28 June 2009

General Tso's Chicken Recipe

As promised, here's that yummy recipe for General Tso's Chicken, which can be found at almost any Chinese take-out restaurant.

(Noteworthy: I have no IDEA how to pronounce "Tso". Please leave a pronunciation key in the comments section if you have an education clue, because up until now, I just said General "tzscho"
REALLYREALLYREALLY fast when ordering, preceded by the # on the menu. Help.)

To make this recipe, you will need:
1 cup (pre-cooked) white rice
Preparation: In a large bowl, rinse 1 cup of rice under running water. The rice will sink to the bottom, so use your hands to move the rice around in the bottom. The water pouring over the sides will be milky in color - this process removes some of the starch from the rice to make it sticky for Asian Recipes. Rinse for about 3 minutes, leaving some starch in (you don't want it to be one, unmovable bowl of rice, so the water should never be clear).

Anyhooters (I'm not a recipe writer, can you tell?), cook the now partially-rinsed rice as directed. Meaning, boil 2 cups water then add 1 cup rice and reduce heat to low. Cover and LEAVE ALONE (no peeking!!) (ok, I stir once just to make sure there's nothing going on in that pot that I don't know about... unattended rice tend to throw major parties... just so you know...).

Let the water cook out for about 18 minutes (the package will say 20+, but something about rinsing the rice means it takes less time). Then "fluff"... whatever that means...
Put the rice off to the side - it's now done!

Next, you'll need to make the marinade which will later be cooked to make the sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 tables spoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons rice wine (*substitute: apple juice - and I think it adds a nice flavor)
1-3 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped finely (more is better in this marinade/sauce)
3 tablespoons of minced ginger (I use the kind in a jar. You can find it in the produce section. MUCH easier than buying ginger and not using the whole thing and SO easy, did I mention easier?)
2 tablespoons of Sesame Oil or Wok Oil (I used the Wok oil)
Red Pepper Flakes (I used about a tablespoon, I like things spicy, but the kids can't handle much more than this)

Mix all these ingredients together. Set aside

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
Chop this into 1-inch cubes. Place in the marinade. Let sit (in the frig) for at least an hour. I did 2.5 and the chicken was juicy and tender.

After it marinades, you'll need to bread and pan fry the chicken. Take the chicken out of the marinade. Take the marinade and put it in a sauce pan, but one large enough that you'll be able to fit all the chicken and some broccoli in later. (I used a large pan that I use for things like Hamburger Helper. Oh, that's right, I make Hamburger Helper.)

Add to the marinade (that's now in the pan):
4-5 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
Beat with a whisk until smooth. Turn heat to medium. Watch this closely, stirring often. You want a slightly thick sauce. (I had to turn it down a little about halfway through)

While the sauce is reducing (and you ARE WATCHING IT, remember?)...

You'll need to coat and pan-fry the chicken, so heat 2/3 cup oil in a pan and:
1-2 eggs, beaten (if using extra large eggs, just 1 will do)
1/2 cup of cornstarch
Coat the chicken in the egg. Then, place 1/2 cup cornstarch in a large ziploc bag, and throw in the chicken/egg mix. Shake like crazy. Shake it fast, but watch yourself, shake it face - show em wat your workin' wid.

Add this to the (now hot) oil in the pan. It should take about 3 minutes to cook the chicken, since it's small. You are wanting it to be golden brown.

Check on the sauce, if it's starting to thicken, go ahead and add the cooked chicken to the sauce mix and turn it down to medium-low. (If it's not yet thick, set the chicken on a paper towel to drain).

Now grab 1 cup frozen broccoli florets and at it to the sauce/chicken mix.

Cover and put on low.

Within the next 4-5 minutes, everything should be glazed in saucey goodness and done.
Serve over the rice you made earlier and enjoy!


This makes, easily 4-6 regular servings. Add extra red pepper flakes if it's not spicy enough for you (I sure did!!).


  1. I am pretty sure you're the only one who could make me want to read through a recipe, with no intention of making the finished product anytime soon.

  2. YOU LEFT A COMMENT. *tear*

    I'm not very good at recipe writing...

  3. From Wikipedia:
    "an easy way to approximate the pronunciation of zuǒ is to extract the dzuo sound from kids-zoology."

    Now you can rest easy :)

    I'd say you write up a good recipe.

  4. It sounds very yummy, but you lost me at cornstarch!

    Or...maybe it will seem less complicated once I have rested from our trip home from AL.


  5. I'm pretty sure it's pronounced:
    General S-owww-s

  6. Tso is pronounced toes! Ask any cook in a Chinese restaurant.

  7. hey so im in the process of trying to make ur tso's chicken and i changed it up a bit because i couldnt get my hands on some of the ingredients. Despite the difference it still smells delicious and i hope it tastes that way. your recipe was a lifesaver because of how simple and easy it is.Thanks a million!

  8. You are SO WELCOME! Glad I could help. If you ever need any help with this one, I've tweaked it a few times since I posted this, so email me!


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