What Does General Tso’s Chicken Taste Like?

general tso chickenWhat do you think is the most loved Chinese food? I’d say it’s really hard to name a particular dish. But one dish we all know more or less is the General Tso’s chicken. Chinese cuisine is highly respected for its incredible dishes and how delicious they taste in our mouths. General Tso’s chicken is no exception. Like most chicken dishes this Chinese dish is also greatly hyped for its unique palatability. Are you planning to order a box soon? Then you better learn what to expect from this dish taste-wise. Let me break it down for you.

What does General Tso’s chicken taste like?

First thing first, General Tso’s chicken has a blended savory, sweet, and spicy flavor. You can taste the adequate sweetness and at the same time, plenty of savory spiceries. As soy sauce is one of the top ingredients for this dish, you can taste the umami notes as soon as it touches your tongue. It’s a satisfactory burst of all the flavors that makes you go “Mmmm..” with your eyes closed.

So how would I describe General Tso’s chicken? Well, for someone who eats Mexican food twice a week, General Tso’s chicken is definitely my favorite for the spicy taste. You can find a lot of similarities between orange and sesame chicken, but General Tso’s has its own fame for being succulent and flavorful.

The dark chicken meats (cubed) are marinated with salt, pepper, and cornstarch with egg coating or flour batter and deep-fried in high heat. After that, a special sweet and spicy sauce is made to toss the chicken in that. When you bite into a piece, you can taste the rich taste of soy sauce, sugary sweetness, and a lot of spicinesses because of the dried red chili peppers (sometimes crushed black peppers too). Oftentimes this dish is served with some greens (i.e.- broccoli) for better appearance which I think is really cool. What say?

Did you know in some restaurants cook this dish with a slight amount of dry sherry or rice wine? To add a tad bit of tanginess, you may even taste some vinegar in there too. Honestly speaking, the authentic dish is hard to find in America. It is Westernized to a great extent. So if the dish doesn’t taste the same as you tasted on your trip to China. Sorry about that, mate!

Does General Tso’s taste like orange chicken?

Did you try both of these dishes— orange chicken and General Tso’s chicken? Certainly, you can taste significant differences. The biggest one is that General Tso’s chicken is significantly spicy as red chilies are used in that. Contrarily, orange chicken has a very special sweet taste in it besides the spiciness.

The major difference that separates these two dishes is the orangy, citrusy flavor in the orange chicken which is not present in General Tso’s chicken. Orange chicken has a citrus flavor that you can’t just avoid, thanks to the orange juice and orange zest. Oppositely, no fruit juice or zest is used to cook General Tso’s chicken. Indeed they are both ‘sweet and spicy’.but the sweetness of orange chicken is a tad bit tangy. You can’t just ignore that.

Another simple way to distinguish between General Tso’s chicken and orange chicken is their appearance. If you get the chance to look at them side by side, you will notice orange chicken has a brighter and lighter color. The color is a little darker for General Tso’s chicken because of using red peppers and soy sauce. General Tso’s chicken also has a fine sweet, savory and sour glaze on it, which you can’t see in orange chicken. So, clearly, these two dishes are not the same.

Is General Tso’s chicken spicy?

It’s the sauce that makes each Chinese dish stand in the crowd. The same goes for General Tso’s chicken. Yes, as mentioned, the dish has a great level of sweetness in it that you can’t just miss. And a subtle hint of spice is right there in the sauce. You possibly cannot run out of spicy chili sauce for this dish. Each portion has more than enough sauce. You might even eat this spicy sauce as gravy and mix it with your sides or rice/ noodles. So, yeah, in a nutshell, General Tso’s chicken is spicy. But hey! Fear not! It won’t make your nose and eyes water. It’s not as deadly as the Flaming Hot Doritos.

Is General Tso’s chicken healthy?

I am extremely sorry to say, General Tso’s chicken is not really the ideal food if you’re on a mission to lose some weight before this summer. Why? Well, to start, the dish is loaded with a whopping 1500 calories and 88 grams of fat. On top of that, it is smothered with sugary sauce, and oh yes, the chicken is fried with cornstarch which is one of the raw ingredients for making candy.

Let’s not forget the unnecessary amount of sodium in this dish. Everything is way out of line with your recommended daily intake. So if you have a health condition or you’re strictly on a diet, one serving of this hard-to-resist dish will botch your weeks of hard work. Bey hey, if it sounds too discouraging, why don’t you have a cheat day and treat yourself. Don’t overeat this dish if you want to stay in the shape you are right now.  


Is it clear to you now? Nothing too excessive, or fancy, but just enough to make your mouth salivate. Like most Chinese dishes, General Tso’s chicken does know how to play in your mouth. The perfect balance of “sweet and spice and everything nice”— that’s what I say about this dish every time I ‘devour it’. I just can’t get enough of it and I’m sure once you get hooked, you can’t let go either. So order some extra to enjoy the dish for later. And as always, Bon Appetit!