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General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso's chicken - BEST and easiest General Tso's Chicken ever. SO delicious and much better and healthier than Chinese takeout! |


General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 15 Mins | Cook Time: 5 Mins


10 oz boneless skinless chicken meat (thigh or breast), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup cornstarch
Oil for deep frying
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
3 slices peeled ginger, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
4-5 dried red chiles, rinsed and deseeded
2 stalks scallion, white-part only, cut into 1-inch lengths


2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing Wine
1 scant tablespoon corn starch


Marinate the chicken meat with the Shaoxing wine and salt for 15 minutes. Mix all the ingredients for the Sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

Coat the chicken generously with the 1/3 cup cornstarch. Heat up the oil for deep-frying. Deep fry the chicken until they turn light brown. Dish out with a strainer, draining the excess oil by laying the chicken on a dish lined with paper towels.

Heat up a wok with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Add the minced ginger, garlic, and dried chilies into the wok, stir-fry until you smell the spicy aroma of the chilies. Pour the sauce into the wok. When the sauce boils and thickens, add the chicken, stir to combine well with the sauce. Add the scallion and stir a few times, dish out and serve immediately.

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98 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Kara

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

  2. 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!

  3. Asiya

    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

      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.

  4. 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.

    • 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. :)

  5. Jules

    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.

  6. Amanda

    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?

  7. Peter Pantry Raider

    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.

  8. Kay

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

  9. Jeremy

    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.

  10. Caroline

    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.

  11. TLGS

    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?

  12. Rory

    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.

  13. Christina K.

    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!

  14. Donna

    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

  15. Dave T

    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.

  16. T Donovan

    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.

  17. Keya

    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

  18. Stephen

    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?

  19. Laura

    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.

  20. Chris

    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.

  21. Roger

    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.

  22. Erik

    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!

      • Just watch the documentary titled – The Search for General Tso, they spend a great deal of time tracking down it’s origins. According to them the man from Hunan fled to Taiwan after the civil war and created the dish there. It was NOT a traditional Hunan dish but a creation he made for his Hunan restaurant in Taiwan. Later a chinese immigrant living in New York traveled to Taiwan and ate at that restaurant and brought the dish to New York City where it became famous enough that the original chef (Peng) heard about it. He opened a restaurant in NYC too and cooked it there in it’s original form. Later that restaurant closed down.

        The filmmakers interview the now very old chef Peng.

  23. Mario1970

    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.

  24. Kiamesha

    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

  25. Jess Reed

    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.


    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.

  27. John

    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!

  28. Gabby

    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.

  29. Jackie

    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.

  30. Michele

    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 :)

  31. TG

    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.

  32. Pat

    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.

  33. Eileen

    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!

  34. Joanne Schultz

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

  35. K

    What can I use instead of the shaoxing wine? I don’t know that I will be able to find this in our local market. Thank you, cannot wait to try this. We love generals chicken!

  36. Mandy

    Love this General Tao’s chicken.
    I have followed several of your recipes and they never disappoint.
    Thank you very much for sharing.

  37. Bareera

    Please let me know the substitute for wine in this recipe as we Muslims do not use it for any food or beverage. Thanks.

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