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A close up shot of General Tso's Chicken

General Tso's Chicken

A homemade recipe for one of the most popular Chinese takeout dishes. Not as difficult as you would think and SO delicious!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Prep 45 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
marinating time 30 minutes
Total 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 621 kcal
Author Michelle


For the Marinade & Sauce:

  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • cups water
  • pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For Coating & Frying:

  • 3 egg whites
  • cups cornstarch
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1-2 green onions thinly sliced (optional, garnish)


  1. Make the Marinade: Whisk the hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and water in a bowl. Of this mixture, place 6 tablespoons into a zip lock storage bag and add the chicken; seal and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Set aside the remaining marinade in the bowl.
  2. Make the Sauce: While the chicken is chilling in the marinade, heat the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Add 2 cups of the hoisin marinade to the skillet and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture is dark brown and thickened. Remove from heat and cover to keep the sauce warm.
  3. Prepare the Coatings: Whisk the egg whites in a shallow dish until foamy; set aside. Combine the cornstarch, flour, baking soda, and remaining hoisin marinade in a second shallow dish; mix until it resembles coarse meal.
  4. Prepare the Chicken: Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and from the marinade. Pat the marinated chicken dry with paper towels. Toss half the chicken into the foamy egg whites until well coated, then dredge the chicken in the cornstarch mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer the coated chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  5. Cook the Chicken: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat until the oil registers 350 degrees. Fry half the chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning each piece halfway through cooking. Transfer the cooked chicken onto a paper towel lined plate to drain. Return the oil to 350 degrees before frying again. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  6. Finish: Warm the sauce over medium heat until simmering. Turn off the heat and add the fried chicken pieces. Toss to coat and serve with sliced green onions to garnish, as well. White jasmine rice and steamed broccoli are favorite sides here!

Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition Facts
General Tso's Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 621 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 109mg36%
Sodium 1696mg74%
Potassium 778mg22%
Carbohydrates 86g29%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 43g86%
Vitamin A 155IU3%
Vitamin C 3.5mg4%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.