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The Hirshon General Tso’s Chicken

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch chunks (or use breast meat, if you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable or peanut oil for deep frying
  • Ingredients (for marinating the chicken):
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons 80-proof vodka
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • For the Dry Coating:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ***
  • Ingredients (for the sauce mixture):
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Chinese Red Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Chinese sesame oil (Kadoya brand preferred)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed thoroughly with 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded ginger
  • 4 stalks scallion, chopped (white part only) + 2 Tbsp. minced green part only
  • 12 dried red hot peppers (chiles de arbol or “Heaven facing upwards” chiles)
  • ***
  • Ingredients to complete the dish:
  • Chicken and sauce as prepared above
  • 1 cup previously stir-fried slightly blackened broccoli flowerettes for the final dish


  1. Combine sugar, soy sauces, shaoxing, vinegars, and sesame oil in a bowl and mix well.
  2. For the Marinade: Beat egg whites in a large bowl until broken down and lightly foamy. Add soy sauce, wine, and vodka and whisk to combine. Set aside half of marinade in a small bowl. Add baking soda and cornstarch to the large bowl and whisk to combine. Add chicken to large bowl and turn with fingers to coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. For the Dry Coat: Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until homogenous. Add reserved marinade and whisk until mixture has coarse, mealy clumps. Set aside.
  4. Heat 1 ½ quarts peanut, vegetable, or canola oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F and adjust flame to maintain temperature.
  5. Working one piece at a time, transfer chicken from marinade to dry coat mixture, tossing in between each addition to coat chicken. When all chicken is added to dry coat, toss with hands, pressing dry mixture onto chicken so it adheres, and making sure that every piece is coated thoroughly.
  6. Lift chicken one piece at a time, shake off excess coating, and carefully lower into hot oil (do not drop it). Once all chicken is added, cook, agitating with long chopsticks or a metal spider, and adjusting flame to maintain a temperature of 325 to 375°F, until chicken is cooked through and very crispy, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain.
  7. Heat the oil in the wok to 375 F. Add the pre-fried chicken pieces and keep turning them for one or two minutes, until each piece is heated through.
  8. Line a dish with paper towels and place the twice fried chicken on the paper to drain off any excess oil.
  9. Pour out the oil from the wok and wipe the wok clean with a paper towel. Reserve 1 1/2 teaspoon of the oil for the next step.
  10. Heat the wok and add the reserved oil, when hot add the garlic, and ginger. Keep stirring for a few seconds, add scallions and hot pepper, saute for one minute.
  11. Add the first sauce mixture and mix well, then gently add the cornstarch broth and keep stirring until the sauce is thickened and turns translucent. If the sauce is too thick, add additional chicken broth and vinegar as needed.
  12. Add the chicken, mix well, and garnish with previously stir-fried lightly blackened broccoli florets which are placed around the chicken for color contrast. Serve hot.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours