If you’ve never heard of General Tso’s (pronounced sow) chicken, chances are, you probably don’t live in America. General Tso’s chicken is a standard dish served at many take out joints, but it’s definitely not something people in China eat. Though I don’t eat Chinese take out in a regular basis, whenever I do order it, this is what I get. There’s something so delicious about the sticky/spicy sauce that I love mopping up with some fried rice.
I could have cut the calories by not deep frying the chicken, but I went for it with full force because I wanted to replicate the take out version as much as possible. The end result? Tender bits of chicken were dunked in a sweet/tangy/spicy sauce with noticeable ginger/garlic notes. However, I can’t seem to figure out which ingredient it is that I’m missing (other than the MSG).
Recipe: General Tso’s Chicken
Adapted from Alida
Makes 2-3 servings
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a wok when I made this dish, but I would definitely make it in a wok next time. So be sure to use yours if you have one!
6 dried red chilies, sliced in half (remove seeds if you want it to be less spicy)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound of chicken thighs, cut into chunks
½ cup of corn starch
3 cups of peanut, grapeseed, or vegetable oil (for frying)
1 scallion (for garnish)
1. In a small bowl, mix together tomato paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. Set aside.
2. In a small pot, heat up the peppers with a little bit of oil. The peppers should darken slightly. Lower heat and add garlic. Add ginger. Add the sauce mixture from step 1.
3. In another bowl, whisk eggs. Slowly, add corn starch. If you see lumps, it’s ok. Add chicken pieces into batter, piece by piece (I used chopsticks). Transfer to a plate.
4. Heat up a large pot (larger than the one I used). Add chicken in batches, being careful not to let the chicken pieces touch each other. Fry each piece for about 3-4 minutes.
5. Coat chicken pieces with a little bit of sauce at a time. Top with scallions and serve with rice.