General Tso’s Chicken
August 15th, 2014 89 Comments

General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso's chicken - BEST and easiest homemade General Tso's Chicken ever. Crazy delicious and a zillion times healthier and better than takeout!! |

General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso’s chicken – BEST and easiest homemade General Tso’s Chicken ever. Crazy delicious and a zillion times healthier and better than takeout!

General Tso's chicken - BEST and easiest homemade General Tso's Chicken ever. Crazy delicious and a zillion times healthier and better than takeout!! |

General Tso’s Chicken is one of the most requested Chinese recipes. Like other popular Chinese dishes here in the United States, you can’t miss General Tso’s Chicken if you love Chinese food. It’s always served at Chinese buffet; it’s also a very popular Chinese take out item. The good news is that it’s really not that hard to make it at home.

General Tso’s Chicken originated from Hunan, China, but from what I read, the connection of the dish to the brave Chinese general General Tso is largely a US or western reference. In any case, the authentic recipe of General Tso’s chicken always calls for some dried red chilies—an important ingredient in Hunanese cooking. Chinese rice vinegar also plays a vital role in lending the bold vinegary note to the dish.

General Tso's chicken - BEST and easiest homemade General Tso's Chicken ever. Crazy delicious and a zillion times healthier and better than takeout!! |

Other popular Chinese recipesBroccoli Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork, Egg Drop Soup, Kung Pao Chicken, Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Orange Chicken, Mongolian Beef, General Tso’s Chicken, Honey Walnut Shrimp, Lettuce Wraps, and more.

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89 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Kara says:

    I love the general tso’s chicken. Can I use rice wine vinegar for the recipe? I don’t have chinese rice vinegar.

  2. manda says:

    The ingredient list calls for chicken, but the recipe says shrimp? Is this interchangeable?

  3. Fern says:

    Awesome! I was just wondering how to make this dish as I can’t remember how it tastes like…thanks so much for the recipe! Looks great!

  4. *stomach rumbles*

    Looks great!

  5. Asiya says:

    This looks so yummy!! Would it be a huge difference if I left out the wine (we don’t consume alcohol) and substituted regular soya sauce for the dark?

    • Bill says:

      You need not be concened about alcohol in this or any heated dish. Alcohol has a low boiling point (173 degrees F) so when it’s used in a dish whose preparation involves boiling, the alcohol is gone long before it’s eaten.

  6. I’ve never eaten US-Chinese I don’t think so I’m not sure about General Tso’s Chicken. From the looks of the picture and the ingredients list though I’d say it’s closer to Gong Bao Chicken here in China. (Kung Pao Chicken to you Cantonese folks)

    • Darryl – yes, US-Chinese food tastes quite similar. For Kung Pao Chicken, I use black vinegar, peanuts, and a lot more dried red chilies, no Hoisin sauce and not as sweet.

  7. This recipe really looks great! We have had this dish in Singapore and Hong Kong and really tastes great! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. Why have you used two kinds of soy sauce? Is it ok if I don’t use the dark soy sauce and add some extra normal soy instead?

    • Prerna – the dark soy sauce is mostly for coloring purposes and add a “deeper” flavor. You don’t have to use the dark soy sauce if you don’t have it, but add slightly more soy sauce. Mix the sauce, taste it and adjust to your liking. If you like sweeter, add more sugar. :)

  9. Jules says:

    I did it tonight. It’s so easy except that my partner got me extremely fat chicken thigh. I spent 20 minutes trimming as much fat as possible.

    It tastes really good. Thanks for another easy and tasty recipe.

  10. Amanda says:

    This is one of my guilty pleasures to try out in restaurants. I can’t wait to try this recipe, even if it might ruin me on eating it in restaurants like your Kung Pao recipe (not necessarily a bad thing)!

    I don’t usually have dark soy sauce on hand. I know it would make it sweeter, but would using kecap manis instead change the flavor in any other way?

  11. Looks absolutely appetising!

  12. Peter Pantry Raider says:

    The dish was named after 19th century Chinese General Tso Tsung-T’ang and was invented in the 1950’s by a Chinese refugee from China’s Civil war for his restaurant in 44th Street, New York. There are more Chinese restaurants (46,000) than the total of MacDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, Domino’s and Pizza Hut combined in the United States.

    The origin of General Tso’s chicken is actually from a Chinese American in New York.

    Information from “Did You Know” by Toyota in Yahoo.

  13. General Tso’s Chicken is my husbands favorite asian dish. I can’t wait to give this a try! :)

  14. joey says:

    Hooray! Love this!!! Will be making soon…thanks for sharing it Bee :) Your photos are making me drool!

  15. food24 says:

    Hi,Rasa..Is there any substitute for shaoxing wine??..coz it maybe hard to fine it back home..

  16. Kay says:

    Tried this last night ~ Delicious!! Stir fried the chx instead of deep fry for obvious health reasons. Thanks for your great recipes!!!

