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This sweet, tangy, and savory General Tso shrimp is a real crowd-pleaser. It’s quick and easy to make, ready in less than 30 minutes, and boasts delicious flavors that are even better than what you’d get from a takeout restaurant.

Easy General Tso Shrimp Stir Fry served over rice, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds.

For the most flavorful General Tso’s shrimp, the marinating step is critical. This ensures that the shrimp fully absorbs all the delicious flavors, and it also keeps them from drying out while cooking.

If you’re a fan of this dish, you’ll definitely want to check out my tofu kung pao, black pepper chicken, or chicken stir fry. These tasty recipes are also delicious and guaranteed to satisfy your cravings for classic Chinese flavors.

Stir-fried General Tso Shrimp with chili peppers and sesame seeds served over white rice.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Better than Takeout: This General Tso’s shrimp recipe is not only quick and easy but the result is so delicious, it’s better than takeout! The combination of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors is simply perfect.
Quick and Easy: With a prep time of 10 minutes and a cooking time of 15 minutes, you can have this tasty dish ready in less than 30 minutes. That makes it the perfect solution for those busy weeknights when you’re craving something special but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.
Perfectly Crispy: The method of battering the shrimp will make it perfectly crispy. It’s then coated with a glossy, spicy, and sweet sauce that’s incredibly flavorful. You’ll be amazed it’s all homemade!

Glazed Chinese shrimp stir fry served over white rice garnished with sesame seeds and green onions, accompanied by red chopsticks as part of an easy Chinese shrimp takeout order.

General Tso’s Shrimp Recipe Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Shrimp: This recipe calls for shrimp that’s been peeled and deveined. You’ll want to keep the tails on for a better presentation. 
Shaoxing Wine: This Chinese rice wine adds a depth of flavor to the shrimp. If you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute dry sherry or non-alcoholic white wine.
Soy Sauce: It adds the classic savory, umami flavor to our General Tso’s shrimp recipe.
Chili Oil, Red Chiles, and Red Pepper Flakes: This spicy ingredient adds a nice kick to the dish. You can control the heat by adding more or less, or omitting it entirely if you don’t like spicy food.
Cornstarch: This is used to coat the shrimp. It helps to make them crispy when they’re fried and also thickens the sauce later on.
Ginger and Garlic: These are minced and added to the shrimp for a flavor boost. Be sure to mince them finely so you don’t get a big chunk in your food.
General Tso Sauce: For the homemade sauce, you’ll need soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, mirin, and cornstarch. The cornstarch is mixed with a little water to make a slurry and used to thicken the sauce, the other ingredients give it a delicious sweet, tangy, and umami flavor.

Various raw ingredients for an easy General Tso Shrimp Stir Fry arranged neatly on a wooden table, including shrimp and spices.
Spicy General Tso's shrimp served over rice, garnished with sesame seeds and sliced chili peppers.
Close-up of a General Tso Shrimp dish garnished with green onions and served over white rice with chopsticks.

How to Make General Tso Shrimp

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Marinate the shrimp: Add the shrimp to a bowl and mix in the Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, chili oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let it marinate while you prepare the sauce.
Prepare the General Tso sauce: In a saucepan, heat the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chile oil, sesame oil, and mirin. Bring to a gentle boil and stir in the cornstarch. Remove from heat.
Coat and fry the shrimp: Add cornstarch and red pepper flakes to the marinating shrimp and toss to coat. Fry the shrimp in batches in a wok or large skillet until crispy, then place on a paper towel-lined plate.
Prepare the vegetable mixture: Remove most of the oil from the wok, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add the garlic, ginger, dried red chiles, and sliced green and red chiles and cook for 2 minutes.
Combine the shrimp and sauce: Pour the prepared sauce over the cooked shrimp and stir to coat. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Garnish and serve: Garnish the General Tso shrimp with sesame seeds and serve it with white rice or your favorite side.

Stir-fried shrimp with chili peppers and onions in a seasoned wok, a classic Chinese takeout order.
A plate of homemade General Tso Shrimp served over white rice.

