General Tso's Chicken

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 32 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 12 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or thighs, cubed

2 eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cornstarch, as required

5 cups frying oil, canola or grapeseed

8 small dried red chile peppers

6 green onions, sliced


3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sake

2 tablespoons sugar

6 1/4 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons minced ginger

3 tablespoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons cornstarch slurry, (cornstarch and water mixed) for thickening the sauce

Fried or steamed rice, for serving

Whole cilantro leaves, for serving


  1. Combine the diced chicken with the eggs, and the light soy sauce and season with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken to a medium bowl and add enough cornstarch to coat the chicken; it should form a sticky-like paste around the chicken. Cover the bowl and let rest for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

For the sauce:

  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch slurry, in a large saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pan to 350 to 360 degrees F.
  3. Carefully test the oil by dropping a single piece of chicken into it and cook for around 4 minutes. When the oil is hot enough, slowly add a few pieces of chicken at a time, until all the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken from the oil to paper towels to drain.
  4. Add a little more oil to a clean wok or skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the chiles and green onions to saute for around 1 minute. Add the already cooked chicken to the wok and toss around with the chiles so that all the chicken gets great flavor. At this point add the warmed sauce mixture, a few spoonfuls at a time, until all the chicken is coated but not soaking wet.
  5. If the sauce is a little runny add the cornstarch slurry, a little at a time, to thicken the sauce. Remember you have to cook the sauce until bubbling after you have added the cornstarch. This normally takes a couple of minutes over low heat. Remove the chicken mixture from the wok to a serving bowl and serve immediately on fried or steamed rice. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves before serving.