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A white bowl of General Tso's Chicken with a pair of chop sticks next to it.

Authentic General Tso's Chicken

Course: Chinese, Entree
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Authentic Chinese Takeout recipe, Cooking with a wok, Easy General Tsos
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 648kcal
This Authentic General Tso's Chicken is the real deal. Use the links below to easily order the Shaoxing rice wine, light soy sauce, and dark soy sauce online. It's super easy! And be sure to use a wok ring when making this dish. Super important! This dish is one of our all-time favorites!
Print Recipe


  • Wok (with wok ring), or large, sturdy saucepan (skillet)



  • lbs chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into 1 to 2-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 egg yolks
  • cup corn starch
  • cups peanut oil for frying, plus an extra tbsp for the marinade mixture.



  • 6 small dried red chiles arbul or Thai red peppers work well, ends snipped and slightly cut down the middle
  • 6 tbsp peanut oil for frying (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsp ginger fresh, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil


  • 1 tbsp scallions green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish
  • 2 cups steamed white rice


  • Place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the corn starch has dissolved and is fully combined. Set aside.
  • Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add the soy sauces, 1 tsp peanut oil, and egg yolks. Mix with two large wooden spoons. Add the corn starch and continue mixing until the chicken pieces are coated with the marinade mixture.
  • Heat the oil (3½ cups) over high heat in your wok (on a wok ring), or heavy 12-inch saucepan. Working in batches, carefully add the coated chicken pieces into the oil, once it has reached 375°F. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels. Set aside.
  • Let the oil cool somewhat, and then very carefully discard. Wipe the wok clean with paper towels and place back on wok ring on the stove. Heat the 6 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering and smoking very slightly.
  • Carefully add the peppers, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add the sauce to the wok and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce has thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Carefully add the cooked chicken to the sauce in the wok and stir to fully coat. Simmer for about 2 minutes, enough time to heat the chicken pieces.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the sesame oil.
  • Transfer the chicken with sauce to a serving platter. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions/scallions. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.



Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are our choice for General Tso's, but you could also go with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, too.  (But thighs are better!).
When you add the corn starch to the marinated chicken, it will take a couple minutes of mixing with large spoons/utensils.  The chicken will seem a little 'gloopy', not like floured chicken when making Southern fried chicken.  This is normal, the chicken will get crisp.  Not overly crispy, but a nice golden crust.  Test one chicken piece after the first cooking to make sure it's cooked through.
Frying the chicken in the oil/wok should be done in a couple batches.  Once you add the chicken to the hot oil, use metal tongs or large utensil to circulate the chicken, and preventing them from sticking to each other. 
Be sure to slit the peppers before adding them to the oil.  They will impart a very small nuance of heat.  If you prefer absolutely no heat at all, leave them out.  
General Tso's Chicken, as we all know, is still pretty good the next day, but, of course, it's best served fresh from the wok.
A sturdy 12-inch skillet or saucepan will work if you don't have a wok.  When using a wok, we highly recommend a wok ring to prevent any spillage of the extremely hot oil.
A wok and wok ring will work on a gas stove or an electric stove, but is best over a flame. 


Calories: 648kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 233mg | Sodium: 950mg | Potassium: 485mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg