Skip the takeout and make this delicious General Tso’s chicken at home! You’ll fall in love with the sweet and spicy sauce poured over the crispy, juicy chicken. This is truly a restaurant-style recipe!
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The Best General Tso’s Chicken
I love to recreate Chinese takeout dishes at home. They are less expensive, healthier, and just as delicious! This recipe is one of my favorites, as well as cashew chicken, veggie beef ramen, and chicken and vegetable stir fry.
Next time you’re craving General Tso chicken, skip the takeout and make it at home! It’s one of those classic Chinese dishes that is super popular and has tons of flavor. And the good news?? It’s surprisingly really simple to make yourself!
The sweet and spicy sauce poured over the crispy, juicy chicken is what makes this dish so amazing. It’s caramelized to perfection and has just the right amount of ginger flavor. It tastes similar to my famous sweet-and-sour chicken recipe, however, the sauce is a little less sweet and has more of a kick.
This dish tastes great over rice and is served with broccoli and carrots. I’m telling you…it has so much delicious flavor and definitely tastes like it’s restaurant-style. Love copycat recipes? Try my Panda Express honey sesame chicken or chicken chow mein recipe, next, they are both so good!
Don’t let this list of ingredients scare you away! It is filled with pantry staple ingredients to make this General Tso’s chicken over and over again. Skip takeout and going to the Chinese restaurants when you can make the best General Tso’s chicken right at home!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Chicken: Cut your chicken breasts into cube-size pieces that are small.
- Corn starch: This will give the chicken a crispy and tender texture. You can also use vegetable oil or peanut oil too. The flour will also work to substitute for this ingredient.
- Garlic salt: Added in for flavor!
- Canola oil: Cook deep-fried chicken in the oil to crisp the chicken.
- Eggs: Whisk the eggs ahead of time. Dip your chicken into the egg mixture for the perfect crispy outside.
- Sugar: Added for sweetness for the General Tso sauce.
- Rice wine vinegar: Blends the flavors together and adds that zesty zing.
- Ketchup: Balances the sweet and savory flavors.
- Soy sauce: This is a classic Asian sauce that goes well in several recipes.
- Ginger: A little spicy but subtle enough to not notice the extra heat.
Difference Between General Tso and Other Chinese Dishes
There are several Chinese dishes that have somewhat of a similar taste, which makes it easy to confuse them. I’ve listed out their main difference below to make it a little more clear.
- Sweet and sour chicken: The two are super similar. The main difference is that General Tso sauce has more ginger flavor, as well as a little more heat from the hot sauce or chili flakes.
- Kung pao chicken: The main difference between the two is how the meat is cooked. General Tso is fried in a crispy coating, however, kung pao chicken is seared on the stove. Both are coated in a similar sauce, but dishes with kung pao shrimp recipe or chicken typically always have veggies and peanuts mixed in.
- Orange chicken: The main difference is the sauce. The meat is prepared the same way, however, the orange sauce is a little more sweet. It usually doesn’t include the spice factor (hot sauce/chili flakes) and contains a combination of orange juice/zest/peel.
- Sesame chicken: These two dishes are very similar. The main difference is the oil used in the sauce. Sesame chicken calls for sesame oil, which adds a salty and nutty taste, making it a little less sweet than General Tso. It is also always topped with sesame seeds.
How to make General Tso Chicken
We love making this homemade General Tso chicken. It is popular and a favorite in our family. Make it simple with just a few steps to prepare the chicken, make the sauce, and deep fry until golden brown. The best dinner yet!
- Chicken. Add the diced meat, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic salt into a large ziplock bag. Shake and toss until the meat is well-coated.
- Deep fry. Next heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then add to the skillet using a fork. Fry both sides for about 2 minutes each, remove with a slotted spoon, and then move to a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Sauce. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a medium size bowl. Pour the sauce over the meat and bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes (stirring halfway through), or until it’s crispy.
- Serve. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables and garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions if preferred.
Follow these helpful tips to help you have a successful dinner every time! Add extra spice, learn to fry chicken properly, and even find out how to bake General Tso’s chicken instead of fry and bake. All these tips will give you the best chicken dinner for your family!
- Spice. This recipe does have a kick, so feel free to adjust the spice level depending on your preference. I like using sriracha for heat, but red pepper flakes work as well.
- Space the chicken. Don’t overcrowd the frying pan! If you add too many pieces of meat at once, they will clump together and they won’t evenly cook.
- Bake. You can skip frying the meat altogether and just bake it instead. To get it crispy in the oven, broil each side for a few minutes. It won’t get quite as crispy as frying, but still delicious and healthier.
- Extra sauce. Double the sauce if you want extra dipping.
Normally General Tso chicken has chicken as the main ingredient and a sauce that covers the baked or fried chicken. Soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and egg all are used for this classic Asian recipe.
They are similar but not the same. Orange chicken is a crispy fried chicken with a fruity, sweet, and tangy sauce that is caramelized into a glaze whereas General Tso is baked or fried in sweet, sour, and spicy sauce.
It does have a little kick of heat to the sauce. It is a sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce that is thick and delicious.
5 star review
“Wow! This fabulous recipe is a big hit in our house….it so DELICIOUS and easy! Definitely making this a regular in the meal rotation.”-Paula
Storing General Tso’s Chicken
Store the easy General Tso’s chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for four to five days long. When ready to reheat, place it in the air fryer, bake it in the oven, or warm it up in the microwave.
More Delicious Chinese Dishes
General Tso Chicken Recipe
For the Chicken:
- 1 ¼ pounds chicken (cut into bite size pieces)
- ½ cup corn starch
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs (whisked)
General Tso Sauce:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup rice vinegar (distilled vinegar will work too)
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce (can sub with 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes)
For serving: Cooked rice and broccoli and/or carrots
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
- Place the chicken, corn starch, salt, pepper and garlic salt in a large ziplock bag and shake until the chicken is evenly coated.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and place in the frying pan with a fork. Fry both sides of the chicken for about 2 minutes each and the move chicken to the baking sheet.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Next, pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is crispy. Stir halfway.
- Serve with steamed rice and vegetables. Enjoy!
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!