Restaurant Quality General Tso's Chicken at Home


I REALLY love General Tso’s chicken, so The Missus and I modified a recipe from Serious Eats that produces a restaurant quality rendition that’s both uber-flavorful and not difficult to make. I love the combination of salty, sour, spicy, and slight sweetness the ingredients impart, in addition to the wonderful crunch on the outer part of each chicken piece.

Here's how last night's version came out:


Homemade General Tso's Chicken.jpg

This time I added thinly sliced jalapenos into the sauce before I tossed the chicken in, and it really added a lovely brightness of flavor that we will incorporate in the future.

Here's the Recipe:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin
  • 2 teaspoons white rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon red chili oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups peanut oil
  • 20 small dried red chiles, preferably Thai  chiles, although chile de arbol is also fine
  • 5 scallions, white parts only, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 small jalapeno, thinly sliced


Crack the egg into a medium-sized bowl, and lightly beat it with a fork. Add the salt, white pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the corn starch, and stir until combined. Add the chicken meat, and toss well. Set mixture aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a second bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin, rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine, red chili oil, garlic, ginger, and sugar. Whisk until smooth.

After the 15 minutes, pour the oil into a large wok set over high heat. Bring the oil up to a temperature of 350°F. While the oil warms up, place chicken pieces over a baking rack, and dust the the cornstarch, then turn chicken pieces over with a pair of cooking tongs, and coat the other side of the chicken pieces. Use an additional tablespoon of cornstarch if needed.

When the oil is ready, shake off any excess cornstarch on the chicken, and carefully add them to the wok. Cook, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until browned, two to three minutes. Turn off the heat, and remove chicken pieces with the slotted spoon, and drain on some paper towels.

Remove all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil. Turn the heat to high, and when the oil is just starting to smoke, add the chiles, and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the scallions and jalapenos, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken pieces back to the wok, and toss constantly for a minute until the pieces are coated in the chile and scallion oil. Pour in the sauce, and stir-fry until the pieces are evenly coated, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Serve the chicken immediately with rice.