General Tso’s Chicken is a popular stir-fry dish and for good reason. Battered, crispy chicken bites are tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce, served over rice or your favourite noodles creating a delicious meal you will want to have again and again.
General Tso’s Chicken
We’ve had our fair share of Chinese food over the years and I especially indulged when I lived in Vancouver. I’ve been lucky to enjoy traditional Chinese Banquet meals in both Vancouver and Calgary that has included Bird’s Nest Soup and Peking Duck.
Research dictates General Tso’s Chicken may be named after a 19th century Hunanese general. He most likely never ate this variation of chicken since it was invented by Peng Chang-kuei, a chef from the Hunan province in China. Hunan flavours are some of my favourites. They include hot and spicy, sour, and salty, always leaving your tongue dancing for more.
I’ve played with the flavours in this dish a few times until I got it to the point my husband wanted to eat every last bite promising a belt loosening evening ahead. This typically means the recipe testing process is done and it’s time to post!
How do you make General Tso’s Chicken
It’s easier than you think! You use chicken breasts or thighs and cube them. Marinate for 30-60 minutes in Shaoxing wine and soy sauce. Toss cubes in flour and fry until golden brown.
Remove from pan, make your sauce and return cooked chicken to sauce allowing it to soak up all the flavour leaving extra sauce to drizzle on top. So darn good!
What to serve with the chicken
You can add veggies to this dish or make the chicken without them. I’ve added both snow peas and broccoli together and apart. Another option would be to cook the chicken and then add steamed broccoli, asparagus or steam beans on the side if you don’t want to add them to the stir-fry.
We like to serve this chicken with jasmine rice, however any kind of Asian noodle will work, like chow mein noodles!
Having made this recipe several times in previous months, I love to share what I’ve learned along the way.
- Cook the chicken in small batches. Yes this will take longer but it will ensure they don’t stick.
- I loves me some sambal oelek (chili sauce/paste) and while you can taste the heat when you sample the sauce, it mellows so you can always add more if you love it spicy!
- Cook your chicken in oil that is 335 degrees F and ensure it stays around that temperature for even cooking. Thermometers are great for this!
Love the flavours of Chinese food? Check out these winning recipes!
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- 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed (10 ounces)
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup flour or cornstarch
- salt and pepper to taste
Stir Fry Sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, grated
- 1-2 tsp sambal oelek
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Shaoxing Wine
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup coconut or brown sugar
- 1-2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup water
- 2-3 cups cooking oil (vegetable, peanut, canola)
- Garnish with sliced green onions, chopped parsley
- In a bowl mix together chicken cubes, Shaoxing Wine and soy sauce. Let marinate in refrigerator 30-60 minutes.
- Heat oil in a deep pot to 335 F/170 C. With tongs add chicken pieces carefully into hot oil working in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan. Cook each batch of chicken about 3-4 minutes, turning to ensure even cooking and golden on all sides. Transfer to paper towel lined plate or baking sheet.
- In a bowl mix together chicken stock, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, rice wine vinegar and sugar. Set aside.
- In a wok or stir fry pan heat sesame oil. Add garlic and ginger cooking for about 1 minute. Next add sambal and cook another minute.
- Stir in chicken stock mixture through sugar stirring well to combine. Bring to a light boil then drop to a simmer. Stir in the slurry until it thickens to a glossy sauce. Toss in snow peas and add your chicken mixing well until chicken is coated. Cook 1-2 minutes.
- Garnish with green onions and/or parsley and serve immediately with rice.