General Tso's Chicken

This General Tso’s Chicken recipe features perfectly crispy coated chicken is tossed in a deliciously sweet and spicy sauce and served with steamed rice.  Ready in less than 30 minutes and better than the takeout version, for spicy food lovers General Tso’s Chicken is totally irresistible!

For more favorite Chinese takeout recipes be sure to try our Chinese Beef and Broccoli, Kung Pao Chicken, and Mongolian Beef!

general tso's chicken recipe best chinese takeout panda express copycat restaurant

What is General Tso’s Chicken?

General Tso’s Chicken has been one of America’s most popular Chinese takeout dishes for decades.  You’ll find it on practically every Chinese menu in every Chinese restaurant in the U.S.

Bite-sized pieces of tender chicken are dipped in a coating and fried until perfectly crispy, then tossed in a deliciously sweet and spicy sauce.  Steamed broccoli is a popular accompaniment in many takeout places and of course a bed of fragrant steamed rice.  For spicy food lovers, General Tso’s Chicken is practically irresistible!

Where Did General Tso’s Chicken Originate?

Its origin goes back to the 1950’s in Taiwan where it was first created by a Hunan chef named Peng Chang-Kuei.   He developed this dish in his restaurant and named it after a 19th Hunanese general.  While the original dish of the 50’s shares some similarities to today’s version (bold, hot, spicy, heavy, salty), the version we know today that is sold as a popular takeout dish is largely a Chinese-American invention.  And a delicious one at that!

So the next time you’re craving General Tso’s chicken, skip the takeout joint.  Not only will this rival your favorite takeout or restaurant version, it’ll be hot and ready in less than 30 minutes!

general tso's chicken recipe best chinese takeout panda express copycat restaurant

General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started!

Combine the sauce ingredients in another bowl until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved and set aside until later.

Place the chicken in a medium-sized mixing bowl.   In a small bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients together and then pour over the cubed chicken. Stir to thoroughly coat and set aside.

Combine the coating ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Pick up the chicken pieces and shake off the excess marinade, then dredge the pieces in the cornstarch mixture, evenly coating the pieces and shaking off the excess.

coating the meat

Heat the oil in the deep fryer to 375 degrees F.  I’m using my Presto Cool Daddy Deep Fryer which is perfect for smaller amounts  like this.

Note:  If you don’t have a deep fryer you can also fill a non-stick skillet with an inch or so of oil and fry the chicken in that.

Working in batches, deep fry the chicken until the chicken is cooked through, golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

deep frying

Place the chicken on paper towels to drain.

deep frying

Heat the tablespoon of oil in a wok or large heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the garlic, ginger and red chilies for about 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the sauce and simmer until thickened, a minute or two.

Add the fried chicken and stir to thoroughly coat. Simmer for a minute until the chicken has absorbed the sauce but is still crispy. Stir in the green onions.

general tso's chicken recipe best chinese takeout panda express copycat restaurant

Serve immediately with steamed rice and broccoli (traditional in many takeout places).


general tso's chicken recipe best chinese takeout panda express copycat restaurant

For more delicious Chinese recipes be sure to try our:

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet June 17, 2019

Related Recipes

©2021 All rights reserved. for more information read our Terms of use & Privacy Policy