General Tso’s Sweet Chili Fried Chicken Strips


General Tso's Sweet Chili Chicken Strips from @chocolatemoosey

These General Tso’s Sweet Chili Chicken Strips were inspired by chicken wings I had at a local bar. Yes, there is a place that tosses fried chicken wings in General Tso’s sauce, which I’ve never heard of but it makes sense. General Tso’s is fried chicken pieces. Why not do the same thing to wings? However, I wasn’t in the mood to mess with bones, so I fried boneless chicken breast. Instead of your typical General Tso’s sauce, I added sweet chili sauce to the mix. Extra sweet. Extra spicy.

The first time I had the chicken wings at the bar, the sauce was a lot spicier than you get at most Chinese places, making it the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. I crave that sauce all the time, especially when I’m over in that area. I am lucky it’s quite a drive just to grab something to eat; otherwise, I’d gain 50 pounds from eating them all the time! The bad thing is it has raised my expectations in Chinese food. When I get General Tso’s from the place in town, it’s never as spicy as I’d like. That’s where making homemade comes into play. If I can’t order it the way I want, I’ll just make it the way I want. I don’t know their actual recipe, so I guessed by using sweet chili sauce instead of red pepper flakes.

General Tso's Sweet Chili Chicken Strips from @chocolatemoosey

If you never fried meat before, there are a few things you need to know. First, have lots of paper plates and towels handy to drain as much oil as possible. Second, use a thermometer so you have an accurate temperature reading. It is important because if your oil is too hot, the chicken will burn before being fully cooked. If your oil is too cold, it won’t brown as nicely and retain more oil. It is also important to maintain temperature. When you add relatively cold chicken pieces to hot oil, the temperature will drop. You want to maintain it between 350-375F degrees. If your oil drops too much, let it heat back up in between batches.

General Tso's Sweet Chili Chicken Strips from @chocolatemoosey

I originally had the idea of calling them boneless wings, but they really aren’t wings. Then I thought about chicken fingers, but who wants to eat fingers? So finally, I decided on chicken strips. Eat a plate by yourself or serve them for your big Super Bowl party. Or eat a plate yourself at your big Super Bowl party. Nobody will judge you.

Also, making homemade sweet chili sauce is easy! Blend the ingredients together then cook. I posted my recipe for it in September, so click here to read it.

Yields 2

General Tso's Sweet Chili Chicken Strips
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1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Chicken strips
Vegetable oil, for frying
Digital thermometer
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Chopped scallions and sesame seeds, for garnishing


    For the sauce
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sweet chili sauce, oil, sugar, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. For the chicken
  3. In a deep large skillet, pour in oil until it is 1/2 inch deep. Stick the tip of a digital thermometer into the oil and heat until 375F degrees. Line some paper plates with paper towels.
  4. Meanwhile, pour the buttermilk into a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Dip each chicken strip into buttermilk first then into the flour mixture.
  5. When the oil is ready, fry a few strips at a time for a few minutes (do not overcrowd the skillet). When they are golden brown on the bottom, flip and fry the other side for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain onto paper towels. Immediately toss into the sauce. Remove from the sauce and place on a regular plate. Repeat with remaining chicken. If the oil drops below 350F, let the oil reheat in between batches. Garnish chicken strips with scallions and sesame seeds.


* If you want sauce leftover to dip in, double the sauce ingredients then reserve some in a small bowl before tossing in the chicken.

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  1. Oh, god, look at their colour. How long does your chilli sauce usually last?

    • The sweet chili sauce itself? I think food safety wise it’s 2 weeks in the refrigerator. However, I’ve eaten it after a month. I would toss it after a few months though.

      • Yup. Thanks. I really need to try and make some myself. Whenever I change store-bought sauce, there’s always something I prefer in the new one, and something I prefer in the old one…

  2. I love the sound of that sauce. I always wish the General’s chicken is a little bit spicier!!! Now I can just try to make my own!

  3. I also tend to shy away from meals that involve bone-in meats. I just don’t want to deal with it! Even though at a restaurant I am all about gnawing meat of off bones.

  4. I am not a big fried foods person, but the sauce sounds awesome. My little guy loves Asian food, so ill have to try that in a stir fry.

    • I’m still working on finding a recipe for crispy baked chicken strips, but feel free to cook the chicken however you want then toss into the sauce afterwards! And the sauce in the stir fry would be yummy.

  5. Yep, I see Chinese night at home coming real soon. I really want to try the sweet chili sauce.

  6. Get-in-my-belly!! Love that you used white meat! I always ask for white meat, lol

  7. This look mouthwatering! It made me hungry

  8. Love your version of general tso’s! Even my spice adverse palate can’t resist this.

  9. Frying things frightens the bejeezus out of me. But that sauce does sound wonderful. I’m a big fan of sweet and spicy. A big, big fan.

    • I hate frying too, but I think even chickens like us will be ok! You can always do it in a deep fryer or deep pot if you’re afraid the oil will sputter too much. If you have a recipe for baked chicken strips (still looking for a crispy baked one), you can make those then toss in this sauce.

  10. YES! I actually have all the ingredients! Once I’m eating normal food again (I’ve been eating sick people food for a week :() I want to make these. Great pictures, too! :)

  11. Yum these look delicious. My husband and I are addicted to takeout. We should at least start making some of this at home!

    • If you’re addicted to take out, you should definitely start making these at home. It’s enough to satisfy my general tso’s craving (unless I’m at work where I can’t fry things for lunch. Boo).

  12. Mmm, I love General Tso goodies! Up here it’s usually called General George for some odd reason!

  13. These look like the perfect chicken snack for the game tomorrow! I’m not a huge fan of frying (because it’s scary), but shallow frying isn’t so bad :)

  14. OMG..I love General Tso’s . I also love to put chinese mustard on the side too. May I repost this recipe and share on my blog with the proper credits to you ?

    Waving from Houston !

    • Hi Jane,

      Thanks for asking! You can repost with one of two ways. 1 – You can post one picture and a link back (no recipe) or 2 – You can post the recipe written in your own words with a link but with your own photos. Not sure which way you were thinking.

  15. Wonderful! I can imagine how crispy the chicken must be and the sweet chili sauce just make it even better!

  16. I made them! It turns out that I don’t really like sweet chili sauce, but my husband absolutely loved it! i dipped mine in some lemon juice and was perfectly happy, but husband was all, “Oh! Take note of this sauce! It’s perfect!” He’s even been eating the leftover sauce on bread. It’s… odd. Anyway, thanks for the recipe! I’ll definitely be making it again and again. :)

    • Your husband and I have a lot in common because I eat sweet chili sauce with a lot of things! haven’t tried it with bread though. Glad you had great results! P.S. if it’s the spiciness you don’t like, try subbing honey. Still sweet but without the spice.

  17. I made this for supper tonight. De-lish! I don’t really do the fry thing so I sauteed in a little oil and then poured on the sauce and baked it for about 1/2 hour at 350 until it was done. I also used thighs instead of breast meat.

    FYI,,,the Sweet Chile Sauce freezes beautifully. I had a jar left in the freezer from this summer when I made a bunch of it during pepper season. Love that sauce!

  18. Your recipe is amazing! I have made it twice already.

  19. These sound great. I love chicken recipes. Thanks for sharing this. Simon


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