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+ servings

Quick General Tso’s Chicken

Why pay for takeout when you can make this quickly at home.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Chicken, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chiles de arbol uses, easy Chinese chicken recipes, quick general tso's chicken recipe, using dried chile peppers
Servings: 6
Calories: 390kcal



  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch chunks (see NOTES)
  • 3 tbs oil see NOTES
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 6 dried red whole chiles see NOTES
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced, for garnish


  • 5 tbs honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium preferred
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 3 tbs unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs Sriracha
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated


  • 1 lb fresh green beans trimmed
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper


For beans:

  • Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Spread beans on a large baking sheet, drizzle with the oil and toss until coated. Sprinkle with salt. Roast, turning halfway through the cooking for 12-15 minutes. Beans should be crisp-tender and be blackened in spots. Set aside.

For Chicken:

  • Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Mix cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken, tossing to coat all surfaces. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Cook half the chicken, about 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally until chicken is completely cooked and has a light golden crust. Place chicken on a plate and set aside.
  • Now fry the remaining chicken—if using breast you may have to add an additional tablespoon of oil at this point.—for 5 minutes. Now add the chiles and cook, stirring to make sure the dried peppers make contact with the bottom of the pan so they can toast and puff up, about 1 more minute.
  • Stir in the sauce and return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Toss so all the chicken is coated with the sauce. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
  • Transfer chicken to a serving dish and top with the sliced green onion.
  • Serve with the prepared green beans and Jasmine rice.


You may substitute chicken breast for the thighs or use a combination of both breast and thighs. However, chicken thighs are the authentic ingredient and produce a better-tasting dish.
If you do use all breast meat, the second batch of chicken may require another tablespoon or so of oil in the pan.
If you cannot find dried hot red chiles (I used chiles de arbol), you can use dried red pepper flakes. About a teaspoon should be adequate. Add more if you like more heat. Same goes for the dried whole red chiles.
*Nutritional values calculated WITHOUT rice



Serving: 1serving | Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 1539mg | Potassium: 731mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1047IU | Vitamin C: 77mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg