This recipe for General Tso’s chicken is battered crispy chicken pieces tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. A take-out classic that’s simple to make at home and even better than what you’d get in a restaurant!

My family loves Chinese food, and I’ve set out to recreate all their favorite recipes at home. I often make crab rangoon, chicken lettuce wraps and this irresistible crispy General Tso’s chicken.

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General Tso's chicken coated in a sweet and spicy sauce, then topped with sesame seeds.

General Tso’s chicken is one of my all time favorite Chinese food dishes. I love that it’s crispy, with a hint of sweet and a hint of spicy. I’ve started making this recipe at home when we’re craving Asian food, but don’t want to take the time to go to a restaurant. It’s been a huge hit, both with the kids and the adults!

What is General Tso’s chicken?

This chicken dis is a popular Chinese entree made with fried chicken pieces coated in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce. This chicken is similar to sesame chicken, but the sauce has a little more heat and a more complex savory flavor. It is often served with a side of steamed broccoli.

Chicken pieces coated in egg, flour and cornstarch.

How do you make General Tso’s chicken?

This dish starts with cubes of chicken that are battered and deep fried until golden brown. The chicken pieces are tossed in a sauce made with soy sauce, garlic, red chili flakes and hoisin sauce. The final step is to add a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions, then serve and enjoy.

Breaded and fried chicken thigh pieces.

Tips for this chicken recipe

  • Be careful not to fry too many pieces of chicken at the same time to avoid the pieces sticking or clumping together. I typically fry about 6-8 pieces at a time.
  • To increase the spiciness of your chicken, feel free to add more red pepper flakes. If you want, you can also include some whole dried red chili peppers.
  • This chicken is best served immediately, as the coating will absorb the sauce and get softer as it sits.
  • Use a frying thermometer to make sure your oil stays at 350 degrees F. If the oil is too hot, the outside of the chicken can burn before the inside cooks through. If the oil is too cold, the chicken will absorb more oil and be heavy and greasy.
  • You can use chicken breasts instead of thighs if you prefer, although thighs are the more traditional choice.

Crispy chicken in a skillet filled with savory and spicy sauce.

What is the difference between orange chicken and General Tso’s chicken?

While, General Tso’s chicken and orange chicken are both delicious Chinese stir fries, they are very different dishes. They both have golden fried chicken pieces in a sweet sauce, but General Tso’s chicken has a more savory flavor relying on soy sauce, chili flakes and chicken broth. Orange chicken is sweeter, has orange juice in the sauce and has a lighter colored sauce.

General Tso's chicken served over steamed rice.

I love to make this sweet and spicy chicken at home. There is something about enjoying those crispy chicken pieces hot and coated with freshly made sauce that I can’t resist. Don’t bother with take out and instead give this recipe a try!

More delicious Chinese food recipes

5 from 55 votes

General Tso's Chicken

AuthorSara Welch
General Tso's chicken coated in a sweet and spicy sauce, then topped with sesame seeds.
This recipe for General Tso's chicken is battered crispy chicken pieces tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. A take-out classic that's simple to make at home and even better than what you'd get in a restaurant!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Asian
Serves 6


For the chicken:

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons green onions sliced

For the sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch


  • Place the eggs in a bowl; add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix together the flour and corn starch and place in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
  • Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees F.
  • Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then coat in the flour mixture. Repeat the process for all of the chicken pieces.
  • Fry 8-9 pieces of chicken at a time for 5 minutes or until browned. Repeat with all the remaining chicken.
  • While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. 
  • Heat the 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce and corn starch.
  • Add the liquid mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions and serve.


Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 672mg | Potassium: 442mg | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 21.5mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2.3mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    We were in the mood for Chinese food. I decided to use my chicken breasts for this recipe. It came out tasting just like Restaurant quality Chinese food. I will be adding this to my recipes to make on a regular basis. Thank you for providing a great recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    This was excellent!!! I made some minor changes. I didn’t bother with the green onions or sesame seeds. I used chicken breast instead of thighs. The coating was perfect, although I only did a single egg/flour dip (I did not do a second coating). I made the sauce before the chicken, so it only needed a quick reheat. I didn’t want it too thick, so I used a full cup of chicken stock. I did not have hoisin sauce. I googled for substitutes but since it was only 2T I was just going to omit it, when I found a jar of General Tso sauce in my pantry, so I used 2T of that. I went with 1 1/2 tsp of dried chillies, then worried it was too spicy for the kids, so I added an extra T of brown sugar. To the flour/cornstarch mixture, I added 1tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper and 1 tsp of garlic powder. Everyone enjoyed it. And the chicken with out the sauce are perfect as homemade chicken nuggets. Everyone loved this dinner. I’m always paranoid about undercooking chicken. I cut my pieces smaller than the 1″, and they were perfectly cooked in 5 minutes. As they reached golden, they were cooked.

  3. 5 stars
    Whenever we have Chinese my husband always get General Tso’s Chicken! I decided to make this for dinner tonight and he loved it!! Great recipe! Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    I impressed my boyfriends family with this recipe! They loved it ! I love how simple this is 🙂 definitely making it for my family now . Thank you !

  5. I’m going to try this with tofu because I’m a vegetarian and I’m making the regular chicken recipe for my fiancé. I’m excited to see how it turns out! Thanks for the recipe!!

  6. All I have is bone in thighs. What if I deep fry them and make your sauce and just pour over finished thighs. Put in oven to thicken. Do you think it would work. Serve with salad

    1. It is really easy to bone out the whole thigh…cut the larger side off the bone, then work your knife around and under the bone while pushing remaining meat flat…then cut the two pieces into desired bite size. Just try it, you will quickly get the hang of it…you really can’t do it incorrectly.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this dish last night with the substitute of vegetable broth because that’s all I had and left overs were soo good.
    great recipe.

  8. 5 stars
    This isn’t a rating, as much as a question. Why is there no orange in the Orange Sauce? Just wanted to make this is correct before I make it.

  9. 5 stars
    OMG, General Tso’s chicken is my favorite and I can’t get any really good Chinese takeout around here so I’m loving this recipe! It’s the perfect reason to break out my deep frying pot. Thanks for all the tips and definitely chicken thighs, those are the best.

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve seen a lot of recipes for homemade general tsos, but this one looks EXACTLY like the restaurant quality!

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe was better then take out, it was soo delicious I am definitely making it again. Thank you for sharing!

  12. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I LOVE to eat out Chinese, but my husband isn’t such a fan. When I cook like this though at home, he loves it. Adding this recipe to our next rotation can’t wait to try it.

  13. 5 stars
    This looks like a great recipe for a dinner between friends. I’ll definitely give it a go! Thank you for sharing it.

  14. 5 stars
    I made the general tzos the other day and were a hit! My family devoured the meal and I always wanted to make this dish at home to eat a better quality meal rather than in a restaurant.