Chinese Imperial Palace General Tso Chicken

What’s better than my General Tso Chicken recipe? Pretty much nothing. Enjoy this Chinese restaurant copycat, it tastes better than take out!

A plate of General Tso's chicken with rice and broccoli.

General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

This is one of my favorite dishes that I order from Chinese takeout. I knew I had to hack this recipe and make it at home. This tastes just like takeout. You are going to love it!

General Tso’s Chicken Sauce

Here’s what I use in my General Tso’s sauce. It’s pretty simple.

  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Garlic
  • Ginger Root
  • Sugar
  • Soy Sauce
  • White Vinegar
  • Dry Sherry – You can substitute this with dry white wine
  • Chicken Broth

General Tso’s Chicken Ingredients

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you desire
  • Soy sauce
  • Dried red chilies or red chili flakes
  • Large egg
  • Corn starch
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Green scallions

What is General Tso chicken made of?

The sauce is basically a combination of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Even though it looks like a simple sauce, it’s full of flavor.

The chicken is coated with soy sauce, egg, and cornstarch then fried until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Red chilies are stir-fried with green onions. Then the sauce and chicken are added and everything is tossed together and served with rice.

It is one of the most popular Chinese dishes you can make at home. This easy General Tso’s Chicken recipe is sure to be a favorite.

How to Make General Tso’s Chicken

  1. Put cornstarch, water, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, sherry, and chicken broth in a jar with a lid and shake it to combine.
  2. Mix together chicken, soy sauce, and chili peppers in a bowl. Stir in the egg.
  3. Add cornstarch and mix until all the chicken pieces are well coated.
  4. Heat oil to 350 degrees in a large pot.
  5. Remove chiles from the chicken mixture and set them aside.
  6. Fry 8 chicken pieces at a time until crispy. Drain on paper towels. 
  7. Repeat until all the chicken pieces are fried.
  8. Place 1 tablespoon oil in a wok and heat until very hot.
  9. Add the scallions and chiles. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds. 
  10. Shake the sauce to recombine and pour it into the wok. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick.
  11. Add the chicken to the sauce and cook until everything is hot and bubbly. Be sure to toss the chicken into the sauce.
  12. Serve with steamed or fried rice.
  13. If you like to garnish with green scallions or sesame seeds are highly recommended.

Is General Tso Chicken Healthy?

There is quite a bit of sugar in the sauce and the chicken is breaded. Other than being high in carbohydrates, this is a pretty healthy meal. Chicken is light meat that is great for your heart.

You can make it even healthier by not breading the chicken and serving it with cauliflower rice.

Is General Tso Chicken Spicy?

No, I don’t think this is a spicy dish at all. If you taste it and think it has too much spice, just cut down the number of chilis you use.

Can You Freeze General Tso Chicken?

Does it freeze well? Yes, you can store it in the freezer. Keep it in a freezer bag. When you are ready to eat it again, heat it up in a skillet. If you try to reheat it with the microwave, it will affect the texture.

A plate of homemade General Tso's Chicken with rice and broccoli

More Chinese Takeout Recipes

In the mood for more Asian-inspired recipes? Here are some more that taste as good as takeout.

Favorite Chicken Recipes

Check out more of my easy Chinese food recipes and the best chicken recipes for dinner here on CopyKat!

A plate of General Tso's chicken with rice and broccoli.

Chinese Imperial Palace General Tso Chicken

Our recipe will have people wondering where you ordered this take out from.
4.88 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: General Tso Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 471kcal



  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger root
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or dry white wine
  • 14 ounces chicken broth


  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 8 small dried red chilies stems and seeds removed
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sliced scallions optional
  • Rice, fried or steamed


General Tso’s Sauce

  •  Put everything in a quart jar with a lid and shake it up, then put in the fridge. Just shake it up again when you are ready to use it.

Meat Preparation

  • Meat In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, soy sauce, and hot peppers. Stir in the egg. Add the cornstarch and mix until all the chicken pieces are well coated. (It will look awful at this point.) 
  • Heat the deep-frying oil to 350 degrees F in a large pot. Cover a large platter with a few layers of paper towels. Set aside the chiles. Deep-fry 7 or 8 chicken pieces at a time until crispy. Drain on paper towels. 
  • Repeat until all the chicken chunks are fried. Place 1 tablespoon oil in a wok and heat until very hot. Add the scallions and chiles and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. 
  • Shake the sauce to recombine, then pour it into the wok. Cook until thick. If it gets too thick, add water until it’s the right consistency. Add the chicken to the sauce and cook until everything is hot and bubbly. Serve with fried or steamed rice. Note This does not reheat well, so eat in one sitting.


Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 1609mg | Potassium: 815mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Vitamin C: 10.7mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1.9mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

REVEALED: Copycat Secrets for 2023

free email bonus

Yes, you CAN make it at home! I'll show you how.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Reader Interactions


  1. Mike

    5 stars
    Does anyone have a “copycat” recipe for HEB (Chinese Kitchen?) general joes chicken? This is by far my favorite recipe, thanks in advance!

  2. Mike

    I loved HEB (Chinese Kitchen?) general Joe’s chicken the best! Sadly they closed the kiosk. Does anyone know the recipe for that? Maybe a copycat recipe? I’ve tried several general tso recipes but none are as good, thanks in advance!

  3. Larry

    If you use a half of cup of cornstarch in the sauce you’ll have chinese chicken pudding! More like 1/4 cup or 3 tablespoons! Look out!

    • stephaniemanley

      I know it seems like a lot, this is the way I have been making this for a long time, it works very well.

  4. petah

    I followed this exact and it was nuthing like general chicken im used to however it was very good. sauce wasnt red nor was it hot yet sweet like the restaurants. im making it again tonite for dinner!

  5. T. H.

    Use low sodium chicken broth and don’t use a whole half of cup of cornstarch in the sauce. And always rinse meat in cold water.

    • stephaniemanley

      T.H. I appreciate your great suggestions! I find that when looking low sodium chicken broth is always a good idea.

    • Aninoff

      4 stars
      Never rinse raw chicken. The heat alone will kill off any bad bacteria. Ringing just spreads the germs all over your sink and anywhere it splashes contaminating them and anything that then touches them. I used to do it too but I’ve read too many articles debunking the need to rinse raw meat. In trying to stop contamination we in fact contaminate much worse and don’t even know it. Just a tip.

    • stephaniemanley

      For Soy Sauce I usually use brands that organic, or Trader Joes, or ones that are naturally brewed, I am not loyal. For the chicken broth I generally use the Kirkland (Costco) brand or the HEB (A Texas ) Grocery store brand.

  6. sam

    I just made it for dinner, it was way salty mean while it is not asking to rinse the chicken in the recipie as one reader said, so i am not sure if i was suppose to.

  7. The Sweet Snazzoo

    I made this recipe as written and found that while the flavor was good, adding one cup corn starch to the sauce produced a thick, gooey paste. Was this a typo?

  8. Miriam

    Ok this is a GREAT recipe! I didn’t have the peppers so I just added in some red pepper flakes and some sriracha sauce and it worked wonders. I actually brined my chicken first to make it extra juicy – but i didn’t wash it off well so it was WAY too salty. Also, I really really doubt that all that corn starch is necessary, sauces tend to thicken up pretty easily with corn starch, i can’t imagine why so much is required for this recipe. Next time I will try it with less… and I will definitely be trying this recipe again soon!
    This is actually a stellar recipe in my humble opinion. I understand you my be skeptical on the recipe, I have had fabulous results with this recipe. While my recipe doesn’t ask for brining, you can also brine with a combination of half sugar and half salt and it comes out very well too! ~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

homemade Olive Garden Asiago Torgelloni Alfredo with chicken on a plate

Copycat Recipe Secrets for 2024


Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.