General Tso’s Chicken

I know, I’m not remotely Asian. But wow is this good General Tso’s! I’ve tried making it a few times and after some tweaking, this will be the recipe marked ‘save’.  The fireman said that it tasted like Chinese Take-Out. So….score!

Last night, I made this for the family, but I also made one of those Sun-Bird packet seasonings of Bourbon Chicken. Have you ever used those? They’re really good, but I wanted to make General Tso’s from scratch. I really like cooking Chinese food. However, I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, and if it was a total fail, like my Oaty Garbanzo Bean Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Fail, then I wanted back-up.

By the way, have you ever tried the Kung Pao Sun-Bird packet? Soooooo amazing. I haven’t been able to find it since I lived in the south. I have found some bottled sauce that I have used to good success, but nothing like that packet.

Oh, and don’t get me started about when I was trying to make good Sesame Chicken. I lived in Pensacola, FL and used to go to this little Chinese grocery store. It was in an old remodeled gas station and the rows were packed with goods. I stood out, a tall redhead, and the ladies would ask what I was making. I’d tell them that I was trying to make Sesame Chicken and sometimes stories about what I did wrong. They got a good giggle over me a few times.

Anyway, back to General Tso’s, I cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Made this cornstarch slurry to marinade the chicken in. The slurry is just an egg, cornstarch, soy sauce and pepper.

Pour this over the chicken and let it marinade for 15 minutes or so. Then get your oil nice and hot and fry in smallish batches. Just drop in pieces of meat with your fingers, so that you are shaking some of the excess marinade off in the process.

While you’re browning the chicken, mix up this sauce. It’s white wine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chicken broth, sugar, cornstarch, and red chili flakes.

Once the chicken is nicely browned on all sides, set it on a plate. If there’s any excess oil in the pan, pour it out, we don’t need it. Pour this sauce into the pan. It will thicken very quickly. Let it start to boil, then add your chicken back in and let it simmer just thicken a bit. This will only take a few minutes, so if you have stir fry vegetables, now is the time to add them, or steam them. I nearly always steam them seperately, so that the kids can control how much sauce to put on them.

On the other side, I had mixed this Bourbon Chicken sauce.

You add soy sauce and water, the instructions are on the back. Stir fry your bite sized chicken pieces in a little oil. Once it’s cooked, you throw this sauce into it and let it thicken. Again, it only takes a few minutes and it’s thickened as well.

Bourbon Chicken, pretty and super tasty. It was a little sweeter, but the kiddos really liked it.

My favorite way to serve this is to use a bed of rice, or cauliflower rice, which I’ll tell you all about tomorrow, then top with stir fry veggies, and then pour meat and sauce all over the top. I top mine with extra red chili flakes  for extra heat. They’re not super spicy, but give it so much extra flavor.

I have to tell you, I ended up getting seconds….

And then I got a little thirds….

But this is very low carb with the cauliflower rice, so I didn’t feel so bad.

But then we went out to Dairy Queen and I had a Peanut Buster Parfait. It was to celebrate the kid’s last day of school. I was obligated to participate.

That’s my story and I’m sticken’ to it…

The Recipe:

General Tso’s Chicken

Cornstarch Slurry: 4 Tbl cornstarch, 1 Tbl + 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 egg, pepper to taste


3 chicken breasts
4 Tbl brown sugar (I used Ideal zero calorie sweetener)
1/4 tsp grated ginger
1/8 tsp minced garlic
3 Tbl rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbl water
4 Tbl cornstarch
1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes

Cut 2-3 chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Let sit in the slurry for about 15 minutes. Heat oil to medium high. Drop chicken into oil with your fingers or a slotted spoon and shake off marinade. Fry in batches so that you don’t crowd the pan. Fry until browned, about 3-5 minutes, set in a plate to the side. When it’s all fried, pour out any excess oil. Pour sauce into pan and heat to boiling. Once boiling, add chicken back into pan, and simmer for a few minutes until thick.

Serve over rice and stir fry vegetables, garnish with additional red chili pepper flakes.


4 thoughts on “General Tso’s Chicken

  1. Jana H. says:


    I’ve not had too much success with cooking Chinese, though I must admit, I haven’t tried all that hard, either. lol This looks yummy, though. And I’m interested to hear about this cauliflower rice. I don’t like white or brown rice so I generally skip the “serve over rice” portion of most recipes. But if cauliflower can make a better rice than rice, I’d like to know! 😀

  2. JenMarie's Cafe says:

    I wouldn’t go as far to say that it’s better than rice, cause it doesn’t taste like rice. Rice lovers probably wouldn’t agree. It just has similar texture, but not as starchy and filling.

  3. Jana H. says:

    Sounds perfect to me, since I don’t even LIKE rice. hehehe

    I’ll admit, I’ve never had steamed cauliflower, so I’m not sure I’ll like it either. But I’m willing to give it a try. 😉

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