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  • The Satiated Blonde

Creating the Perfect General Tso's Chicken at Home

homemade general tso's topped with shallots

When my husband and I were dating, we went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant with his parents. There was some kind of food mishandling and I ended up in the bathroom for hours... over the course of a few days. So, let's just say I haven't had Chinese food in well over a decade--until my hubby made it at home!

I am very sensitive to MSG (but even if I wasn't, it's a neurotoxin, so, no thanks) and we were recently able to find really straightforward ingredients in a tamari sauce and coconut aminos! I don't normally do soy, but the tamari is organic and fermented, so it's not your typical soy. For the dish, we follow this recipe very loosely (especially the sauce component). Instead, we use a mix of tamari and coconut aminos. Of course, we use organic cornstarch, too!

sauces in pantry

*Check out how I use the organic Kung Pao sauce pictured above, and read more about all the sauces I like in my Sauce Season post.

How We Do It:

This isn't an exact science for us, we generally eyeball the proportions and tend to use whatever we have on-hand that gets a close enough taste and texture, with whatever amount of meat we are cooking.

  1. First we cut up organic chicken thighs (we get packages from Costco that can range from 4.5-6lbs) into cubes, and toss them with a few spoonfuls of cornstarch and/or flour. I like to add some garlic and ginger powder in with the flour, and if I remember it in the moment, I'll crack some fresh pepper into the bowl too (no need to add salt, the tamari and amino sauces add that savory saltiness later!).

  2. Make the sauce by combining your favorite coconut aminos/teriyaki sauce/tamari/rice vinegars with some water, brown sugar, cayenne or other spicy peppers and swirl in some cornstarch to act as a thickener.

  3. Flash fry the chicken chunks in a cast iron skillet to brown and form a crust on all sides. We use tallow or lard as a cooking oil.

  4. Then remove any excess oil and add your sauce to coat the meat. With the burner on medium, you'll see the sauce start to bubble as it heats. Stir everything gently as it thickens and the sauce reduces down for a few minutes, and that's it!

  5. For a pop of color and flavor contrast, top with sesame seeds, shallots, scallions, or any other fresh herb you like and enjoy!

adding sauce to chicken in cast iron frying pan

Here we're making an extra large batch for friends, look at it soaking up all that sauce!

P.S. They loved it!

xl batch of general tso's reducing down in a cast iron pan

Have you ever made General Tso's at home? Be sure to share in the comments. There's a recent documentary about it that's interesting called Searching for General Tso, we watched it on the streaming app Kanopy (free with most local library cards!) I say interesting because my husband wanted to watch it, so I was folding laundry in the same room at the time and actually enjoyed it too, haha! Follow me in the kitchen on socials.

If you like this post, you might like this upcoming one, too:

  • Duck Fried Chicken (link to post coming soon!)

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