This General Tso’s Chicken recipe is the perfect homemade dish to satisfy that Chinese takeout craving! Best of all, it’s easy to make and so much better for you than the restaurant version!
General Tso’s Chicken is probably one of the most popular takeout dishes in North America. It also happens to be my husband’s favorites since it’s super flavorful and has that delicious combination of sweet, salty, spicy and sour.
This General Tso’s Chicken recipe comes from food writer Kian Lam Kho‘s debut cookbook, Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees. Kho lives in New York City and is a private chef, culinary instructor, and creator of the blog, RedCook.
He also happens to be the recipient of the Julia Child First Book Award from IACP (International Association of Culinary Professional) in 2016 and I was honored to have a chance to review a copy of this beautiful book to celebrate the arrival of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
There are 158 recipes and the writing is skillfully clear and well-paced. There are 200 colored photos including step-by-step with ingredients; and each one is simply stunning.
Kho patiently explains the fundamental cooking techniques of Chinese cuisine — from pan-frying to light frying, from flash-poaching to oil-poaching, and from simple steaming to flavored steaming.
Each section also thoroughly explains the history, lore and evolution/modernization of Chinese cooking world-wide. Kian is such a gifted story-teller and I treasured every page of this book.
If you are interested in learning more about authentic Chinese cooking, this book is a must-have.
You also have a chance to win your own copy since Kho has generously offered one of my readers their own copy. Just scroll down for the details.
Kho’s version of General Tso’s Chicken was full of authentic flavors – from the super crispy chicken to the awesome, flavorful sauce. It was an instant hit at my house!
The chicken has a light coating of tapioca starch and egg whites which adds that crispy crunchy texture we all love about General Tso’s Chicken. This sticky sauce is full of flavor and perfectly spicy, salty with a nice balance of sweet and heat.
Like many authentic Asian dishes, the prep might be a involve a few steps but I’m telling you, it is totally worth it in this case.
Forget the takeout, this is SO much better!
GENERAL TSO’S WEEKLY MEAL PREP-TIPS FOR YOUR SCHOOL OR WORK LUNCH BOWLS
- Delicious for leftovers or make a batch on Sunday meal prep and pack for your weekly school or work lunch bowls
- Add your favorite roasted or stir-fried vegetables to the your lunch bowls – I used broccoli, zucchini and red bell peppers
- For easier weekly meal prep – chop all the vegetables ahead of time and store in an airtight container the night before.
- Pack with your favorite side – Jasmine rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice or spiralized vegetables – zoodles – I use this lunch container
More lunch bowls:
Recipe from Kian Lam Kho’s cookbook, Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees reprinted with permission from Clarkson Porter
Disclosure: I received a review copy of Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees from the publisher, Clarkson Porter. All opinions are 100% my own.
General Tso’s Chicken
- Main Ingredient:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock or water
- 1/4 cup Shaoxing cooking wine
- 2 Tbsp Chinkiang black vinegar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce (we use light soy sauce)
- 1 tsp hoisin sauce
- 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup tapioca starch
- Final seasoning:
- 3 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup dried red chiles
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 2 Tbsp thinly sliced scallions greens
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add the chicken cubes and stir well. Let marinate for 20 minutes.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in another bowl and mix well.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over high heat until it is shimmering, about 375° F.
- Put the tapioca starch in a large bowl and roll the marinated chicken cubes in the starch. Be sure to coat each piece generously.
- Fry the chicken cubes in the hot oil in two batches until they are golden brown, about 4 minutes.
- Drain the chicken cubes and set them aside on a double layer of paper towels.
- Remove all but 2 Tbsp of the vegetable oil from the wok. Add the garlic and ginger to the wok and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Stir the sauce mixture so the starch is blended completely and pour it into the wok. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Return the chicken to the wok and quickly toss the pieces in the sauce. Add the sesame oil and stir into the chicken.
- Garnish with the toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions greens.
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