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General tsao's chicken recipe

General tsao's chicken recipe

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This is a classic dish found in every American and Canadian Chinese restaurant. This recipe calls for banana ketchup, which is a condiment in the Phillipines, you should be able to find it in Chinese/Oriental supermarkets.

16 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 950ml groundnut oil for frying
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 65g cornflour
  • 450g skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon banana ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 6 dried whole red chillies or crushed chillies to taste
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Heat 1 litre of groundnut oil in a deep-fat fryer or large saucepan to 190 degrees C.
  2. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl; whisk in 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and the cornflour. Mix in the chicken until all the pieces are coated with batter. Drop into the hot oil a piece at a time; cook until the chicken is golden brown on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 4 minutes. Drain on a kitchen towel-lined plate.
  3. Stir together the vinegar, wine, sugar, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and the banana ketchup in a small bowl until smooth; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons groundnut oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Stir in the dried chillies and cook for a few seconds until the peppers brighten. Stir in the onion, garlic and orange zest. Cook and stir until the onion is beginning to brown. Stir in the sauce; bring to the boil before adding the fried chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and stir until the chicken pieces are well coated with the sauce, a few minutes longer. Serve sprinkled with spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Rice wine

Found in Chinese/Oriental stores.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(23)

Reviews in English (14)

by Stephanie

Good recipe. I used orange juice instead of rice wine. And omitted the peppers because the family doesn't like hot, still delicious-02 Jul 2011

by CookingTeacher

Yum, I didn't have all the right ingredients, but my substitutes worked well. I used canola oil for frying. 1 Tbs red wine and extra rice vinegar for the rice wine, brown sugar for the white, for the banana ketchup (banana processed like tomato ketchup) 1tsp banana (put through garlic press) and 1 tsp tomato ketchup, 1 Tbs red pepper flakes instead of dried chillies, 2 tsp orange juice concentrate for the zest.Does not turn out restaurant quality, but is still very yummy.A hint, try to fry the chicken while mixing up the other ingredients, otherwise it takes way longer than the stated "Ready In" time.-06 Nov 2011

by ilovecooking!!!

It was OK, but I'd rather have the breading on it to really be like restaurant food. Too much onions (our family doesn't like it) and banana ketchup was strange. Too many chilies! I am ok with sorta spicy stuff but it was too much. It wasn't too bad, but not too good. thanks for the attempt, though. overall, it was ok but not a favorite.P.S. This sort of food if you go to china 30 yrs ago they'd be like "what in the world is that stuff?" not real chinese food, Americanized.-05 Apr 2012

General Tso&rsquos Chicken Recipe

General Tso&rsquos Chicken is the popular American-Chinese Restaurant food we love to takeout! It&rsquos the sweet coated, deep-fried chicken pieces similar to sesame or orange chicken only a tad spicy! This General Tso&rsquos Chicken Recipe is so easy to make and Better-than-Takeout!

Love Chinese Food? Try our Orange Chicken, Asian Chicken Fingers recipe or General Tso&rsquos Chicken that made it to a wedding venue!

General Tso&rsquos Chicken

General Tso&rsquos Chicken is one of my favorite Chinese foods to order! Sesame Chicken and Lo Mein noodles are among the others I&rsquod instantly order off a Chinese menu because how can you resist sweet and sticky chicken or chow mein? Many General Tso&rsquos Chicken recipes can be complicated and some call for special sauces you&rsquore likely to only find at an Asian store, but not this recipe! All you need are simple pantry ingredients and soy sauce is the only Asian condiment you&rsquoll need, so skip the hoisin sauce!

My breading calls for flour but cornstarch can be easily swapped out, as I have for this General Tso&rsquos Chicken. The process is broken down into 2 simple steps, breading the chicken and then thickening the sauce with the chicken. I can&rsquot get over how simple the ingredients are for the sauce which is why it out beats all the others! I mean how could you go wrong with sugar, water, vinegar, salt, and soy sauce? Do they not call for easy ingredients? No fancy Asian sauces and similar to Japanese chicken the flavors here are so Takeout-style!

Best over steamed rice or a side of Chicken Lo Mein this General Tso&rsquos chicken is even easier than my Orange Chicken Recipe because you&rsquore seriously using the simplest ingredients to throw it together! Garnish with sesame seeds or green onions and serve with steamed broccoli for a complete Chinese Takeout Dinner, only homemade!

1. Prepare the chicken

We use only chicken thigh meat in our General Tso&rsquos Chicken recipe. Chicken breast meat is never a substitute because it is dry, and the texture is tougher than the thigh meat.