  17. Jeremy says:

    I tried making this last week, and though it was good, it didn’t really taste like any General Tso’s chicken I’d ever had. Tasted mostly like Hoisin sauce, though I only used the single tablespoon the recipe called for. When you call for “Chinese rice vinegar,” what exactly are you talking about? Are you talking about black vinegar, or brown rice vinegar, or unseasoned rice vinegar? I used brown rice vinegar as it had the highest acidity among the rice vinegars in my pantry, but it was definitely lacking some tang. Most other recipes I’ve seen for it also include a good amount of dry sherry (or white wine) and more sour vinegars, like sherry vinegar or even white vinegar.

  18. Caroline says:

    I agree with Jeremy. Made it last week and the taste was good but it wasn’t like the General Tso chicken I remember and crave (I live in Europe now, and it’s nowhere to be found). The hoisin flavour was too strong and it wasn’t sweet enough.

    Found the chinese rice vinegar in a Chinese shop here without problems so that wasn’t an issue.

    Do you have any further suggestions?

    • I made this a while ago and the taste was exactly like what I had at the Chinese restaurants here. I might have jotted down the hoisin sauce quantity wrongly. I have updated the recipe.

  19. Caroline says:

    Thanks. Will try again in a while and will let you know!

  20. TLGS says:

    Man! does this look great. I moved out of the US to the Philippines over two years ago. I had been going back and forth between the US and the Philippines for about three years before moving there permanently. I knew there would be many differences I would have to become accustom to or at least adjust to. Food was one of my biggest worries. I don’t mean to offend anyone but I hate Filipino food! 99% of everything I have eaten here out right discuss me. I am older now so my wife does most of the cooking. She ends up cooking Filipino food for her and the maid and something I can eat.

    On the other hand I love many Chinese foods. It’s one of the things I miss most about the US when it comes to food. I was so surprised that with so many Chinese living here in the Philippines and most living here for probably hundreds of years but you can’t find Chinese food as us American’s know it or as I have read about in China. The Chinese/Filipinos eat Filipino food. Some looks somewhat like the Chinese recipes we know but taste nothing like them.

    Up into just a few years ago you would have had a difficult time finding the ingredients for the recipe above. Now that there are many new imported products and a larger verity of vegetables in the market, we may be able to make some of your delicious looking meals.

    I was wondering if you have been to the Philippines (Davao City) in particular and know of pre-prepared Chinese food such as we have in the US or China?

  21. Rory says:

    I love General Tso – The sauce when right is sweet tangy and with a bite of spice. I don’t have easy access to Asian markets, so I rely on the limited asian sections at the grocers. I use a substitute mixture rice vinegar and cooking wine. The results aren’t bad.

  22. Christina K. says:

    OMG! This looks delicious!! I’m gonna have to give this a try. LOVE your blog. It never ceases to amaze me! Hehe thanks for all your hard work :) I’ll be back to tell you how it went!

  23. Jonathan_Goh85 says:

    I made this for CNY 2012.. and my family love it.. Thanks for the recipe.. 谢谢~

  24. maly says:

    can use japanese rice vinegar instead of.Chinese rice vinegar?

  25. hbermender says:

    Three words…better than takeout. Great recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

  26. Donna says:

    Do u have a recipe for sesame chicken and yum yum sauce.I look on online and try some but there ok but not what i’m looking for…I love Chinese food..I was wonder if u can help me Thank you

  27. Absolutely love General Tso’s chicken…one of my favorites! Will definitely give this recipe a shot. Thanks!

  28. Dave T says:

    I made this with pan fried tofu and it was awesome!!! Your sauce is perfect — I skipped the dried chilies and added a couple generous spoonfuls of sambal.

  29. T Donovan says:

    Terrific. Just had this for dinner. It cooked up quickly. Substituted regular vinegar and it came out fine. Velveted the chicken in water instead of frying.

  30. John says:

    Woah. Where can I find some of these ingredients? I dunno if we have these anywhere near Olathe, Kansas.

  31. Keya says:

    Excellent Tso! I’m from NY where there is lots of culture and many excellent restaurants and ethnicities. This IS HOW THIS IS SUPPOSED TO TASTE. Just because it doesn’t taste like the chinese food you may have had from a small hometown in the middle of nowwhere USA-it does not mean this is not the right/great recipe

  32. Stephen says:

    Hey! Made the recipe and it was good but not great. The only place I had to deviate was using sake wine (rice wine) instead of shoaxing. Now the sake wine had a significant amount of salt which I think overpowered the recipe. Does shoaxing wine have salt in it? To be clear this is the first time I’ve done much more than heat up premade sauce, so I don’t mean to insult when I say it wasn’t great- I’m going to try again, but was wondering if the salt content of the wine I used might be what’s throwing off my recipe?

