General Tso’s chicken is a staple on many Chinese restaurant menus and it’s super easy to make at home as well! This dish is basically bite sized pieces of chicken that are coated and shallow fried in oil until golden brown and crispy before being set aside. A quick and easy sauce that’s a nice blend of sweet, salty, sour and spicy with a bit of corn starch to thicken it up. The key ingredients in the sauce include Chinese style dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and chinkiang vinegar (aka Chinese black vinegar), which can be replaced with regular soy sauce and rice vinegar if you cannot find them. The sauce only takes a few seconds to make and once it’s done you toss the crispy fried chicken in t before serving over rice (or noodles)!
General Tso’s Chicken
A quick and easy version of the classic Chinese takeout General Tso’s chicken, only better!
- 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 2 tablespoons oil (peanut or vegetable)
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon chinkiang vinegar (Chinese black vinegar) (or rice wine vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon chili sauce (such as sambal oelek)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 8 dried red chilies (such as chilies de arbol)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Mix the chicken into the egg until fully coated before mixing in the corn starch until just evenly coated.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken, separate, and cook until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes per side, before setting aside, reserving the leftover oil in the pan.
- Meanwhile, mix the broth, sugar, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, chili sauce and cornstarch and set aside.
- Add the dried red chilies, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook in the remaining oil until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the sauce mixture to the pan, bring it to a boil and simmer until it thickens a bit, about a minute.
- Add the chicken, toss to coat, remove from heat, mix in the sesame oil, sesame seeds and green onions and enjoy over rice or noodles
Note: The egg and cornstarch batter on the chicken is a wet batter that with crisp up when cooked in the oil!
Option: Omit the cornstarch and egg batter for a lighter version. (Also cut down to 1 tablespoon of oil from 2.)
Option: Replace the dark soy sauce and/or light soy sauce with the soy sauce that you already have if you do not have or cannot find them.
Option: Add some veggies, such as snap peas, sugar peas, diced bell peppers, broccoli, etc. Saute them, in the same pan, after cooking the chicken and set aside before adding them back to the thickened sauce along with the chicken to toss and coat. You may need to add more oil to cook the veggies in.
Option: Start cooking rice before you start making the General Tso’s chicken and it will be ready at about the same time!
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