Sweet and spicy General Tso’s chicken is packed with veggies for a classic Asian dish that everyone will love!
With all the Asian recipes we have on the site, it’s only right we include this classic General Tso’s chicken! It’s a little sweet like our Orange Chicken and Honey Chicken recipes.
What Is General Tso Chicken?
One of our favorite Asian dishes is General Tso’s chicken. It is seriously addicting!!
So, what is General Tso chicken? It’s a sweet, deep-fried chicken recipe served mostly in North American Chinese restaurants. It has a bit of a sweet taste and after adding broccoli it makes it so hearty and tasty.
This chicken dish is named after Zuo Zongtang or Tso Tsung-t’ang. He was a military leader during the Qing dynasty. It’s unclear why this general gets his name associated with this delish meal. In fact, when asked, his descendants hadn’t even heard of the dish!
General Tso v Orange Chicken
General Tso’s chicken is different from Orange Chicken. Orange chicken has more of a sweet and sour tangy taste with orange peel and juice. General Tso’s chicken is spicier with a little bit of sweetness in it. Both are delicious but they definitely have different flavors going on.
How to Make General Tso Chicken
This General Tso chicken recipe is quick and simple and a family favorite recipe!
SAUCE. Mix sugar, chili sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
CHICKEN. In another bowl, mix flour and cornstarch. In a third bowl, beat soy sauce and egg white. Add chicken to the egg white mixture and toss to coat, then transfer coated chicken to the flour bowl and toss around.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add floured chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7–8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and crispy.
BROCCOLI. Add broccoli to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until broccoli is softened, then add General Tso sauce to the skillet and cook for 2–3 more minutes, making sure to coat the broccoli and chicken.
Serve over rice or noodles.
Deep Fry Directions
If you wish to deep fry the chicken you can, but you’ll need to drain the oil before continuing with the recipe.
- Heat a couple of inches of oil in a frying pan. Fry the chicken pieces until cooked through and golden brown. Remove the pieces and let them drain on paper towels.
- Pour the hot oil into a heat-safe bowl to cool before discarding. Add the chicken back into the pan along with ½ tablespoon of oil and the broccoli then continue with the recipe as written.
Variations + Serving Suggestions
This General Tso’s chicken recipe is perfect as is, but to make it your own try any of these suggestions.
- Sweeter. Add half to 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey.
- Spicier. Add 5-6 whole dried chilies, 1 tsp ginger, or ½ tsp red pepper flakes.
- Add 2 teaspoons of hoisin sauce for an extra layer of flavoring.
- Top with sesame seeds or green onions.
Serving suggestions. You’ll definitely want to serve General Tso’s chicken on top of a big pile of rice. You could make a rice bowl out of it with white rice or brown rice.
We also like to serve it with:
STORE. Keep leftover homemade General Tso chicken in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
FREEZE. For longer storage, keep in an airtight freezer-safe container for 3-4 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in a sauté pan. If you’re in a hurry it can be microwaved.
One trick I use to cut boneless skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts) into even pieces is to partially freeze them first. Use a sharp knife to cut the half-frozen meat into even cubes. Allow it to thaw before making the recipe.
You will want to use an oil that has a high smoking point such as vegetable oil, canola oil, peanut oil, or sesame oil. I have also recently come across a cooking olive oil suitable for higher temperatures that works well for stir fry.
Most people find this dish to be mildly spicy with a sweet and tangy taste. If you find it too spicy, eat it with white rice to help dampen the spice. To make it even spicier, add red pepper flakes on top of your serving.
For More Asian Chicken Recipes, Check Out:
- Honey Chicken
- Chinese Lemon Chicken
- Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken
- Moo Goo Gai Pan
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Orange Chicken and Asparagus
General Tso Chicken Recipe
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 egg white
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 bunch broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
- 2 cups cooked white rice or cooked noodles
- Make General Tso’s sauce by mixing sugar, chili sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix flour and cornstarch. In a third bowl, beat soy sauce and egg white. Add chicken to the egg white mixture and toss to coat, then transfer coated chicken to the flour bowl and toss around.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add floured chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7–8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and crispy.
- Add broccoli to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until broccoli is softened, then add General Tso’s sauce to the skillet and cook for 2–3 more minutes, making sure to coat the broccoli and chicken.
- Serve over rice or noodles.
Variations. For a sweeter sauce, add ½–1 tablespoon sugar or honey. For a spicier dish, add 5–6 whole dried chilies, or you can use red chili flakes. Add 2 teaspoons of hoisin sauce for an extra layer of flavoring. Top with sesame seeds.
This looks amazing and needs to be on my dinner plate!
Haha!! It is super good! Hope you’ll try it soon!
One of my hubby’s favorite dishes. This looks amazing. I can’t wait to make it for him. I adore your site and am on it daily. Thanks for sharing.
Awe, you are so sweet!! Thank you so much! I hope he likes it!
those look delicious! maybe i’ll make them for my cookout this weekend!
Oh, it is!! I’d love to know what you think 🙂
how would you make exra sauce for his dinner?
You would just double the ingredients that are in step one 🙂
This was amazing! Thank you for sharing! Husband and 3 kids loved it!
With love from Belgium x
Awesome!! So glad it was a hit! Thank you for letting me know & giving the recipe a try 🙂
we had this on Sunday & it was gone in minutes!! It has great flavor & is crisp! We have found a new favorite!
My favorite take out!
THis chicken is so delicious! One of my families favorites!
My family loves this chicken recipe! Definitely going to make this a staple on our dinner menu.
This is one of our favorite recipes! Love the sweet and spicy of this chicken!
any version of a healthier way to do general tsaos is one im excited for! cant wait to give this a try
My daughter would have this meal every day if she could! it is really good! we love the taste and how easy it is to make! Yummy
My grandaughters favorite Chinese meal! We all love chinese food and when we make this dish i have to triple or quadruple the recipe. So good and very authentic!
Im an orange or honey chicken fan and Dont really deviate however im so glad i tried this recipe. It was sO good!
This recipe is a favorite at my house because it is so easy, so yUmmy, and Everyone loves it. Thanks for the awesome recipe!
You are so welcome! Glad your family likes it! Thank you!
Love your recipes. A great way to share them.
Awe, thank you so much!
Can this be made in an air fryer?
I personally haven’t tried, but I am sure they could 🙂
My son will like this. Looks great. Thank you