This General Tso sauce recipe is easy to make with only 6 ingredients, perfect for General Tso chicken or any other quick and easy stir fry. It's loaded with flavor.
When you're in the mood for Chinese food, my spicy food loving friends, it's good to have a General Tso Sauce recipe on hand. Here you go!
General Tso Sauce is a sweet and spicy Chinese sauce popular in Chinese American cuisine. It is made with a base of soy sauce and chili sauce with a touch of vinegar and a sweetener, like honey, then thickened with cornstarch.
It is hugely popular with Chinese takeout dishes like General Tso chicken or tofu, or other types of stir fry dishes.
You'll find variations, of course, using other preferred ingredients, and recipes can vary from cook to cook and restaurant to restaurant.
So many restaurants make theirs very sweet, so we don't order it out often at all, preferring to make my own at home. See my story below about this.
My version is very simple with only 6 ingredients. I choose to focus on the soy sauce and chili sauce, making this mildly sweet and more savory, as we prefer. You can easily adapt it to your own palate.
Let's talk about how we make General Tso Sauce, shall we?
General Tso Sauce Ingredients
- Soy Sauce. Use light soy sauce for this, though any soy sauce can work for you. To your preference.
- Honey. Or you can use brown sugar.
- Rice Vinegar.
- Chili Sauce. Try my homemade chili garlic sauce. It's great for this.
- Chicken Broth. You can use stock, or vegetable broth.
- Cornstarch. For thickening.
How to Make General Tso Sauce - the Recipe Method
Whisk the Ingredients. Whisk together the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, chili sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Warm the Sauce in a Pan. Add to a sauce pan or pot and heat 3-5 minutes over medium high heat, or until the sauce thickens.
Enjoy! Use as desired. Easy enough, isn't it?
Boom! Done! Your General Tso sauce is ready to use. How are you going to use yours? What are you making tonight? Try my General Tso Chicken recipe, of course, but it's also great for making any stir fry, like orange chicken.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Cooking General Tso Sauce. Usually when making recipes like General Tso’s Chicken, the sauce thickens in the pan or wok along with other ingredients.
- Other Ingredients. This is my preferred recipe, though I have seen some with other ingredients you might try, including sesame oil or sesame seeds, garlic and ginger, white wine vinegar, other red chilies or dried chili flakes, green onions. Feel free to experiment and make it your own.
- The Chili Sauce. There are several options available for this recipe. I enjoy using Doubanjiang, which is a Chinese chili bean paste. Gochujang can work, though the flavor is different. Use a simple chili-garlic sauce from the store, or make your own like I like to do. Sambal Oelek is also a potential option.
My Local General Tso Sauce Story
Patty and I visited a local Asian fusion restaurant recently. We enjoy the place and I ordered sushi. Patty ordered the General Tso Chicken and was sadly disappointed. As the dish cooled ever so slightly, the General Tso sauce began to thicken and harden on the plate and on the chicken, becoming overly sticky and almost taffy-like.
The cook obviously used far too much brown sugar or molasses, or whatever this person had selected as a sweetener. Sadly, this is our typical experience with many Chinese American restaurants when it comes to General Tso sauce, so I elect to make it myself at home so that I can control the amount of sweetness and other ingredients.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this quick and easy General Tso sauce recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
If you love Chinese recipes and cooking, I recommend these books for the American cook. They're loaded with easy Chinese recipes that are full of flavor. I refer to them quite often.
- Easy Chinese Cookbook: Restaurant Favorites Make Simple, by Chris Toy (affiliate link, my friends!)
- The Essential Wok Cookbook, by Naomi Imatome-Yun (affiliate link, my friends!)
Try Some of My Other Popular Sauce Recipes
- Hoisin Sauce
- XO Sauce
- Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- Homemade Szechuan Sauce
- Bulgogi Sauce
- Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
- Tonkatsu Sauce
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Homemade Sriracha
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Szechuan Chicken
- Cashew Chicken
- Dragon Chicken
- Bourbon Chicken
- Spicy Chicken Fried Rice
- Chicken Stir Fry
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
General Tso Sauce Recipe
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chili sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch use 3 teaspoons for a thicker sauce
- Whisk together the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, chili sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Add to a sauce pan or pot and heat 3-5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
- Use as desired