The Unorthodox Epicure — General Tso’s Chicken Wings

Of all the Chinese joints I’ve ever eaten at, only one has creative enough to re-purpose two of its most popular menu selections in coming up with a newfangled appetizer.

General Tso’s Chicken Wings.

I first saw General Tso’s Chicken Wings little more than a year ago at a restaurant in Seabrook, Texas — only a stone’s throw from NASA. Though I tend to boycott restaurant wings (they price them too high), I had little choice but to add this appetizer to my already-huge order. I’m glad I did, because neither do other restaurants in the area offer such a simple combo, nor have they been willing to make it as a special order.

So be it. I’ll make my own. You should too.

These General Tso’s Chicken Wings are a combination of some fabulously crispy-juicy battered chicken, and a slightly spicy sweet sauce that screams Chinese takeout. Though wings are widely considered to be an appetizer — great for football watching — this finger food works just as well as a meal, served alongside some fried rice and perhaps some dry-fried green beans. Either way, just make sure you have plenty of napkins.

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General Tso’s Chicken Wings

plateful of chicken wings in General Tso's sauce

General Tso’s Chicken Wings — The finger food version of a popular Chinese dish

5.0 from 2 reviews
General Tso's Chicken Wings
General Tso's Chicken Wings — The finger food version of a popular Chinese dish
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
  • 3½ lbs - Chicken wings, separated at joint
  • 4 cups (approx) - Milk
  • ½ cup - All-purpose flour
  • ½ cup - Cornstarch
  • ⅔ cup - Cold water
  • 1 tsp - Baking powder
  • 1 tsp - Salt
  • 1 tsp - Black pepper
General Tso's Sauce
  • 1 cup – Chicken stock
  • ¼ cup – Soy sauce
  • 1 TB – Cornstarch
  • 3 – Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TB – Fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 TB – Brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tsp – Chile garlic paste (more, if you prefer a spicier dish)
  • 2 – Green onions, chopped or sliced thinly
  • 1 – TB Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Marinate the wings
  1. Pour milk over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours, and preferably overnight.
Make the General Tso's sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan; whisk well; set aside.
Make the wings
  1. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, black and cayenne pepper and cold water. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before using.
  2. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a deep pan to 350° F.
  3. Drain chicken and pat dry.
  4. Remove batter from refrigerator and whisk to mix again. It should be slightly thinner than pancake batter. If not, mix in a tsp of water (at a time) until it reaches that consistency.
  5. Coat drumettes a few at a time in batter, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl.
  6. Carefully place battered chicken in hot oil and fry until golden, about 8-10 minutes. (Internal temperature should be 160°F.)
  7. Place cooked chicken on wire cooling rack placed over a baking sheet.
The final step
  1. Give the sauce another quick whisk to ensure ingredients are well combined.
  2. Place over a medium-high burner, whisking regularly, until sauce has thickened slightly — about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Place wings in a large heat-resistant bowl; toss in General Tso's sauce; serve immediately.
  4. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.



  1. I hope to make this for one of our football Sundays! Awesome recipe

  2. Christiane says:

    Oh honey, you’ve combined one of my favorite take-outs with my beloved finger food. I’m in heaven. Appetizer, scmappetizer. These puppies will be a full meal. they just need a side of onion rings (cuts the heat well) and a few really cold beers.

  3. These look fabulous! I love this chicken but as wings? YUM!!

  4. Oh man, I’d love to try this. Thanks for sharing this recipe Adam. And I sure hope you’re getting somewhat back to normal. Hows it going?

  5. These sound fabulous and totally calorie worthy. Hope you are doing OK. I really thought when we were there in September, I’d have a chance to call, but totally was in disbelief about how dysfunctional everything was. It was nonstop and not sure my in laws will ever have a chance to get back to “normal”. Hubby will have to make a visit in November as that is really the only way to see what’s going on. Somehow the phone just doesn’t convey the needs. Anyway, hope things are improving for you.

    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you, Abbe. No worries. Things are still fairly dysfunctional in this area, though we’re starting to see some progress. Don’t be a stranger. 🙂

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