General Tso’s Chicken

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General Tso’s Chicken is a favorite Chinese food takeout choice that is sweet and slightly spicy with a kick from garlic and ginger.

General Tso's Chicken is a favorite Chinese food takeout choice that is sweet and slightly spicy with a kick from garlic and ginger.

General Tso’s Chicken was one of my favorite college days late night Chinese food delivery orders. The spicier, zestier less popular cousin to the ever popular Orange Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken is a fantastic option when you’re looking to change up your Chinese food routine.

General Tso’s Chicken can sometimes have recipes that are really complicated and with many different breading steps. I eliminated them going to a simple cornstarch coating, but you can definitely do a thicker typical breading if you would like, like I did in my Orange Chicken recipe. Also, the addition of the hoisin sauce may seem small and you may want to skip it because it isn’t a normal pantry item unless you are used to doing Asian cooking, but the flavor is that specific General Tso’s Chicken flavor that you’ll miss without it.

Looking for some other Chinese food takeout options for dinner? Well aside from the long list of Panda Express menu items on the site, here is a list of delicious meals waiting to be made!

General Tso Chicken Recipe

Some quick notes about the ingredients in the recipe:

  • It can be tempting to swap out items, like white wine vinegar for rice vinegar. Every time you make a substitution it is going to taste less like what you remember ordering out. Rice vinegar is a pretty inexpensive vinegar in the grocery store and an amazing flavor boost for salads as well as many Asian recipes. You won’t regret the purchase.
  • Hoisin sauce is one of my favorite (and I really mean favorite) Asian pantry item. It has an awesome depth of flavor and is sometimes referred to as Asian BBQ sauce. You’ll immediately recognize the flavor when you try it and the one bottle will make many delicious dishes. Don’t skip it.
  • Sesame seeds, you may see me using them as a garnish on a lot of my Asian dishes, this is because presentation counts. I know you probably think “oh man I’m just tired and ready to eat the second I am done cooking” but believe me when I tell you that a little sprinkling of sesame seeds, chopped chives or even red chili pepper will instantly add flair to your meal.

How to make General Tso's Chicken



General Tso's Chicken

4.9 from 157 votes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
General Tso's Chicken is a favorite Chinese food takeout choice that is sweet and slightly spicy with a kick from garlic and ginger.


  • 1 pound chicken thighs cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • For the Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Toss the chicken thighs with the quarter cup of cornstarch and let sit while you mix the sauce ingredients.
  2. Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water, sugar and tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk together.
  3. Add the chicken to a pan with the oil and fry until crispy.
  4. Remove chicken from the pan and drain all but a tablespoon of the oil and add the chili flakes, ginger and garlic.

  5. Cook until you smell the garlic (about 30 seconds).

  6. Add in the chicken and toss, then add in the sauce.
  7. Stir for about 30 seconds until thickened.

  8. Serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: 90 calories, Calories: 90g, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 792mg, Potassium: 28mg, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 75g, Vitamin C: 0.5g, Calcium: 5g, Iron: 0.3g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Easy General Tso's Chicken

General Gau's Chicken Recipe

General Tso's Chicken recipe is a favorite Chinese food takeout choice that is sweet and slightly spicy with a kick from garlic and ginger.
General Tso's Chicken is a favorite Chinese food takeout choice that is sweet and slightly spicy with a kick from garlic and ginger.
General Tso's Chicken is a favorite Chinese food takeout choice that is sweet and slightly spicy with a kick from garlic and ginger.

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  1. Love this recipe – even my picky eaters!! So easy to make – really quick for week day dinners
    I add pineapple and peppers to the sauce – so yummy!
    I wanted to add that the protein calculation for this recipe is definitely wrong – for every ounce of chicken its 10 grams of protein – so depending – please adjust

  2. My whole family of picky eaters gobble this dinner up every time I make it. I often use cubed pork chops instead of chicken tho. I’ve also used baked chicken with the sauce. Cannot recommend enough.

  3. I live outside of the USA and can’t find a place that does good “American Chinese” takeout anywhere. Made this last night and it has satisfied my craving for Chinese takeout. Thank you!

  4. So simple and so yummy. Some alterations:
    -used extra virgin olive oil to shallow fry the chicken, then let it finish cooking in a 375F degree oven.
    -Forgot to get sesame seeds so I added a tiny splash of toasted sesame oil at the end
    -Served over organic jasmine white rice with veggies (broccoli, red pepper, mushrooms)
    -used microplane to grate/get paste from ginger and garlic

    Any suggestions on a gluten-free hoison sauce?

    Thank you!

  5. I make this all the time. Def a family favorite! I like to double the sauce and use half the hots so it’s not too spicy.

  6. I just can’t say enough about how delicious this recipe is! I was recently became gluten intolerant (at age 62) and was missing my favorite take out meal, that is- until I made your General Tso’s chicken. My first time frying in oil and using cornstarch to coat the chicken was simple when following your directions . Thank you so much! I can’t wait to try your other recipes

  7. Love this. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Have made it twice now and will be making it for a long time. so good!!!!

  8. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My entire family loved it, and with picky kids, that’s saying quite a lot. My husband insists that I write down the recipe so we can have it “exactly” the same next time, while my oldest insists that I make it the next time we have friends over. Again, thanks!

    1. Trust me, I get the whole “picky eater” situation. I’m so happy to hear that this one makes everyone happy!

  9. This was easy and ridiculously good. I haven’t found one recipe that isn’t five stars from Dinner then Dessert. I literally go out of my way to make sure that I review what recipes I make from this site because they are that good. Thanks so much Sabrina!

  10. Delish, and everyone loved it! I doubled the chicken and the sauce and added broccoli. I made sure to brown the chicken on all sides but didn’t cook it quite all the way through since I knew it would cook a little more in the sauce. Was perfect and tender. Thanks for a new winner in our dinner rotation!

  11. My husband and I were really disappointed. The flavors were unbalanced and the sauce lacked the richness one expects from General Tso. It ended up being a huge waste of ingredients. I’m honestly not sure how it got this many 5-star ratings.

    1. Literally the exact thing I was thinking. I know with recipes, we can tweak it to our liking, but from the jump, this recipe had too much rice vinegar added.

      Flavors were definitely unbalanced like you stated.

    2. I so agree! I had to throw it in the trash and was so disappointed. Is it too much vinegar or soy sauce? It had a funky flavor.

    1. we liked this dish!
      However with hoisin and soy sauces, mine was brown…. how do you make your sauce red?
      Thank you!

      1. Different brands have different coloring. I linked the exact brands that I used in the post above but the color isn’t really that important. The flavor is what we’re going for. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Absolutely wonderful. I’ve made it twice in one week. Family and friends love it!!! Easy recipe to follow.

      1. Love this and your orange chicken!! It immediately got written into our recipe book. I pan fried the chicken in batches and kept warm on a rack in the oven and it turned out PERFECT. The sauce is awesome!

        Question- What would you do to make it slightly more spicy? I like the elevated level of the ingredients without just adding a basic hot sauce. But maybe that would be easiest.

        Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!! Thanks!!

        1. I’m so glad you love it so much. If you want to make it spicier, you could add hot peppers or use a chili-infused oil or the easiest would to add crushed red peppers to the finished dish. Enjoy!

    1. If you want to use a thermometer to track and maintain the temperature of the oil, you’re looking for a steady 350 degrees.

  13. Came out ok. Just wish the time for the frying was more descriptive. But it did come out well. it didn’t add broccoli .