Disclaimer: This recipe will leave you satisfied and speechless from pure epic-ness. Although it does not have the same take-out taste as General Tso from a Chinese restaurant, it is EXPONENTIALLY BETTER.
Those of you who know me, it’s a rare occasion when I am at a loss for words. This recipe did just that. I could not get over the complexity of flavors and textures in all one bite. I gotta tell you, once you make this, it will be very difficult to look at General Tso take out the same…
I was inspired by Cooking Classy’s blog and this is their recipe. The only substitution I sort of made was using black pepper instead of white pepper. Everything else, I closely followed.
Tip: Since there are a number of steps to this recipe, get all of your ingredients and pots/pans out in front of your first so you can easily pull from it all when mixing things.
Homemade General Tso is SO worth the cooking process. Here we go….
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 green onions, sliced, greens and whites divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
Pre-Fried Chicken Coating:
- 3 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Salt and white or black pepper, as desired
- 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 large skillet for sauce making
- 1 dutch oven for frying
- 3 Medium bowls for mixing
- 4 plates for chicken transferring
- MARINATE CHICKEN. In a mixing bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, 2 Tbsp cornstarch and the chicken broth. Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour 6 Tbsp of the hoisin mixture over chicken, seal bag and allow to marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.
- TSO TSAUCE. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Once hot, add chopped whites of green onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and saute 1 minute. Add 2 cups of hoisin sauce mixture (reserve remaining little bit) to skillet, season with salt and white pepper to taste (you may not even need salt) and cook, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat, cover with lid.
- CHICKEN COATING. In a shallow dish, vigorously whisk egg whites until foamy, set aside. In a separate shallow dish, whisk together cornstarch, flour and baking soda, then add remaining hoisin sauce mixture and stir until mixture resembles small chunks of flour. Warning: this looks really weird at first. Try to break up the flour clumps so they are as small as possible. This step helps with the texture of the fry on the chicken that is native to the General Tso dish.
- Heat 4 cups oil in a dutch oven over medium heat to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile, remove chicken from refrigerator and remove chicken from marinade, shaking of excess marinade, and transfer to a large plate lined with several paper towels. Cover with more paper towels and pat dry.
- Place half of the chicken into the egg whites and toss to coat, then lift and allow excess to run off and immediately transfer to cornstarch mixture. Toss in cornstarch mixture (separating pieces as they stick together or working with just a few at a time) to evenly coat then transfer to a plate and repeat coating process with remaining chicken.
- FRY. coated chicken in batches in hot oil. I did this in 4 batches to make sure the chicken in the dutch oven wasn’t over crowded. Fry until golden brown and has cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain and repeat frying process with remaining chicken.
- COAT. Warm sauce from skillet over medium-low heat until heated through. Place chicken in a large bowl and toss with warm sauce to evenly coat. Serve warm topped with sliced green onions and optional sesame seeds if desired.
*Served over a bed of white or brown rice goes well with this dish. Pair with a Chardonnay 🙂
ENJOY ALL OF IT. IMMEDIATELY.