Chinese General Tso’s Chicken
General Tso’s Chicken (also called General Tso Chicken) is one of the most popular Chinese recipes and most ordered chicken dish in Chinese restaurants in the United States.
It’s made of battered and deep-fried chicken in a sweet, savory, and spicy General Tso’s sauce. It’s served at Chinese restaurants, buffets, and as a popular Chinese takeout item.
Many don’t even dare to ask “How to make General Tso’s Chicken?” because they assume that it’s difficult. But the good news is that it’s very easy to make at home.
Other Recipes You Might Like
Who Is General Tso?
There was was a brave Chinese general by the name of General Tso (Zuo Zongtang 左宗棠) but the dish was invented by another chef. Learn more about the history and origin of the dish.
The authentic recipe of General Tso’s chicken always calls for the following ingredients:
- Soy sauce. Use a good quality soy sauce.
- Dark soy sauce lends nice dark brown color to the dish.
- Chinese rice vinegar plays a vital role in lending the bold vinegary note to the sauce.
- Hoisin Sauce is the secret ingredient.
- Dried red chilies—an important ingredient in Hunan cooking, making the chicken and the sauce mildly spicy.
How Do You Make General Tso’s Chicken?
To make this chicken, you will need chicken meat – I prefer chicken breasts. Cut the chicken into cubes and coat the chicken generously with corn starch. Deep fry the chicken until they turn light to golden brown.
Next, stir fry the minced ginger, garlic, and dried chilies and pour the sauce and cook until the sauce thickens.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 398 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
For a wholesome Chinese meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
5 Secrets to 20 Min Dinners
Get tricks for quick & easy meals!
General Tso's Chicken Recipe
General Tso's chicken - the BEST and easiest General Tso's Chicken recipe ever. It's so delicious and much better and healthier than Chinese takeouts!
- 10 oz. boneless skinless chicken meat, (thigh or breast, cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- oil for deep frying
- 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
- 3 slices peeled ginger finely minced
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- 4-5 dried red chilies rinsed and seeded
- 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 tablespoon corn starch
1Marinate 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.
2Coat 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.
My first review!! The flavor was very good, I doubled the recipe and it worked out nicely. The only complaint I have, which may be a matter of taste. Way too spicy. I used about 6 peppers with the other ingredients doubled. I did take the seeds out. My husband even said the flavor was good -next time will at least 1/2 the amount of peppers
Hi Sandy, spicy is an acquired taste, also different dried chilies have different heat. You can cut it down if you like. Thanks for trying my General Tso’s Chicken recipe.
This is perfect! I’ve made it twice this week. Easy,fast,delicious. Thank you
This is so good ! I have made it twice and my family loves it although we’re from Malaysia and no one have heard of General Tso chicken ? this is so good it is now my favourite chicken. Thank you for this superb recipe !
Yeeleng, lol, true, no one in Malaysia have heard about it. Thanks for trying, you should try more recipes: https://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-index-gallery/
What does 11/2 tablespoons mean?
It’s 1 1/2 meaning 1.5 tablespoons.
I am planning on trying your recipe tonight. Just curious if you have ever tried to cook the chicken in an air fryer rather than frying it first.
No air dryer, it won’t work well as the chicken is battered?
Hi there. This recipe sounds amazing. I was just wondering if there is a non alcoholic substitute for shaoxing wine?
What are the quantities for the General Tso’s sauce.
The recipe is at the bottom of the page, please scroll down, the recipe card is shaded in pink.
I like everyone of these recipes. However,I have not tried them out yet. Will do so soon.Thank you for the recipes and the beautiful illustrations. 5 stars for the above reasons.
Aww thanks Diana. You need to try this recipe!
I have a weakness for two things:
1. Your garlic chicken
2. General Tso’s chicken
Definitely trying this tomorrow!!!
Hi Shaun, awww, you are so sweet. Thanks! I have more delicious recipes that you should have weakness for, lol.
Likewise. Tso chicken seems really good. Cooking it tomorrow
General Tso’s Chicken? Seriously??
I’d always heard about this American dish and was eager to try it when I went to the states a few years ago. I must have been unlucky because the take-out place I ordered from gave me something that was more like sweet & sour chicken… or is that what it’s supposed to be like? I guess there is a LOT of sugar in the recipe…
It’s different, this has a spicy and vinegary note. You should try this General Tso’s Chicken recipe.