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General Tso’s Chicken

I think what everyone loves about Asian and Asian-inspired meals is they are so full of flavors. Lots of them. And this General Tso’s Chicken doesn’t disappoint in that regard. General Tso’s Chicken is always a take-out favorite and it’s really not too difficult to make at home.

General Tso's Chicken. Much better than take out!


Sweet, salty, spicy, and sour flavors all join to create a truly delicious meal that rivals the best take-out restaurants. To really round-out your meal, make this Egg Roll Stir-Fry to go with the General Tso’s Chicken.

General Tso's Chicken. Sweet and Spicy and much better than take out!


The sauce is made from chicken broth, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, tomato paste, and hoisin sauce, plus some cornstarch to thicken it up.

General Tso's Chicken. Sweet and Spicy and much better than take out!

You can use either boneless chicken breasts or thighs. I sometimes use a combination. Just keep in mind that dark meat takes a little longer to cook than white meat..

The chicken is coated in a mixture of cornstarch, soy sauce, and eggs.

Once coated, the chicken is deep-fried and then tossed in the sauce.

General Tso's Chicken. Sweet and spicy and much better than take out!


Garlic and fresh ginger are added for even more flavor, plus hot chiles for some heat. Dried Chile de Arbol can usually be food in the hispanic food section of the grocery store or the produce section or you can order Dried Chile De Arbol online.

If you want even more heat, I recently discovered this Hot Chili Sesame Oil and I love it.

General Tso's Chicken. Sweet and spicy and much better than take out!

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General Tso's Chicken. Much better than take out!

General Tso's Chicken

Get all the sweet, salty, and spicy flavors of your favorite Asian takeout dish right in your own kitchen.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 12 minutes
TOTAL: 27 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 -6 servings



  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

Remaining Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • Peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 10-12 chiles de arbol
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • sliced green onions for garnish optional


  • Combine ingredients for sauce in a medium bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk together 6 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons peanut oil, and egg yolks. Stir in chicken and make sure all pieces are fully coated.
  • Place about 1-inch of peanut oil in a large pan. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Working in batches, fry chicken for about 4 minutes, flipping over halfway through cooking time. Place on paper towel-lined plate.
  • Either discard oil and wipe pan clean with a paper towel of use a clean pan. The oil will be very hot. Proceed with caution if you need to use the same pan.
  • Add 1/4 cup of oil to pan. (I use 1/4 cup of the oil used to fry the chicken.) Heat over high heat and add ginger, garlic, and chiles. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Give reserved sauce a stir and pour it into the pan. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken and cook 2 minutes, stirring to coat the chicken in sauce.
  • Drizzle sesame oil over chicken.


Calories: 289kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Course

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Recipe adapted from Saveur

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23 thoughts on “General Tso’s Chicken”

  1. A little to salty for my taste, but it’s easily fixed by adding only 1-2 Tbs of Hoisin sauce first, also I used 3 Tbs of dried crushed chilies and 1 tsp of cayenne pepper to replace the whole chilies.

    But still worth the 5 ☆’s, this recipe is a keeper !!!

  2. Definitely nothing like general tso’s chicken very disappointing the good comments must be from the writers friends cause tgis recipe sucks!

    1. Its not like take out, but i honestly hate take out.. I prefer this one, have used if for a LONG time.. I change a few things, like the batter – I make my own. Plus i use fresh peppers. But this is a really good guideline to follow.

    2. Ashley – perhaps your not that good on kitchen because this came out very very good. I live in NYC and know good Chinese.

  3. I love generals chicken but this is the worst generals chicken I have ever had. I will be removing this recipe from my pint rest and find another.

  4. Made this tonite. Followed recipe exactly. Serv d with fried rice and broccoli. Whole family loved it! This one is definitely going into our regular rotation. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  5. I was looking forward to making this recipe so I gathered all the ingredients and made it last night. Unfortunately, this recipe was horrible. My husband will eat most anything but he couldn’t even finish this. And I don’t blame him. Extremely disappointed in this.

  6. I first tried this in nyc and I have since been trying to replicate it, must say it comes close, I really enjoyed it.

  7. Epices et délices

    I like this General Tao’s chicken recipe.
    But if you want to give chinese taste you have to use chinese chili (Sichuan chili for example) instead of mexican chili (arbol).

  8. Kelley @ Chef Savvy

    This is one of my favorite take out dishes!! Can’t wait to try making it at home now!

  9. Wow, this looks delicious! I don’t typically dabble in Chinese food, but my husband loves it, and so I’m thinking I’ll have to give this a try. 🙂 Nice to meet you Christin, I’m new to your blog. Have a great night!

  10. This looks so much better than any take-out I’ve ever gotten! I definitely need to try this at home!

  11. Thao @ In Good Flavor

    This looks amazing! It makes me want to start my day with a big bowl of General Tso’s Chicken and white rice at 8:05 AM.

  12. This looks SO amazing, Christin! Love making take-out dishes at home! This is one of my husband’s favorite! Yours is perfect and so full of flavor!

  13. Gorgeous photos!!! This dish looks like the perfect sweet/spicy/savory balance that I love so much about General Tsos! Pinned!

    PS Congrats on your Woman’s World feature! Was so excited to see someone I “know” in there this week!

  14. Mary @chattavore

    I love making my own Chinese food. This looks sooooo tasty! I will have to try your recipe!

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