General Tso's Chicken (aka tasty tasty chicken)

I think that if I ever end up unemployed, I will make a cookbook of all my recipes. I don't know very many, but I have lots of other crap I could write instead. I don't think anyone would publish it, and if someone did, I don't think people would buy it. But that doesn't stop me from wasting time making these recipe pages. And besides, who am I to deprive the world of tasty chicken?

Click here if you hate reading, and want a printer-friendly version of just the recipe.

So this isn't my recipe. It comes from college. But it's still good. I swear. Damn. See, I swear.

There's nothing fancy or exotic in this recipe, you can get all the ingredients from wherever you normally buy your food. Unless you buy your food at Tigermart or 7-11. Cuz there's more than bean dip and Slim Jims in this. Maybe you shouldn't cook.

I like to do this recipe in a wok, which looks like a frying pan with a round bottom. Yes, I said "round bottom". Yeah, okay. You're real funny. You can get the kind that you can use on a stove, but that only really works well with a gas-burner stove (open flame). Oh, and if you want to use the wok on a stove, you probably need to get one that's got at least a flat spot on the bottom, otherwise it'll like tip over and stuff. Laughing again? Dork. Or you can get an electric kind, those work okay too. I got both. I'm the wok queen.

This is a wok. You can find these at just about any store these days.

This is ewok. You can find these on the forest moon of Endor. This is not A wok.

OK, let's do it.

Ingredients (serves... I don't know, more than 6 people):
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp minced ginger root
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth

- 3 lbs chicken, cut into bite-size chunks
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cornstarch
- vegetable oil for deep-frying

The Rest
- 2 cups sliced green onions
- 16 small dried hot peppers


1) Mix 1/2 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup water, until cornstarch dissolves. This step is fun because if you add the water to the cornstarch slowly, while stirring it, you make oobleck. You can play with it and stuff, it's weird cuz sometimes it's liquid and sometimes it's solid. If you don't know what I'm talking about... then that's probably good.

2) Add rest of sauce ingredients and stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside in refrigerator.

1) Mix chicken with 1/4 cup soy sauce and white pepper. I don't know why white pepper, I'm sure black pepper will be fine. I'm not a hater, I like pepper of all colors and descent.
2) Add the egg, mix thoroughly.
3) Add the 1 cup of cornstarch and mix until chicken pieces are coated evenly. Stop playing with the cornstarch, okay? You may need to add some vegetable oil or some water to prevent too much clumpy stickiness.
4) In a wok or saucepan or deep frying pan, heat 1.5-2 inches of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken pieces, a few pieces at a time. The pieces take about 3-4 minutes to cook through. When you remove the chicken from the oil, place on paper towels to absorb the extra oil.

This is the most time-consuming part, because the battered chicken pieces are all sticky and don't like to be separated. Chopsticks or tongs are useful.

Putting it together
Don't eat the chicken yet! OK, you can try one. Eeees goood.

Here's where you add the heat. Those little dried red peppers, the hot part is on the inside, where the seeds are. So if you want it to be spicy, slit the peppers open, or cut the ends off so all the caliente goodness can be free, freeee. Otherwise, just leave them intact.

Now, in a wok or saucepan or deep frying pan (you can dump the oil out of the one you used for frying) heat up a couple tbsp of oil, and sautee the peppers and green onions for 1-2 minutes. Don't let it get too hot, or the peppers will start to smoke and then you'll basically be tear gassing yourself. It sucks.

Take the sauce mix and dump it in there, stir it up, and let it heat to a boil. It should start to thicken a little.

As soon as that happens, throw the chicken in there and toss to coat. Turn off the heat and cover the pan, to let everything settle down.


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