Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken

5 from 11 votes
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I developed this Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken recipe specifically for those who want to make General Tso’s Chicken WITHOUT frying in oil! My method not only gets the chicken crispy but helps the chicken STAY crispy, even after tossed in the sauce!

Watch the Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken Recipe Video Below!

Ingredient Tips for Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken

  • CHICKEN – I used chicken THIGHS for Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken because it does not dry out as quickly as chicken breast and is more forgiving in the air fryer. Unless you strongly dislike thighs, I would not recommend sub-ing with chicken breast.
  • POTATO STARCH – Potato starch might be hard to find depending where you live (I usually get the Bob’s Red Mill kind from Whole Foods) but this is the KEY ingredient for Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken. I tested this recipe with different flours and starches, and potato starch was the absolute winner. You get the lightest, crunchiest results every time!
  • SHAOXING WINE – If you cannot or do not want to use wine, you can sub with sherry, mirin, or chicken stock!
  • WHITE PEPPER – I get asked all the time if you can sub black pepper for white pepper – and my answer is, it depends BUT you need to watch the ratio. White pepper has a milder flavor profile than black pepper, so it’s a 1-1 substitute. I would start with less black pepper and add as you go. (But really, you should have white pepper in your pantry! It’s a staple in mine!)
  • NEUTRAL OIL COOKING SPRAY – I used avocado oil cooking spray (avocado oil is my go-to neutral cooking oil)! You can use another cooking oil spray, as long as it is NOT olive oil. I don’t recommend using olive oil spray for this dish, due to the flavor profile and low burning point.
  • CORNSTARCH SLURRY – A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of cornstarch and water that is used in cooking to thicken WITHOUT powdery lumps or additional flavors/colors! This is the secret to so many of your favorite Chinese dishes. My #1 tip is make sure your cornstarch slurry has not separated before adding it in the Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken sauce – I always try to re-stir right before!

Recipe Tips for Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken

DOUBLE (AIR) FRYING

  • The method that came out the best for me for Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken was “DOUBLE FRYING” in the air fryer – once at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, then at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time.
  • You want to cook the chicken to about 90% done at a lower temperature, to avoid burning the coating. Once almost done, you cook at a higher temperature (with another coat of cooking spray) to get the batter nice and crispy at the very end!

BE GENEROUS WITH THE COOKING SPRAY

  • The cooking spray is the only source of oil in Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken, so you will need to be generous with it! You’ll want to spray the tray thoroughly to avoid the chicken sticking while cooking, and you’ll want to spray the chicken thoroughly to allow the coating to cook nicely (otherwise it will look & taste dry). Don’t forget to spray again when cooking for the 2nd time!

If you tried this Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!

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5 from 11 votes

Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken

Servings: 4
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
This air fryer version of the classic General Tso's Chicken is an easy weeknight meal without deep frying!

Ingredients 

Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken thigh, cut into 2" pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • neutral oil cooking spray, I used avocado oil

Sauce

Cornstarch Slurry

Aromatics

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil , for frying; I used avocado oil

Instructions 

  • Cut chicken thigh into 2" pieces and marinate with white pepper, salt, Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, grated garlic and ginger, and one egg white. Mix thoroughly to ensure the egg white is mixed well with the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Premix your sauce by combining soy sauce, sugar, chicken stock and crushed szechuan chili.
  • Chop 3 cloves of garlic and 1 tbsp of ginger and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add 1 cup of potato starch. Lightly the chicken in the potato starch one piece at a time.
  • Give your air fryer tray a spray with oil, then lay your chicken down on the tray in a single layer. Spray the chicken pieces with your oil spray until coated then air fry at 350F for 10 minutes.
  • After the first air fry, pull out the chicken and spray again with another coat of oil spray, then fry a 2nd time at 400F for 6 minutes or until the chicken is nice and crispy and reads 165F internal. I would recommend checking the chicken after 2 minutes due to differences in power with different air fryers!
  • Over high heat, add 1 tbsp of neutral oil and fry your garlic and ginger for 15 seconds, then immediately add your premixed sauce. Stir for a few seconds then add your vinegar and cornstarch slurry. Stir for a few more seconds until the sauce has thickened.
  • Add back chicken toss to combine. Serve with freshly steamed rice. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 1856kcalCarbohydrates: 182gProtein: 103gFat: 78gSaturated Fat: 21gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gMonounsaturated Fat: 32gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 448mgSodium: 8244mgPotassium: 3054mgFiber: 11gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 359IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 213mgIron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The air fryer makes this recipe so easy and the meat is so crunchy! A healthier alternative to deep fried. This is even better than takeout!

  2. 5 stars
    I loved how easy and delicious this recipe was. I am addicted to the sauce and always plan this in my weekly meals.

  3. 5 stars
    Amazing so good and 🌶 spicy. I’ve never used potato starch before and I love how crunchy the chicken gets and holds the crunch even with left over. I hope you post more airfryer recipes this is the 2nd one I’ve tried and absolutely loved.