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General Tso’s Chicken Quick Chinese Fakeaway

General Tso’s Chicken, a fab Chinese takeout recipe featuring fried chicken in a glorious sweet & sour sauce with a hint of hoisin sauce.

10-15 minutes prep time and 10 minutes cook time also makes this dish way quicker than the delivery dude or dudette can get to you!

General Tso's chicken fakeaway recipe served on white rice.

Fiery Chinese Fakeaway Fried Chicken

General Tso and his chicken is very much one of those modern-day dishes with a hotly debated “history”.

There are a whole host of these dishes, chicken tikka masala, the balti curry and even the classic pasta carbonara exist nowhere by those names prior to WWII.

General Tso’s Chicken is a dish that appeared in the 1970s and it is definitely a US-centric Chinese takeaway dish. It is certainly not one that appeared on menus in Chinese establishments in the UK when I was growing up.

But it speaks to me in so many ways, so many of my favourite flavours and cooking techniques.

Battered and fried chicken in a sauce with a sweet and sour vibe, may sound similar sweet and sour pork but it has more in common with my dragon chicken recipe.

The batter is not as crisp because it is combined with the sauce leading to a wonderful blend of cripsy and almost chewy.

The sauce rocks hoisin saice an ingredient that appears in my Chinese spare ribs and dan dan noodles. This gets mellowed with more salty soy sauce and the rather lovely Chinkiang vinegar.

Add some fiery dried chillies and we are approaching my food heaven.

If you are looking for something similar but with less of the hassle of frying, check out my honey chilli chicken recipe.

Overhead General Tso's chicken fakeaway recipe served on white rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to fry the chicken?

For this recipe yes, I have tried the usual suspects to replace frying when I was developing this recipe and they all disappointed me.

I usually use a deep-fat fryer, although my second favourite method is to use a wok. I use a sugar thermometer to monitor the temperature because they usually have a clip to safely secure them

What is Chinkiang vinegar?

It is hands down my favourite Chinese vinegar, it is a black vinegar and has a more interesting and complex flavour than normal rice vinegar.

It features in recipes as diverse as my teriyaki prawns to my BBQ pork ramen. You can sub for normal rice vinegar if you wish.

Can this be made in advance?

No. This is definitely a dish that needs to be served immediately and it does not reheat well.

However, all of the prep can be done in advance! The sauce and the batter are absolutely fine being made up to 24 hours in advance. Just give them a good stir before you get started.

Close up General Tso's chicken fakeaway recipe served on white rice.

Serving Suggestions

More often than not some plainly cooked white rice is the partner of choice for my General Tso’s Chicken recipe. But, it is also great with egg fried rice.

When it comes to food I have no “guilty treats”, food should never be ‘owt to be ashamed of! I grew up loving the chips from the Chinese takeaway, that’s fries for my US readers.

In honour of that love, I often serve this with a potato side dish. I usually do my crispy fried potatoes. But if I am feeling particularly up for it I will do my chippy chips, although I will not add the vinegar.

And finally, a bit of love for noodles, this recipe is great with some simple soy sauce noodles.

General Tso's chicken fakeaway recipe served on white rice in a blue bowl.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Wok or deep fat fryer for frying the chicken.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan if you do not want to drain the hot wok of oil.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kicthen knife.
  • Slotted, stirring and serving spoons.
  • Mixing bowls.
  • Weighing scales and measuring spoons.
General Tso's chicken fakeaway recipe served on white rice in a blue bowl.
Yield: 2

General Tso's Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

General Tso's Chicken is the very definition of US invented Chinese food, but one that is superb, a perfect quick and spicy fakeaway!


For the Stir Fry

  • 400g (14oz) Chicken Thigh
  • 12-18 Small Dried Chilli Peppers
  • 35g (Thumbnail sized piece) Ginger
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Spring Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • Oil for deep frying

For the Marinade:

  • 2 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 Tbsp Cornflour, Corn starch in the US
  • 2 Tsp Toasted Sesame Oil

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 4 Tbsp Water
  • ½ Tsp Cornflour, Corn starch in the US
  • 2 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tsp Chinkiang Vinegar
  • 2 Tsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar


  1. Slice the chicken into strips around 5-6mm (¼") wide and 3-4cm (1½-1¾") long.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together and add them to the chicken and allow to marinate whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  3. Slice the garlic as thinly as you can.
  4. Peel and cut the ginger into batons approximately 2-3mm (⅛") in profile.
  5. Slice the spring onion as finely as you can.
  6. Place all of the ingredients for the sauce into a bowl and mix well.
  7. Add 3-4cm (1½-1¾") of oil to a large wok and heat it to 180° C or 350°F.
  8. Fry your chicken, in batches if required for 3-4 minutes until crispy and cooked through, then transfer to some kitchen paper to drain any excess oil.
  9. Carefully drain the wok of oil other than a scant coating and return it to a high heat. If you are worried about draining the wok you can do this in a separate frying pan, use something around 28cm or 11" in diameter and nonstick if possible.
  10. Throw in the chillis, garlic, and ginger and stir fry for 30-40 seconds.
  11. Pour in the sauce, it will thicken after 30-60 seconds.
  12. Add the chicken, toss to coat and serve sprinkled with the spring onions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 744Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 348mgSodium: 1390mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 53g

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 15th of April 2018

OMG..."spicy wee beasties" :D Ha! Love it...thanks for the laugh and the delish recipe.

Brian Jones

Monday 16th of April 2018

lol, glad you like it :D


Sunday 15th of April 2018

your instructions dont say when to add the chilli? i assume it should be with the garlic, ginger and chicken?

Brian Jones

Monday 16th of April 2018

You are correct sorry, I have amended the recipe :)


Sunday 15th of April 2018

Another hit Brian! So easy to make and so hard to keep everyone controlled as they all came back for seconds until it was gone! Rave reviews were received. Keep them coming and thanks?

Brian Jones

Monday 16th of April 2018

Thanks Helen, glad they enjoyed it :)

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Friday 13th of April 2018

Love the sound of this sauce! I can't resist anything like this.

Brian Jones

Sunday 15th of April 2018

Thanks Becca.


Friday 13th of April 2018

Just looking at the photos, I can tell how flavourful this chicken dish is! This looks delicious. I'm a heat wimp so I would have to tone down the chili amounts, but my husband would absolutely love the extra heat.

Brian Jones

Sunday 15th of April 2018

lol, it is amazing how capsaicin effects us all differently.

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