General Tso’s Chicken


5 from 20 votes
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Homemade General Tso’s chicken features golden and crispy chicken bits drenched in a thick glossy sauce that balances sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors. This is BETTER than Chinese takeout.

general Tso's chicken.

If you’ve tried my Szechuan chicken, sesame chicken, and Mongolian chicken before, you’ll no doubt love this copycat recipe for General Tso’s chicken. 

 It tastes exactly like the Panda Express takeout favorite, minus all the additives and laundry list of ingredients. 

Table of Contents
  1. What is General Tso’s chicken?
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make General Tso’s chicken
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. How to store leftovers
  6. More Asian stir fry recipes to try
  7. General Tso’s Chicken (Recipe Card)

What is General Tso’s chicken?

General Tso’s chicken is a staple dish in Chinese American cuisine. It features battered and fried crispy chicken pieces tossed in a rich-flavored, sweet-spicy, sticky sauce. You can also make it vegetarian by using cauliflower instead.

In terms of flavor, this chicken dish’s taste is rather complex. It is a combination of sweet, savory, tangy, and mildly spicy flavors. It is similar to Hunan chicken, except the latter isn’t battered or deep-fried beforehand. 

Here are some reasons why I LOVE this recipe:

  • Better than takeout. Like honey walnut shrimp, making this home dish is healthier, more budget-friendly, and definitely more delicious than in Chinese restaurants.
  • Crispy chicken bites ALL THE TIME. The flour and cornstarch coating provides maximum crispiness, even when the chicken is drenched in the sweet-spicy sauce. 
  • Perfect with rice and noodles. Once you have made the crispy chicken, you can serve it with noodles or plain rice for an easy dinner or lunch. You could even have it after some egg drop soup just to be fancy.

Like most general Tso’s chicken recipes, this one is easy to customize, and you can adjust the heat level to suit your preferences! 

general tsos chicken recipe.

Ingredients needed

Like any Asian dish, this one calls for a few Asian cooking staples too. Here’s everything you’ll need for the crispy fried chicken and the delicious sweet-spicy sauce. 

  • Chicken. Skinless and boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins cut into 1-inch cubes. Skinless chicken thighs will also work, but you’ll need to reduce the cooking time.
  • All purpose flour. To dredge the chicken before frying it. 
  • Cornstarch. Mixing cornstarch with flour yields a crispier and lighter coating for the chicken. 
  • Eggs. Room-temperature beaten eggs to help the flour mixture stick to the chicken. 
  • Salt and pepper. To taste. 
  • Vegetable oil. Or any cooking oil with a high smoke point will work, like peanut oil.

For the general Tso’s sauce:

  • Aromatics. Fresh ginger and garlic.
  • Honey. Give the sauce a sweet flavor and a sticky finish. You can also use agave nectar or maple syrup, but increase the cornstarch by a pinch to compensate.
  • Brown sugar. To deepen the sweet flavor of the sauce. 
  • Soy sauce. To enrich the sauce with the umami flavor. 
  • Hoisin sauce. It imparts a salty, tangy, and sweet flavor and further deepens the taste of the sauce. 
  • Red wine vinegar. Rice vinegar will work too. 
  • Chili sauce. To add some heat. You can adjust the amount of chili sauce you use depending on how spicy you want the dish to be. Red pepper flakes also work.
  • Water. If you have chicken broth or vegetable broth, you can use that too. 
  • Cornstarch. To thicken the sauce and give it a glossy sheen.

How to make General Tso’s chicken

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1 – Prep the chicken. In one bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, mix flour with cornstarch. Coat chicken pieces in the egg mixture first and then dredge them in the flour mixture. 

chicken pieces coated in flour.

Step 2- Fry the chicken. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in batches and fry for around 5 minutes until golden brown. Drain the chicken pieces on paper towels.

chicken frying in oil.

Step 3 – Make the sauce. Start cooking the sauce by adding all ingredients except the cornstarch and a tablespoon of water to a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining water and add the slurry to the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil. Keep stirring the sauce until it thickens. 

general tso's chicken sauce.

Step 4 – Toss the chicken with sauce and serve. Pour the sauce over the fried chicken bits. Garnish with chopped green onion and sesame seeds, and serve.

general tso's chicken in wok.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Prep your workspace. You will need to be moving fast for this recipe. Have all ingredients at hand to make sure you don’t forget anything. 
  • Adjust the flavor of the sauce. Give the sauce a try to make sure it is well-balanced. If you are using low-sodium soy sauce, you may need to add some salt to the sauce too (we often do this when we make our lettuce wraps!).
  • Don’t let the chicken pieces stick to each other. Aside from frying the chicken in small batches, it is also important to spread the chicken pieces apart to ensure they don’t stick to each other. 
  • Serve immediately. For the crispiest chicken bites, serve the dish immediately. The sauce makes the chicken less crispy as the dish sits around longer. 
  • For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free soy sauce and hoisin sauce.
  • Bake the chicken If you want to reduce the added oil from frying. Simply bake them in the oven at 200C/400F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

How to store leftovers

To store. Transfer leftover chicken into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. 

To freeze. You can freeze General Tso’s chicken for up to 3 months. 

To reheat: To bring back the crispiness of the fried chicken, reheat it in the oven preheated to 350F degrees. Reheat the chicken bites for around 10 minutes covered and for 5 minutes uncovered. You can also reheat the chicken on the stove and air fryer. Reheating it in the microwave is not recommended, as the chicken will turn out soggy. 

general tsos chicken.

More Asian stir fry recipes to try

general tso's chicken recipe.

General Tso’s Chicken

5 from 20 votes
Homemade General Tso’s chicken features golden and crispy chicken bits drenched in a thick glossy sauce that is a balance of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors. Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Total: 18 minutes



  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cut into one-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons oil to fry

General Tso's sauce


  • In one bowl, mix together the eggs, salt, and pepper. In a shallow bowl, combine the cornstarch and flour and mix until combined.
  • Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, followed by the flour mixture, until all the chicken is used up. 
  • Add 2-3 inches of oil into a large pot. Once it reaches 350F, add a single layer of chicken and fry for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat the process until all the chicken is fried up.
  • Make the sauce by adding all the ingredients, except cornstarch and one tablespoon of water, into a small saucepan. Bring it to a simmer. Whisk the cornstarch with the remaining tablespoon of water. 
  • Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and bring it to a boil while stirring for 1-2 minutes until it thickens.
  • Toss the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. 


TO STORE: Transfer leftover chicken into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. 
TO FREEZE: You can freeze General Tso’s chicken for up to 3 months. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 21gFat: 7gSodium: 565mgPotassium: 369mgFiber: 0.5gVitamin A: 102IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 30g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Would you please convert your asian dishes to keto? I would greatly love to enjoy these dishes again.

  2. I’m new at keto and this isn’t keto like a lot of your other recipes, can you tell us what to do to make this keto? I’d greatly appreciate it