General Tso Sauce is a tantalizing fusion of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors that has captured the hearts of Asian cuisine lovers worldwide. Though its origins are a topic of debate, one thing is certain: this sauce has become a staple in American-Chinese cooking, bringing a burst of flavor to a variety of dishes. Today, we’re going to guide you through making a healthier version of this beloved sauce, perfect for those who love to indulge without compromising on their health goals.

general tso sauce

Ingredients List

To create an authentic yet health-conscious General Tso Sauce, you'll need:

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (preferably low sodium)
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar or a healthier substitute like honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili flakes (adjust based on your heat preference)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons water to form a slurry)
  • Optional for garnish: Sesame seeds and chopped green onions

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Base

  1. Combine Liquid Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, broth, and rice vinegar. This mixture forms the base of your sauce, providing a rich backdrop for the other flavors.

Adding Flavor

  1. Incorporate Aromatics: Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the liquid base. These ingredients are crucial for achieving the signature depth of flavor in General Tso Sauce.
  2. Sweeten the Sauce: Stir in the brown sugar or honey, adjusting the amount to suit your taste. This step introduces a subtle sweetness that balances the sauce's savory elements.

Thickening the Sauce

  1. Thicken with Cornstarch Slurry: Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce mixture, stirring continuously. Cook over medium heat until the sauce begins to thicken. This step ensures your General Tso Sauce clings beautifully to your chosen dishes.

Tips for Customization

  • Adjust the Heat: Play with the amount of chili flakes to find your perfect level of spiciness. A little goes a long way!
  • Experiment with Sweeteners: Feel free to experiment with different sweeteners like maple syrup or agave to find your preferred balance of flavors.

Usage Ideas

General Tso Sauce is incredibly versatile. Use it to glaze chicken, tofu, or even vegetables. It’s perfect for stir-fries, as a dipping sauce, or drizzled over rice and noodles.

Healthier Alternatives

  • Substitute Sugar: Opt for natural sweeteners like honey or coconut sugar for a healthier twist.
  • Avoid Deep-Frying: To keep your dish healthier, skip deep-frying. Instead, opt for baking, grilling, or sautéing your protein before adding it to the sauce.


Creating your own General Tso Sauce at home not only allows you to adjust the flavors to your liking but also gives you the power to make a healthier version of this classic. With this guide, you’re well on your way to enjoying delicious, guilt-free Asian-inspired meals that don’t compromise on taste. Happy cooking!

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