Homemade General Tso's Chicken With Red Chili Peppers

A bowl of General Tso's chicken served over rice

Ravsky / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
450 Calories
29g Fat
17g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 450
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 185mg 62%
Sodium 931mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 164mg 822%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 782mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for General Tso's chicken is a restaurant favorite that is based on an authentic Hunan dish roughly translated into "ancestor meeting-place chicken."

If you like, you can thicken the sauce by whisking two teaspoons of cornstarch into the other sauce ingredients. For more sauce, increase the sauce ingredients by multiplying by 1/2 (i.e., 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine, etc.).


For the Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • Freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste

  • Cornstarch, as needed

  • Oil, for frying

  • 3 medium green onions, thinly sliced

  • 5 to 10 small red chile peppers, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth, or water

  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

Steps to Make It

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Combine the chicken cubes with the light soy sauce, egg, and pepper.

  2. Add enough cornstarch to nicely coat the chicken, using cooking chopsticks or your fingers to mix it in.

  3. For the Sauce: In a small bowl, combine dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, sugar, broth, ginger, garlic, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch, if desired, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

  4. Set aside.

  5. Heat the oil in a wok to 350 F to 360 F / 175 to 180 C. Drop the chicken cubes into the hot oil, a few pieces at a time, and deep-fry until crispy (3 to 4 minutes). Remove the chicken cubes and drain on paper towels.

  6. Drain and clean out the wok. Heat 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the green onions and the dried chile peppers. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).

  7. Return the deep-fried chicken cubes back into the wok. Stir-fry until the chicken cubes are browned (about 1 minute).

  8. Push the chicken up to the sides of the wok. Give the sauce a quick re-stir and add into the middle of the wok. If you added cornstarch to the sauce, stir it continually for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken.

  9. Push the chicken into the sauce and mix. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes until the chicken is nicely coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.