Tso's Sauce: Add the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
- Make breading: Add cornstarch, flour, and salt and pepper to a large ziplock bag and shake to combine. Whisk egg whites in a separate bowl.
- Coat chicken: Add chicken pieces to the egg whites and toss to coat. Spoon coated chicken pieces into the ziplock bag, allowing excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Shake the bag to coat chicken evenly in the cornstarch mixture.
- Cook chicken: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Once oil is hot, add some of the chicken (it's best to cook the chicken in 2 or 3 batches, so it browns better). Cook the chicken 2-3 minutes on each side, until the coating is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Remove to a plate. Repeat until all of the chicken has cooked, and set aside on a plate.
- Add sauce: Add the sauce to the pan and simmer until warm and thickened. Toss the chicken in the sauce just before serving.
- Serve with hot cooked white or brown rice. Garnish with chopped green onions.
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I originally shared this recipe February 2016. Updated August 2020 and October 2023.
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