  33. Laura says:

    Tis was great! My husband wanted to make Gen. Tso’s from scratch and stumbled upon your recipe. He decided to triple the recipe, since we are a family of seven, and it is a good thing he did, otherwise we would not have had enough! Even the kids liked it.

  34. Chris says:

    Very good recipe. I think the sauce is what makes this recipe stand out.

    I have tried other online recipes before this one, but almost all of the ones I found were disappointing. Thank you for spending the effort to create these.

  35. J Po says:

    How many adults does this recipe for Gen Tso’s Chicken feed?

  36. George says:

    I want to make about 30 pounds of chicken, do you
    recommend multiplying all the indredients by the same

  37. Roger says:

    I prefer not to deep fry the meats like in sweet and sour and this recipe, I just wok the meat and for the rest follow the recipe.

    The bater is nice sometimes but it doesnt come out good every time, and you can easy overcook the meat. and it is quite a bit more work making it that way.

  38. Erik says:

    Just thought I’d point out a slight inaccuracy in your reference to the history of General Tso’s Chicken. It didn’t originate from Hunan, China. It actually originated in New York City in the 1970’s, created by Hunan immigrants. They came up with a recipe after several attempts to create something that was more palatable to the western tongue.

    Nit-picking aside, I’ve been interested in making this dish at home for some time and can’t wait to try out this recipe!

  39. Mario1970 says:

    This General Tso’s Chicken is on of my favorite recipe. Thank you! But I was wondering why you recommend in this recipe as well as in other recipes dried red chilies. In my local Asia supermarket they have fresh red Thai Chilies. Is there any specific reason for taking dried red chilies instead of fresh chilies?

    • This dish is always made with dried red chilies. Fresh chilies is not the same as dried chilies because of the moisture content, and the heat factor…if you can’t find dried red chili use fresh then.

  40. Kiamesha says:

    I am soo excited to try this recipe tonight ! I tried your beef and broc last night and came out perfectly . The kids everyone loved it ! This is coming from someone with a culinary degree . Your blog has become a family favorite ! & I never follow recipes or read reviews you have changed me . Love it

  41. Jess Reed says:

    this was my first attempt at making this dish. gotta say that i’m blown away that it turned out like it did. super stoked! my ol’ lady loved it but i think next time i will make a couple changes here and there. i used the chinese rice vinegar and to me it seemed to overpower a little bit so next time i’ll either up the sugar or lower the amount of vinegar. either way, it was delicious and with a little twist of my own i think i’ll enjoy this dish often. thanks a ton! much appreciated.

  42. SUSAN TRAN says:

    Gen . TSO CHICKEN absolutly one of the best dished ever, I did make a few adjustments as asian ingredients are as rare as snow on the beach here. I lacked the red chiles so I used Peruvian dried yellow hot pepper paste 1/4 tsp. it tasted fabulose..will make again.

  43. John says:

    I just cooked this recipe and it was absolutely superb! I look forward to trying some of the others on the site. The funny thing is that General Tso’s Chicken is totally unheard of here in the UK. You would not find it on any takeaway menu and I have never come across it. I was fascinated to read about how popular it is in the United States!

  44. Gabby says:

    the recipe says to marinate the chicken in the wine then mix all the ingredients for sauce so is there wine in the sauce as listed in recipe.

  45. Jackie says:

    What if I bake the chicken in panko crumbs instead of corn starch? I don’t really like deep frying things at home for safety issues and I love baked chicken.

  46. Tyson says:

    Can I omit or substitute the Shaoxing wine?

  47. Sean says:

    What kind of dried chilled you suggest made it with Mega hot ones was a little hot lol

  48. shiv lal rawat says:

    I like always send in my email

  49. Michele says:

    YUMMY!!! Definitely keeping this recipe in my rotation. My husband HATES chicken and he even had 2 helpings!!! So much healthier than going to the restaurant too! Thank you :)

  50. TG says:

    I could not get to a recipe, and that really annoyed me. What is the point of posting if none of the links work? If you can’t be user-friendly, then don’t post at all.

  51. Pat says:

    I don’t drink so when I went in to the state liquor store for the Shaoxing wine I was a little shocked at the $60+ for any of the varieties. You seem to use that in a lot of your recipes. Is the dry sherry as you stated above a substitute for all your recipes? Is there a less expensive wine that could be use? Love your recipes.

  52. Eileen says:

    I love your recipes. I do, however, have a pet peeve about how you put a bunch of pictures on one page, but then I have to click to another page to get the recipe. It is extremely irritating to me!

    • Eileen, if you don’t want to scroll down, you can easily get to the second page for the recipe by clicking on the red button on the first image of the page. The red button says “Click Here for Recipe,” it’s that easy! The many images are helping my fans and readers get to other great recipes on the site so they don’t have to search!

  53. Sally El Ghoul says:

    Is there any substitution for the wine?

  54. Joanne Schultz says:

    This sounds so-o-o-o good! Sent picture and recipe url to my sister who also loves General Tso’s chicken!

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