This General Tso Chicken Recipe is the homemade version of the Chinese takeout classic! It’s crispy and tender chicken coated in a sticky tangy sauce, totally addictive…
General Tso’s Chicken is just so darn good… crispy chicken coated in a sticky sweet and sour sauce with a slight spicy kick. It’s one of our favorite Asian dishes. After we posted The Best Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken, you guys have asked us to make a quick and easy General Tsos Chicken. You and your family will absolutely love it!
It’s the most popular takeout in America acording to NBC. However, many restaurant versions are deep fried with coloring etc. in the sauce.
Making your own homemade General Tso chicken is fresher and healthier, but still just as tasty!
General Tso Chicken is perfect as a quick weeknight dinner with some rice and veg. Just start your rice and vegetables before the chicken, as it cooks quickly.
My kids absolutely love this dish, so it’s a great way to feed the entire family. Just use less red pepper flakes to make it less spicy.
You can also double or triple this recipe to feed a crowd. And if you’re entertaining, you can fry the chicken ahead of time. Then you’ll only have to make the sauce and coat the chicken at the last minute.
General Tso’s Chicken goes by many names, and in Chinese it is 左宗棠鸡 (Zuo ZongTang Chicken). It It first appeared in New York as a Chinese-American dish in the 1970s and has been popular ever since. The dish is named after Zuo ZongTang, a Qing dynasty statesman and military leader.
How to make General Tso’s Chicken
To make it, start by cutting boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch cubes. You can use chicken breasts if you prefer white meat, but chicken thighs have the best flavor for this dish.
Coat the chicken pieces in cornstarch, which is what will help to make them crispy later on. A large ziplock bag works well for this, or you can toss them in a mixing bowl with a spoon.
Then make the General Tso Sauce, combine rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Save that for later to coat the chicken once it’s cooked.
In a large skillet or wok over high heat, sear the chicken cubes. It’s best not to crowd the pan to help it to brown, so do it in two batches if your pan is not that large.
Once the chicken is done, remove it to a plate and reserve. Then lower the heat to medium and sauté the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes.
Then you can add back the cooked chicken and pour in the sauce. It will immediately start bubbling and thickening. Once it starts to coat your spoon, it’s done. Remember it’ll thicken more as it cools to become that sticky coating we all love.
Watch our video tutorial to see how to make it:
General Tso Chicken (with Video)
- 1 1/2 lb chicken thighs boneless, skinless in 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
General Tso Sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
Serving - optional
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- green onion minced
Into a large ziplock bag, add the cubed chicken and 1/2 cup cornstarch. Seal and shake until coated. Set aside.
Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, water, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
Place a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add the oil and wait 30-60 seconds until it's very hot.
Add the chicken pieces to the pan, shaking off excess cornstarch as you go. If you have more than fits in one layer, save half for a second batch.
Fry for 3-5 minutes, turning from time to time to brown evenly. Remove to a plate and reserve.
Remove all fat except for a tablespoon, then add in the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the chicken back to the pan and mix thoroughly with the ginger-garlic.
Pour in the sauce mixture, and stir constantly until it's just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, less than one minute.
Remove from heat, serve immediately and enjoy!
Looking for more quick and easy Asian chicken recipes?
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Easy Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken
- Lemon Chicken Meal Prep
- Chicken Pad Thai
- 15 Minute Easy Honey Garlic Chicken