One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".

Sunday, April 24, 2011

General Tso's Chicken

While I've seen this dish on the menu of many Chinese restaurants, I've often wondered who was General Tso?  Evidently he was a highly-respected soldier in the Hunan region... a region that appears to have never heard of this recipe.  No matter.  Regardless of the origin of this dish, it is delicious, no matter it's name!  

I came across this version on a wonderful blog called My Adventures in Food.  The recipe is fairly simple, using easily accessible ingredients found in your local grocery store.  And the flavor is outstanding, rivaling any found at your favorite Chinese restaurant.  I'll be making this again and again!

General Tso’s Chicken

1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce*
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced**
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 large egg whites
1-1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Vegetable oil for frying

2 green onions, green parts thinly sliced

*I used a light soy sauce.  I found I needed to add about 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt to balance all the flavors.
**I grated the ginger, using a medium-sized Microplane.

To make the sauce, whisk together the hoisin sauce, white vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, and water in a bowl. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the hoisin mixture. Stir until the sauce is dark brown and has thickened. Remove from heat and cover.

Cut chicken into 1-inch chunks. Whisk the egg whites in a shallow dish until foamy. Combine cornstarch, flour, and baking soda in a separate shallow dish. (I whisked the dry ingredients to really blend them.) Toss half the chicken into the foamy egg whites until well-coated, and then dredge the chicken in the cornstarch mixture, making sure all sides are coated. Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.

Heat oil in a fryer (or Dutch oven, or a large wok) until it registers 325ºF. Fry the chicken in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning pieces over halfway through cooking. Transfer cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

Re-warm the sauce over medium heat until bubbling. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Garnish with sliced green onions.


Lyndas recipe box said...

This looks delicious! I've bookmarked it to try soon.
I have the same little white bird figurines.

La Table De Nana said...

Your photos are just beautiful..This is such a wonderful dish..Thanks for your recipe:)

Pomegranate juice said...

Wow. Really looking delicious.I just loved it....

Marysol said...


It's been a while since I've made General Tso's and suddenly I'm developing a craving, and it's early yet.

Linda said...

Gorgeous! Simply gorgeous!

a quiet life said...

your photos are just gorgeous!

Deana Sidney said...

You made the dish look so good... which it surely doesn't in the Chinese takeout container. I think it is so much better made at home with a great recipe!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

It's hard to convince my hubby to take me to a Chinese restaurant, so instead, I'll have to make this! It's full of all the flavors I love...thanks, Lori!

Martha said...

Gorgeous photos! I found you over at Taste Spotting. This is my husband's favorite dish. It will be nice to be able to make it for him instead of ordering it!

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

One of my favorites Lori, and your version is one of the prettiest I've seen. Yum! Now you've got me craving it. :D xo

Kathy Walker said...

My hubby found your recipe and called it to my attention this morning. We are going to make it!

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

Thank you all for your kind comments!

Unknown said...

Excellent; I've been looking for this sauce recipe. I think it might work out alright with grilled eel also

Peggy said...

I love general tso's and always wondered what the origin was, myself! Glad to know I'm not the only one!

But you're right, it doesn't matter the origin, I just know that your version has just got to be tasty by the looks of it!

Unknown said...

Hey I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog and I've chosen you for the Versatile Blogger Award! You can stop by to pick it up. Have a blessed weekend!

lena said...

i havent heard of general tso and also this version of chicken but looking at the photos here, i can say that it looks incredicble and maybe even better than the ones at chinese restaurants!

Lori said...

Mmmm. . .you got some really delicious looking food on your blog!! I am a new follower and hope that you will stop by our blog soon!


Kathy Walker said...

Mmmmm....this was delicious!! We made this and loved it!!

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

Kate, I'm so glad you enjoyed it, too!

Monette said...

My teenager will love this! This and sesame chicken are his favorites so I am going to surprise him this weekend! Thanks! I hope it will turn out good.

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

I'll be anxious to hear how you like it. Thanks for visiting All That Splatters!


Sonia! The Healthy Foodie said...

That's the most amazing, mouth watering and gorgeous looking General Tso's Chicken that I've seen in my entire life! I will attempt making it myself shortly, with some slight variations, and can only hope that I manage to capture it half as good as you did.

Unknown said...

This turned out great! I deep fried the chicken. Wasn't sure by the directions if it was supposed to be deep fried or just pan fried. The sauce I will want to change up a bit next time. I think the hoisin flavor was too dominant, didn't seem like General Tso. The chicken coating was perfect and crispy. Served it with rice and sautéed broccoli.

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

I pan-fried the chicken, though since the recipe called for a Dutch oven, the intent may have been to deep fry it.

Thanks for the feedback, Brittany. Thanks for visiting All That Splatters!


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