Kirbie's Cravings

General Tso’s Chicken

close-up photo of a plate of General Tso's Chicken

This weekend I made General Tso’s Chicken for the first time.

It’s a popular Chinese American dish, consisting of crispy fried chicken cubes coated in a salty, slightly sweet, and mildly spicy sauce. I surprised Mr. K with it and he loved it. He really enjoys these types of dishes and has been pretty excited that I’ve been making them for him now.

photo of chopsticks holding a piece of chicken

I remember the first time I saw General Tso’s chicken on a menu. My first thought was: What the heck is General Tso’s Chicken? The origins of the dish are murky. It was served in America as a Hunan dish but apparently if you visit Hunan, the dish is nowhere to be of General Tso's Chicken on a white plate

According to The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, the dish became popular when Taiwanese chefs in New York served it in their Hunan restaurants.
close-up photo of a piece of chicken
The dish follows the same method as many other popular American Chinese dishes like Orange Chicken and Mongolian Beef. You fry the protein for a crunchy exterior. Definitely not healthy but it does make the meat extra tasty. Then the dish is mixed with a thick, sticky sauce, making it perfect for eating over a bed of rice.
overhead photo of a plate of General Tso's Chicken

I adapted this recipe from Appetite for China. I eliminated a few of the ingredients as well as left out the marinating of the meat to simplify the recipe. I’ve found that because the sauce is so strong, it’s enough to flavor the chicken so skipping the marinade isn’t that noticeable.

If you like this dish, you can also check out my recipes for: orange chicken, honey sriracha chicken, mongolian beef, and beef with broccoli.

General Tso's Chicken

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
General Tso's Chicken a popular Chinese American dish, consisting of crispy fried chicken cubes coated in a salty, slightly sweet, and mildly spicy sauce. 


  • 1 lb raw boneless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch for coating
  • 2 egg whites for coating
  • 2-3 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 8 dried chilis or 1/2 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds garnish
  • 2 tsp chopped green scallions garnish
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

for the sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch


  • Add oil to pot being used for frying and bring to a medium-high heat. Dip chicken pieces in egg white and then in cornstarch. Add to hot oil. Fry chicken in small batches until they turn a golden brown. Then remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Repeat until all chicken is fried.
  • In a small saucepan, whisk together sauce ingredient until cornstarch is dissolved. Then heat the saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly until sauce just begins to thicken and before it begins to boil. Then turn off heat.
  • In a wok or large pan, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Add in minced garlic until aroma of garlic comes out. Add in fried chicken and stir. Pour on sauce and stir until all chicken pieces are coated. Turn off stove. Sprinkle scallions and sesame for garnish. Serve with rice.


Recipe adapted from Appetite for China

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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4 comments on “General Tso’s Chicken”

  1. Girl this photo and all your meals come out looking better than restaurants. You go girl! You inviting people for dinner yet? Haha. Love your blog!

  2. I love General Tso’s but it’s usually just a bit too spicy for me – I’m excited to try your recipe so I can control the heat. Your photos are fantastic! 🙂

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