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General Tso's Chicken (Changsha Version)

Fancy some General Tso’s chicken? That was exactly how I asked and confused my kids. Their immediate response were like…huh, who is that?? Well, names aside, this General’s chicken does taste really good. :-) According to the author of the cookbook, this is a Hunanese version of the General Tso’s chicken, the other is from Taiwan. There isn’t a lot of difference between the two, just that the former uses black vinegar and the latter uses white vinegar. I like both versions of vinegar. So, next time I’ll try cooking the white vinegar, Taiwan version.

Recipe adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook By Fuchsia Dunlop

General Tso's Chicken (Changsha Version)

(Printable Recipe)


4 Boned Chicken Thighs with skin (about 12 oz)
6-10 small Dried Red Chilies
3/4 inch Piece Fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp Double Concentrate Tomato Paste-mixed with 1 Tbsp Water
3 Scallions, green parts only, sliced
1 tsp Sesame Oil
Peanut Oil for cooking

For the marinade:
2 tsp Light Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 Egg Yolk
4 Tbsp Potato Flour

For the sauce:
1/2 tsp Potato Flour
2 tsp White Sugar
2 tsp Chinkiang Vinegar
1/4 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 tsp Light Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Stock or Water


Unfold the chicken thighs and lay them, skin side down, on a chopping board. Use a sharp knife to make a few shallow crisscross cuts into the meat-this will help the flavors to penetrate. Then cut each thigh into bite-size slices, an uneven 1/4 inch or so in thickness. Place the chicken slices in a bowl.

To make the marinade, add the soy sauces, sugar, and egg yolk to the chicken and mix well, then coat the chicken slices with potato flour.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Use a pair of scissors to snip the dried chilies into 3/4-inch pieces, discarding the seeds.

Heat enough oil for deep-frying to 350-400˚F. Add the chicken and deep-fry until it is crisp and golden. (If you are deep-frying in a wok with a relatively small volume of oil, fry the chicken in batches.) Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour the oil into a heatproof container, and clean the wok if necessary.

Return the wok to a high flame with 2-3 Tbsp of the oil. Add the dried chilies and stir-fry briefly until they are fragrant and just changing color (do not burn them). Toss in the ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds more, then add the tomato paste and stir-fry until the oil is stained a deep orange.

Add the mixed ingredients for the sauce, stirring as it thickens. Tip in the chicken and stir vigorously to coat it in sauce. Add the scallions and stir a few times, then, switch off the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.


  1. I love this dish, but have not attempted to make it yet...want to make a TVP (soy) chunk version like at Whole Foods that is out of this world...

  2. I made your stuffed red peppers and my hubby and I loved it. It's up on my blog. Thank you!

  3. I love Gen. Tso's chicken, but haven't made it at home. Yours looks delicious... better than at the restaurant!

  4. I have never had this. I see the package in Costco and wondered about it but wouldn't by it.
    Now I can make my own.

  5. The first time I heard of this dish was when watching The Big Bang Theory. Reading the recipe I can see why those cooky funsters put the dish into their weekly rotation.

    I'll have to give this a try!

  6. Gotta try this version for sure... I usually do mine the lazy way, using Gen. Tso sauce from Trader Joe's :)

    Shame on me..

  7. Oh yum!! This looks fantastic!!

  8. First time I hear about Tso's Chicke and I'm seduced by the recipe, will try it soon!

  9. General Tso's chicken is my favorite (other than eggrolls, oh,and Mu Shu pork...and there is peking duck...)chinese dish

  10. Thank you very much!!! Delicious


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