How to Make General Tso Sauce [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 27 reviews

Appetizers Asian food recipes Kitchen Tips Sauces Dressings Marinades

Cook time Cook time: 10 minutes

General Tso Sauce is a rich, sweet, and spicy sauce that is perfect for your stir-fry dishes! It is so easy to prepare – all done in ten minutes! Follow the short recipe video tutorial and learn how to make make the BEST homemade general Tso sauce!

Craving for some Chinese takeout? I’ve got you covered with easy stir-fry dishes that you can cook for a nice family dinner! Check out my recipes for Szechuan Chicken, Hunan Beef, and Hunan Chicken!

General Tso Sauce Recipe

General Tso Sauce can be used for quick stir-fry dishes when you do not have much time, possibly for a weeknight dinner and such. Though you can whisk this up in just about ten minutes, this does not disappoint!

Flavors burst out of this simple dip – you have the sweetness from the sugar, saltiness from the soy sauce, tanginess from the rice vinegar, and spiciness from the red chili flakes.

The pungent garlic and ginger also add depth. The hoisin sauce also adds saltiness and sweetness at the same time.

So, if you want to have some Chinese takeout, look no further. Just go to your pantry for the ingredients and make one easy stir-fry dish! All you need is any kind of meat (even tofu), vegetables, and this recipe!

What is Chinese General Tso sauce?

It is used in the famous Chinese takeout dish called the General Tso Chicken. It is named after a Chinese leader from the Qing dynasty, Zuo Zongtang, whose romanized name is Tso Tsungtang.

History has it that a certain Chef Peng invented the dish and served it in his restaurant in Taiwan. And from this original recipe, the Chinese immigrants in the US developed the present-day recipe in the 1970s.

The version that we know now is tweaked to please the American palate – a little bit sweeter than the original version which is hotter and of Hunanese influence.

Ingredients needed to make it:

In our version of this famous dish, we use the following ingredients:

  • rice vinegar
  • soy and hoisin sauce
  • chicken broth
  • white sugar
  • brown sugar
  • minced ginger
  • garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • cornstarch

How do you make General Tso sauce?

  1. Stir: Simply combine all the ingredients in a pot. Then, heat for 3 to 5 minutes while continuously stirring.
  2. Thicken: Allow it to thicken for another 5 minutes, then, remove it from heat.
  3. Store: Cool thoroughly and store in a clean container.

How do you thicken General Tso sauce?

Putting cornstarch and heating it up longer will do the trick. The sugar will further caramelize which makes the whole thing thicker. You can also use flour in place of cornstarch.

What does General Tso sauce taste like?

It is sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time. You can also taste some umami in there, brought about by the hoisin sauce.

But you can change this up however way you want it! That’s another advantage of making this at home!

If you want it sweet, then, add more sugar. On the other hand, if you want it spicier, add some sriracha or dried chili!

How to store:

  • Refrigerator: You can use this up within two to three weeks once refrigerated.
  • Freezer: If frozen, this can keep for 3 months.

More sauce recipes:

  1. Sauce for salmon
  2. Tzatziki sauce
  3. Homemade barbecue sauce
  4. Chick fill a sauce
  5. Buffalo sauce

Recipe Tips:

  • Please watch the video attached on how to easily make this recipe.
  • Hoisin sauce adds some authentic Chinese flavor to any dish. But if you do not have it, you can combine barbecue sauce with sriracha. Add some Chinese five-spice powder, too. I strongly encourage you to get one though! You can use it in a lot of Chinese recipes and can keep it in the refrigerator for one whole year.
  • Aside from stir-fry, this recipe can also be used as a dip for egg rolls or spring rolls.
  • Also, Chinkiang vinegar is a great ingredient to replace rice vinegar. It has a deeper flavor.
  • You can also add scallions for added fragrance.

General Tso Sauce

General Tso Sauce

General Tso Sauce is a rich, sweet, and spicy sauce that is perfect for your stir-fry dishes! It is so easy to prepare - all done in ten minutes!
5 from 27 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings of about 1/4 cup
Calories: 111kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 3 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • In a medium pot, add all the ingredients and whisk to combine. Place it over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until it starts to simmer.
  • Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Once the sauce is thickened, remove from heat.



Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1322mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.7mg
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Nevil Read

To reduce sugars and carbs. Any sweetener, cut back by 1/3 will work but a heavy body sweetener such as erythritol works better. Liquid allulose is best if you can find and afford it, it will caramelize and coat better than others. Use 4 Tbsp sweetener (not 6) and about 1/2 tsp of black strap molasses in place of the brown and white sugars. - yes molasses is sugar, but essential for the brown sugar taste. Consider cutting back on hoisin as there is loads of sugar in most. And remember that soy also isn't carb free. You can use 2 Tbsp of Carbalose to thicken (if you can afford it or find it) instead of starch. Avoid the breading when you prepare the chicken or use an alternate to flour/crumbs. (The one I use successfully is crumbs from great low carb bread co)



Okay yall this is the one! It taste like the restaurants, more specifically Sarku Japan. My 2 year old loved it too



I only have regular sodium soy sauce and chicken broth. Can I use that and add more sugar to make it less salty? This looks like an easy to make recipe. I tried another one but it was not good.



Just made this and it is delicious!


tom obrien



Paul Wilk

This sauce is well worth the 15 minutes it takes to make. I always keep a jar in the fridge, just add some thin sliced chicken or beef to your wok and 5 minutes put some of this delicious sauce then put it on some rice or noodles. Job done 😁



Just made this to go with my air fryer wings! The only modification I made was I only did 1/2 tbsp of hoisin because it's really strong. Also added sesame seeds on top! So good!


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