The Best GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN recipe that is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Way better than from a take-out restaurant!
In my efforts to make our favourite take-out meals at home, of course I’d include this Chinese classic.
A popular chinese takeout dishes for great reason, it’s the crispy sweet with that hint of spice that hits all the cravings. Plus it’s ready in 30 minutes, it doesn’t take much time at all to make this min chicken dish meal.
Yet as usual, I go somewhat light on the spice factor of this general tso’s chicken recipe. I do this to make this dish more family-friendly in my efforts to please both the kids and adults alike.
What is General Tso’s Chicken?
One one of the most iconic dishes in North American Chinese restaurants, its sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time. You know, all the good stuff we like, including both a sweet sauce and also a tangy sauce.
It is said to originate from the Hunan province of China and is named after a well-respected Chinese military leader, General Tso.
What is General Tso’s Sauce Made Of?
There are many variations, yet the goal is to get sweet, sour, and spicy flavours. The sauce for General Tso’s chicken is typically made of sauce ingredients that include: rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, and some corn starch to thicken the sauce.
The variations of General Tsos Chicken recipes basically lie in the method of cooking and the crispy coating.
Which makes sense, because all Chinese food isn’t created equal. So, this is just one among many, yet one that I would personally consider made the right way. It’s one of our favorite dishes to make.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe!
Our General Tso Chicken has a sweet, tangy sauce with a spicy kick. A delicious recipe for dinner, lunch or leftovers, and is ready in just 30 minutes! This general tso chicken from scratch is so easy to make at home.
This is not a deep frying recipe, and I try and use a Wok yet a large skillet (deep skillet) will do as well.
To get that super crispy chicken, you could coat the chicken in the cornstarch and cook before cooking in the sauce. Yet for ease, I add everything together to save a step.
I have found that this gives best results when compared to cook time and hassle. Its what makes this an easy recipe to get this homemade chinese dish.
That being said, let’s dive into making this great recipe and what I consider one of the best chicken recipes.
How to Make General Tso’s Chicken
Check out the printable recipe card below for the ingredients list and steps to make. You’ll appreciate that these are common pantry staples!
To make Chinese general tso chicken recipe, you start with cutting the boneless skinless chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe, if you’d like.
In a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and cook until the cubed chicken is no longer pink.
It’s done when the pieces of chicken turns a golden brown and you have cooked crispy chicken pieces. This will take about 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken breast from the wok and set aside.
In the same wok, add the hoisin sauce, chicken broth (or chicken stock), brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, garlic powder, ginger powder, and cornstarch.
Stir and bring to boil, and cook until the cornstarch mixture has thickened. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add the cooked chicken back into the wok with the sauce. Cook for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish. Serve this popular chinese dish hot.
Why Add Cornstarch to the Sauce?
Some recipes call for cooking the chicken in a cornstarch coating before cooking the sauce, and that is fine. Yet I find the coating soaks in the sauce anyway after some time, so this step isn’t worth it for me. You’ll still get crispy chicken and a thick sauce with this recipe.
Tips For This Chicken Recipe:
- Make sure the amount of chicken doesn’t exceed the size of your pan. This avoids each piece of chicken from sticking and clumping together when cooking.
- To increase the spiciness of your chicken, feel free to add red pepper flakes. If you like extra spicy general tso’s chicken and a really spicy sauce, try dried red chili peppers, fresh red chilies or chili paste.
- Watch the temperature of your oil. If too hot, the outside of the chicken can burn before the inside cooks through. If too cold, the chicken will absorb too much oil and be greasy. The trick is hot oil that isn’t too hot.
- It needs to be said, the oil will spit. Be careful.
- Check out the substitutions below for this homemade general tso’s chicken recipe.
What to Serve with General Tso’s Chicken
Also serve with some steamed vegetables such as broccoli, baby bok choy, or cauliflower.
Other side dish options include rice noodle, or quinoa.
Storage and Reheating
To Store: You can store this chicken dish in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make sure it’s in an airtight container or well covered with plastic wrap for maximum freshness.
How to Freeze: You can also freeze for up to 3 months. If you make this recipe for freezing immediately, I will advise you to freeze the sauce and the chicken separately for better texture.
How to reheat general tso chicken: To reheat, you can use the microwave yet it will not be as crispy as it was originally. You could pan fry until heated through to avoid this.
- Hoisin sauce: Soy sauce
- Brown sugar: 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or 1 tablespoon of honey
- Ginger powder: 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
- Garlic powder: 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
For More Asian- Inspired Recipes:
- Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli
- Mongolian Chicken
- Easy Wonton Soup
- Oriental Chicken Salad
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
- Easy Chicken Stir-Fry
- Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
- Ramen Noodle Salad
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch cubes.
- In a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken and cook until the chicken is no longer pink. (about 10 minutes).
- Remove from the wok and set aside.
- In the same wok, add the hoisin sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic powder, ginger powder, and cornstarch. Stir and bring to boil, and cook until the sauce has thickened. ( about 5 minutes).
- Add the cooked chicken back into the wok with the sauce—Cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion.
- Serve hot.
- Serve chicken with steamed vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, or cauliflower. Also great with rice, rice noodle, or quinoa
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 728mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 39g
Created by Tammi Roy
Tammi Roy is the founder of My Organized Chaos, a Canadian food and lifestyle blog. She lives in Alberta, Canada and is the mom of three beautiful teenage girls. Tammi’s passions are her family, creating and sharing delicious recipes, travelling and photography. Learn more about Tammi.