Therefore we only order the whole chicken leg from our chicken vendor. He will debone the chicken for us, which I think you can request the same service from your chicken supplier.

Upon receiving the chicken (his worker will deliver to our kitchen), our staff will clean the chicken and drain the chicken thigh in a large colander.

We discard the skin as it does not taste good. Cut the chicken thigh into bite-size pieces, about three to four cm square. We also want to make sure that the thigh meat is entirely free from any small bones. Sometimes we found some bone debris still attached to the meat unnoticed.

Transfer the meat pieces to the kitchen scale to obtain the net weight. We weigh everything with the digital scale down to one gram because consistency is crucial in the restaurant business. It is so useful that I also purchase a digital scale for my kitchen at home, although I am only cooking at home occasionally.

Our standard recipe is based on one kg of deboned thigh meat. We will recalculate the amount of each ingredient based on the actual amount of the meat that we have. Occasionally, the net weight is less than a kg. Sometimes we also make larger batches.

Once we have recalculated the batch size (we use a spreadsheet to do this), we can then move on to the next step, i. e. to prepare the marinade.

  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry, divided
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups snow peas

Combine 4 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and rice wine (or sherry) and egg white in a bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat.

Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon each cornstarch, soy sauce and rice wine (or sherry), water, hoisin and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the chicken cook without turning, breaking up stuck-together pieces, until golden on the bottom, 2 minutes. Stir continue cooking until golden on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, scallions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add peas cook, stirring often, until bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved sauce mixture cook, stirring, until thick, about 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute more.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli (inspired by ShopRite)
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 - 12 Egg Rolls 1 x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Deep-fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese


Two Chinese takeout classics come together in this epic mashup! General Tsao’s Chicken Egg Rolls only take a few ingredients & are simple to make at home.


    for frying (around 4 cups total), divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, dark green portion separated from the white and light green
  • 1 pound Wholesome Pantry boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (11.8-ounce) bottle ShopRite Trading Company General Tsao Style Stir Fry Sauce, divided
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage (about 4 ounces )
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 – 12 egg roll wrappers


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add garlic along with the white and light green portion of the green onion, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes more.
  2. Add cabbage and carrots to the chicken and stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then add 1/4 cup of the General Tsao Style Stir Fry Sauce. Stir until incorporated then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven or other deep, heavy-bottomed skillet, add peanut oil to a depth of 1 inch (around 4 cups). Place over medium heat and bring to between 350°F and 375°F.
  4. While the oil heating, combine flour and water in a small bowl until it forms a paste.
  5. On a clean work surface, lay one egg roll wrapper down diagonally like a diamond, so the bottom point is facing you. Spread around 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture horizontally toward the bottom of the wrapper.
  6. Fold the bottom point up over the filling, then carefully tuck the edge points in over the filling. Roll it up toward the top point, trying to keep the wrapper snug against the filling. Leave some room at the top, brush a little flour/water paste mixture up at the final corner (I smeared it on with a spoon), and use that “glue” to seal your egg roll closed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers. (See post above for visual demonstration of this method)
  7. Once the oil is up to temperature, fry egg rolls in batches of 2-3 at a time, flipping periodically until they’re evenly golden brown on both sides. Remove fried egg rolls to a wire rack-lined baking sheet or paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  8. Serve egg rolls with remaining sauce on the side for dipping, garnishing with the dark green portion of the green onion.


A deep-fry thermometer will help you monitor your oil temperature. As you add the egg rolls, the temperature may start to drop a bit, so adjust the knob on your stovetop accordingly.

Keywords: egg roll, General Tsao, Chinese

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Lighter General Tso’s Chicken

I love playing around with “lightened-up” recipes. You save on so many calories, and if it tastes half as good as the original, I’m a happy camper. But this general tso’s chicken tastes nothing like a skinny version. If anything, I think it tastes even better than the original!

So how is this version lightened-up? Well, for starters, nothing is deep fried. Everything gets baked right in the oven. And if you’re worried about losing that amazing crispness, well, have no fear. With the use of crushed up Corn Flakes, the chicken comes out amazingly crunchy and crisp! You’d be amazed that this was actually baked in the oven.

So there you have it – a Chinese take-out favorite completely lightened up and baked to absolute perfection. It’s so good, no one would believe it’s a homemade “skinny” version!

