General Tso’s Chicken

The most requested Chinese take out menu option is General Tso’s chicken in America. A breaded chicken recipe that is sweet with a thick sauce, this recipe is easy to make and the whole family will love it.

We’ve been recreating our favorite Chinese take out dishes around here lately and we’re not complaining. Kung Pao chicken, teriyaki chicken, and this General Tso’s chicken are Chinese inspired dishes that are a must add to your meal plan. Don’t forget our Asian inspired chicken wings for an appetizer too!

A plate of food with rice and chicken

What is General Tso’s chicken?

General Tso’s chicken is an American Chinese takeout dish that is made with breaded chicken thigh (or breast) pieces that is then fried to create a crunchy chicken bite. It is then cooked in a sweet and tangy sauce made of ginger, garlic, and simple staple Chinese sauce ingredients.

Try an authentic General Tso’s Chicken Recipe!

Is General Tso’s Chicken Spicy?

Some people like a nice kick in their General Tso’s chicken recipe, and if this is you, be sure to add in chili paste or red pepper flakes for some heat. If you’ve ever ordered General Tso’s chicken from a restaurant you may have noticed that there is a pepper symbol on the left of the title. This lets you know that it can be a spicy dish, which you can easily tell them you don’t want your chicken spicy (which I do).

Is General Tso’s Chicken gluten free?

When made at home, general tso’s is gluten free, if you don’t add flour. This recipe of General Tso’s is gluten free since we are using cornstarch and no flour for frying the chicken.

How To Make General Tso’s Chicken

chicken with flour and egg

To make this chicken we’re first going to marinate the chicken. To do this we’re going to season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Next, we’re adding a generous amount of corn starch and an egg yolk -just the yolk. The egg yolk contains a higher amount of fat, which helps give the chicken that wonderful crunch we love in our General Tso chicken recipe.

uncooked breaded chicken

Let the chicken sit for 5-10 minutes before frying it in batches until it’s golden brown. Don’t worry about the center being cooked, it will continue cooking in the sauce.

A plate of cooked breaded chicken

Place the fried chicken wire rack with paper towels underneath to catch oil drips. This will help the chicken keep its crispy coating. Next, you will make your General Tso chicken sauce, add your chicken and sauce to a clean pan and over medium high heat, finish cooking the chicken and allow the sauce to thicken.

How To Make General Tso Chicken Sauce

The ingredients used to make Asian chicken sauce are:

  • soy sauce
  • Hoisin sauce
  • rice wine vinegar (or sherry)
  • chicken broth
  • ginger paste (or fresh grated ginger)
  • fresh minced garlic
  • brown sugar
  • red pepper flakes (for heat, if desired)

Mix the sauce ingredients together and add to a clean pan with the fried chicken and cook for about 5-7 minutes.

How To Thicken Sauce

The thick sauce associated with General Tso’s chicken is coveted. When making General Tso’s at home, I always add more sauce than called for. To thicken your chicken recipe sauce, you will make a slurry of water and cornstarch.

Depending on just how thick you want your sauce to be will determine how much of a slurry mixture you want. Remember, it’s a 1:1 ratio of water and cornstarch. Begin with just 1 teaspoon of each, mix it well in a small bowl to remove any lumps before adding it to your sauce.

Cook the slurry in your sauce for a minute or two to decide if you want it thicker.

A plate of general tso\'s chicken

What to serve with General Tso’s Chicken

Typically this chicken is served over a bed of white rice and a side of steamed broccoli. We also love to add freshly chopped chives and sesame seeds as a garnish. Green beans and roasted asparagus would also make great side vegetables to serve with this chicken recipe.

A plate of food with rice meat and vegetables, with General Tso\'s chicken

We hope you enjoy this General Tso’s chicken recipe, if you do, here are some other chicken recipes we just know you will love!

General Tso's Chicken Recipe square image
General Tso's Chicken Recipe square image

General Tso's Chicken

5 from 1 vote
The most requested Chinese take out menu option is General Tso's chicken in America. A breaded chicken recipe that is sweet with a thick sauce, this recipe is easy to make and the whole family will love it.
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


For the chicken:

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (chopped)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • oil for frying

Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ginger paste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced

Cornstarch Slurry:

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon water


  • Place the cubed chicken in a large bowl.
  • Add the cornstarch, egg, salt, and pepper and stir to coat the chicken.
  • Add an inch of oil to a frying pan and warm it over medium high heat.
  • In batches, fry chicken until the outside is golden and crunchy. Remove from heat and place the chicken on a wire rack (with paper towels underneath) so that it stays crisp.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients.
  • Add chicken and mixed sauce ingredients to a large wok.
  • Cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat, or until chicken cooks through.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Mix to make a slurry. 
  • Add the cornstarch slurry in when chicken has cooked. Allow to cook another minute so the sauce thickens.
  • Serve over rice.


The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 6 (not including any rice). Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**


Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Sodium: 1246mg | Potassium: 388mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 3.2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Author Julie Clark
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Calories 407
Keyword chicken dinner, chinese cuisine, easy dinner recipe, fried chicken, stiry fry

General Tso's Chicken Recipe

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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