Best General Tso's Chicken from Serious Eats

Recipe by KateL
READY IN: 40mins




  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites until broken down and lightly foamy.
  • Add soy sauce, wine, and vodka. Whisk to combine. Set aside half of marinade in a small bowl.
  • To large bowl, add baking soda and cornstarch and whisk to combine. Add chicken and turn with fingers to coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • In a second large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk until homogenous. Add reserved marinade from Step 3. Whisk until mixture has coarse, mealy clumps. Set aside. (I would put this in a large plastic bag.).
  • SAUCE.
  • In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame seed oil, and cornstarch. Stir with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, combine oil, garlic, ginger, minced scallions and red chilies. Place over medium heat (that's right, don't preheat skillet!).
  • Cook, stirring, until vegetables are aromatic and soft, but not browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir sauce mixture and add to skillet, making sure to scrape out any sugar or starch on the bottom. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute.
  • Add scallion segments. Transfer sauce to a bowl to stop cooking, but don't wipe out skillet.
  • Heat 1 1/2 quarts oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F and adjust flame to maintain temperature.
  • One piece at a time, remove chicken from marinade and place in dry coat mixture and toss to coat and press dry mixture onto chicken to help it adhere. When all chicken is in dry coat mixture, make sure every piece is well-coated.
  • Lift chicken 1 piece at a time, shake off excess coating, and carefully LOWER into hot oil (DO NOT DROP IT!). Once all chicken has been added, cook, agitating with long chopsticks or a metal spider, and adjust flame to maintain temperature of 325-375°F, until chicken is cooked through and very crispy, about 4 minutes.
  • Transfer cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain.
  • Add chicken to empty skillet (the one you didn't wipe out in Step 12) and return sauce to skillet. Toss chicken, folding it with a rubber spatula until all pieces are thoroughly coated.
  • Serve immediately with white rice. (You may prefer to have more than 1/2 cup rice per serving.).