General Tso's Chicken Recipe

General Tso’s chicken (also known as General Tao’s or Tsao’s chicken) is an iconic Chinese-American takeout of deep-fried chicken coated in a thick sweet sauce. It is practically served in all Chinese takeout restaurants here in the States but you won’t find it anywhere in China. This dish was specifically made for the Western palate.

To make General Tso’s chicken, bite-size pieces of chicken thighs are first coated with a beaten egg then lightly tossed in corn starch then deep fried. All the flavor in the chicken is added later. In a wok, minced garlic and ginger are heated to bring out their amazing aroma. In go chicken stock, sugar, hoisin sauce and sesame oil. Corn starch is added to thicken the sauce. The deep-fried chicken get a quick toss in this sweet and thick sauce and boom! General Tso’s chicken is born in less than 30 minutes.

The sweet sauce in this recipe is nothing short of amazing. However, too much of it is not so great. I love making this dish at home because I have more control of ingredients. The recipe below just makes enough sauce to coat the chicken and not so much that it drowns the chicken and make them soggy, something I find too common in Chinese takeout restaurants. Bleh.

My kids absolutely love this chicken recipe. One even proclaimed he can eat this everyday without ever getting sick of it. I highly doubt it but it melts my heart into a puddle of mush.

Here’s a helpful tip. Leftover chicken is even better the next day as the flavor soaks through. If you don’t mind losing a bit of crispiness in the chicken, double the recipe below for leftover the next day. To complete this meal, I served General Tso’s chicken with steamed rice and lightly-salted steamed broccoli. Nom.

My awesome kitchen tool to prevent hot oil burns: Splatter Screen for Frying Pan

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/4 cups long-grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower

Cook rice according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until smooth. Add snow peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and red-pepper flakes toss to combine, and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken, and toss to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Lift half the chicken from egg-white mixture (shaking off excess), and add to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate repeat with remaining oil and chicken, and set aside (reserve skillet).

Add snow-pea mixture to skillet. Cover cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet (with any juices) toss to coat. Serve with rice.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound 4 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 large egg white, beaten until frothy
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Safflower oil, for frying
  • 4 spicy dried red chiles, broken in half
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped ginger
  • 2 scallions, sliced 1/4 inch thick (1/2 cup) and green parts reserved for serving
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Steamed broccoli and cooked rice, for serving

Combine chicken, egg white, soy sauce, wine, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Whisk together cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another bowl. Let stand while making sauce.

Make the sauce: Whisk soy sauce into cornstarch. Then whisk in wine, sugar, vinegar, and broth.

Heat 1 1/2 inches oil in a deep pot (preferably cast-iron) to 350 degrees. Working in batches, remove chicken from marinade (do not worry about removing excess liquid) and toss in cornstarch mixture. Carefully add to oil and cook until crisp and light golden brown, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over medium. Add chiles, garlic, ginger, and scallion whites. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Add chicken and toss to coat in sauce. Remove from heat. Stir in sesame oil. Garnish with scallion greens and serve immediately with broccoli and rice.


For the Marinade: Beat egg whites in a large bowl until broken down and lightly foamy. Add soy sauce, wine, and vodka and whisk to combine. Set aside half of marinade in a small bowl. Add baking soda and cornstarch to the large bowl and whisk to combine. Add chicken to large bowl and turn with fingers to coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

For the Dry Coat: Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk until homogeneous. Add reserved marinade and whisk until mixture has coarse, mealy clumps. Set aside.

For the Sauce: Combine soy sauce, wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame seed oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set aside.

Combine oil, garlic, ginger, minced scallions, and red chiles in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are aromatic and soft, but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir sauce mixture and add to skillet, making sure to scrape out any sugar or starch that has sunk to the bottom. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Add scallion segments. Transfer sauce to a bowl to stop cooking, but don't wipe out skillet.

To Finish: Heat 1 1/2 quarts peanut, vegetable, or canola oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F and adjust flame to maintain temperature.

Working one piece at a time, transfer chicken from marinade to dry coat mixture, tossing in between each addition to coat chicken. When all chicken is added to dry coat, toss with hands, pressing dry mixture onto chicken so it adheres, and making sure that every piece is coated thoroughly.

Lift chicken one piece at a time, shake off excess coating, and carefully lower into hot oil (do not drop it). Once all chicken is added, cook, agitating with long chopsticks or a metal spider, and adjusting flame to maintain a temperature of 325 to 375°F, until chicken is cooked through and very crispy, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain.

Add chicken to empty skillet and return sauce to skillet. Toss chicken, folding it with a rubber spatula until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Serve immediately with white rice.