Sweet, and spicy is the combination that makes General Tso Chicken a family favorite. Pair with green beans for an easy family dinner.
Replicating our favorite Chinese takeout foods at home is one of our favorite things to do. Some of our favorites include this lovely lemon chicken made in the Instant Pot. This Caramel Chicken is a copycat recipe from a nearby restaurant and Cashew Nut Chicken is one of our all time favorite things to make at home.
Last week was my husband’s birthday so I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner. His usual response is “I like anything you make.” And then I will ask him to be a little more specific and he will say, “chicken” and then a little more specific and I got “stir fry.” General Tso’s Chicken is one of our favorite Chinese takeout choices so that is what I decided to make for his birthday.
The dish was a total hit with everyone and I think my husband mentioned three or four times during dinner how much he liked it! It was great with fresh green beans. I think next time I may try it with snow peas or maybe even asparagus. Something green!
What is General Tso Chicken
General Tso Chicken is a popular dish in many Chinese restaurants in the US. Althought the name of the dish comes from Zuo Zonttang, a military leader from the Hunana Province, there is no real connection between him and the dish. In fact, sometimes the dish is called General Gau Chicken.
General Tso is traditionally a sweet and fairly spicy dish because of the use of red pepper flakes. Moderate the heat in this recipe by increasing or decreasing the amount of red pepper flakes you use. The addition of brown sugar to traditional Chinese recipe ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, give this dish the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.
How to make General Tso Chicken
- Coat the chicken in an egg white and cornstarch mixture. Then cook the coated chicken in vegetable oil. This will give the chicken a golden brown and slightly crisp coating. Once cooked, remove chicken from the pan.
- Next, blanch the green beans until partially cooked. This will make the final cooking process easier and quicker. And it ensures that the the beans cook more evenly. To blanch the beans, bring a pan of water to a boil on the stove top. Add the green beans and let them boil for 2-3 minutes until they are bright green and slightly tender. Remove them from the water into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. Add a mixture of garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, cornstarch and red pepper flakes to the beans.
- In the same pan you used to cook the chicken, add in the bean mixture. Continue cooking until sauce thickens. Then add the cooked chicken and stir to coat and incorporate, about 3-5 minutes.
Check out more of my easy Chinese food recipes:
General Tso Chicken Recipe
General Tso Chicken
- 3 chicken breast boneless, skinless, cut into one inch pieces
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 lb green beans snow peas, or asparagus trimmed and halved crosswise
- 4 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 3 Tbsp light-brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1/2 - 1 tsp red-pepper flakes depending on amount of heat you want.
- 2 large egg whites
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- In a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until smooth and cornstarch has dissolved
- Add snow peas (or green beans), garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of red-pepper flakes to cornstarch mixture; toss to combine and set aside
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
- Add chicken, toss to coat
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- Lift half of the chicken from the egg white mixture (shaking off excess) and add to skillet
- Cook, turning occasionally, until golden (8-10 minutes)
- Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining oil and chicken, adding red pepper flakes. Set aside
- Add the green bean mixture to the skillet
- Cover; cook until beans are tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes
- Return chicken to skillet (with any juices); toss to coat
- Serve over hot rice
Originally posted August 30, 2010
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