General Tso's Chicken Recipe - Better than Takeout | Eat the Heat (2024)

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General Tso’s Chicken, a classic Chinese takeout specialty. Sweet, savory and spicy fried to golden perfection. Crispy chunks of chicken that melt in your mouth. Once you’ve made it homemade, it will be one of your favorite meals. Whether for a special occasion or a weekend meal this recipe will impress Chinese food lover.

General Tso's Chicken Recipe - Better than Takeout | Eat the Heat (1)

Let the Wok Do the Work:

General Tso’s Chicken is two part process. But only one pan is necessary, the wok. This may sound involved but it comes together quickly. The key is to have all your ingredients ready to go before starting to cook. Measure out the liquids, cut and chop ingredients as necessary “Mise en place” in culinary terms. This will make clean up quick and easy.

Start with the Chicken:

This recipe requires boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Cut into cubed bite size pieces. The thigh meat add a wonderful tender flavor that remains moist unlike chicken breast. The corn starch coated ensures a crispy crust. Fry the pieces in batches as not to overcrowd the pan. Take your time to achieve a golden deep fried crust. Once done, place the fried chicken on a cooling rack over a sheet pan to drain off excess oil.

Mix Up the General Tso’s Chicken Sauce:

Simply stir together Soy Sauce, broth, sugar, vinegar, sesame and toasted peanut oils. Toasted peanut oil should not be confused with frying peanut oil. It is used as a seasoning oil, much like sesame oil.

Putting It All Together:

Once done frying remove most of the oil into a heat proof bowl. Leave some of the oil in the wok to finish cooking everything. Make sure your wok is sizzling hot on high heat. Working quickly add the chilis, garlic, as well as the ginger and orange zest. Follow with the sauce and bring to a boil. Now the cornstarch slurry. As soon as the sauce is no longer cloudy from the slurry and glossy add the chicken back. Toss the chicken to coat reduce the heat to warm the chicken through. Finally, some green onions and a few fresh chilis for garnish and there you have it. It’s it time to eat!

General Tso’s Chicken or is it Tsao?

Whether in menus, recipes, or on the internet I have seen it written in both ways. According to Wikipedia it’s Tso. Either way it’s delicious. What are your thoughts?

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General Tso's Chicken Recipe - Better than Takeout | Eat the Heat (2)

General Tso's Chicken Recipe - Better than Takeout

General Tso's Chicken, a classic Chinese takeout specialty. Sweet, savory and spicy fried to golden perfection.

4.75 from 4 votes

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Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 35 minutes mins

Total Time 55 minutes mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine Asian

Servings 4 servings

Calories 621 kcal


For the Fried Chicken Thighs

  • 4 cups peanut oil for frying or any tasteless, high smoke point cooking oil.
  • 1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs.
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 cup corn starch

General Tso's Sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 whole red chilis such as thai pepper or fresno
  • 1 inch piece of ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp toasted peanut oil
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water for the corn starch slurry


  • Prepare the Chicken: Cut thighs into bite-sized pieces (remove excess fat). Place chicken into a mixing bowl, add the beaten egg, sugar, salt, and white pepper. Mix and coat chicken well. Sprinkle corn starch a little at a time while mixing into the chicken. Set aside.

  • In a large wok add oil and heat on high to a temperature 375℉ . Cook chicken until golden in batches as to not overcrowd the pan. Allow to drain on paper towel or cooling rack set over a sheet pan. Until all batches are fried crisp.

  • Pour hot oil into a heat-proof container (to cool, and discard of or recycle) leaving approximately 1/4 cup of oil. (remove as much sediment as possible). Working quickly over high heat add the garlic, ginger, chilis, and orange zest till fragrant and slightly colored (about 2 minutes). Add the rest of the sauce ingredients (It's best to have the sauce pre-mixed and ready to go).

  • Allow sauce to come to a boil, add corn starch slurry cook until no longer cloudy and slightly thickened. Return chicken to the wok. Mix well, reduce heat and cook until heated through. Garnish with green onions, and fresh chilis, serve hot over plain Jasmine rice.


Serving: 2cupsCalories: 621kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 35gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 1552mgPotassium: 392mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 312IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mg

Keyword chicken, stir-fry

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General Tso's Chicken Recipe - Better than Takeout | Eat the Heat (2024)
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