Substitutions and Variations

Spice Level: If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can easily adjust the heat level of this General Tso’s shrimp recipe. Simply reduce or omit the spicy chili oil and cut down on the amount of chiles you use.
Shaoxing Wine: If you don’t have Shaoxing wine on hand, a good substitute would be dry sherry. They have a similar flavor profile and will provide a similar depth of flavor to your dish.                   
Alcohol-Free: For those who prefer not to use alcohol, you can replace the Shaoxing wine with rice vinegar and half a teaspoon of white sugar. It will still give you a similar
tangy-sweet flavor.
Extra Veggies: To add a boost of nutrition and freshness to this dish, feel free to throw in some extra vegetables like broccoli or snap peas. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time to make sure that they’re not overcooked.

A close-up of a sesame-coated piece of copycat General Tso Shrimp held by red chopsticks.
A plate of copycat General Tso Shrimp over rice garnished with green onions, with chopsticks, accompanied by broccoli and chili peppers on a wooden table.
Homemade General Tso's shrimp served on a bed of white rice, garnished with sesame seeds and spring onions.

Serving Suggestions

Common Side Dishes: General Tso shrimp makes a great main course for a quick weeknight dinner or a delicious weekend treat. Pair it with a bowl of steamed white rice or gluten-free noodles to soak up the tasty sauce. You might also want to try my PF Chang’s copycat fried rice!
Contrasting Side: Since this shrimp dish packs a bit of a spicy punch, a mild-tasting side dish like steamed bok choy or even a simple cucumber salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the heat. It’s also great with some steamed broccoli.
Other Asian Mains: I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m craving takeout, I always want to have a few different options. Try some vegan tofu kung pao with it!

Made at home copycat general tso's chicken served over white rice with a side of green vegetables as part of a Chinese takeout order.

How to Store General Tso’s Shrimp

Store: If you have any leftovers, make sure to remove the shrimp from the sauce before
storing. Place them in an airtight container and pop them into the fridge. You can keep the General Tso sauce separate and it will last for up to 3 days.
Freeze: You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Make sure to place it in a freezer-safe container before you do so.
Thaw: Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Reheat: Reheat in a foil-covered baking dish for about 10 minutes at 325 degrees F in the oven or until hot. I like to remove the foil during the last minute or so, so the top can crisp up a little.

Stir-fried shrimp with a glossy sauce and a sprinkling of red and green peppers in a cooking pan, an easy Chinese shrimp dish ready in less than 30 minutes.

Top Tips 

Don’t Skip the Marinating Step: Marinating the shrimp in the mixture of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and chili oil is crucial. It helps infuse the shrimp with flavor and guarantees that they’re not dry after frying.
Work in Batches: When frying the shrimp, avoid overcrowding the wok. Working in batches will help make sure that each shrimp gets crispy and golden brown all over.

Easy homemade copycat General Tso shrimp served over rice, garnished with red chili peppers and sesame seeds.
General Tso shrimp held with red chopsticks, close-up view.

General Tso’s Shrimp FAQs

What can I substitute for peanut oil if I have a nut allergy?

If you’re allergic to nuts, you can use a different type of oil such as canola oil or sunflower oil. Just make sure that whatever substitute you choose has a high smoke point, as the shrimp need to be fried at a high temperature to achieve the perfect crunch.

Can I use a different type of wine instead of Shaoxing wine?

If you don’t have Shaoxing wine, you can replace it with dry sherry. They have a similar flavor profile and will provide a similar depth of flavor to your General Tso shrimp. If you don’t consume alcohol at all, you can substitute it with rice vinegar and a bit of sugar.

How can I adjust the recipe if I don’t like it too spicy?

To dial down the heat in this recipe, you can reduce or omit the spicy chili oil and decrease the amount of chilis you use. This way, you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of the dish without the fiery twist.

General Tso shrimp served over rice with red chili peppers and scallions.

General Tso Shrimp Recipe

5 from 111 votes

Easy General Tso Shrimp Stir Fry

By: Bella Bucchiotti
General Tso shrimp is an easy Chinese shrimp dish which you can rustle up in less than 30 minutes. Also known as General Tao's shrimp or General Tsao's shrimp, this shrimp stir fry is a popular Chinese takeout order that you can make at home.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 Pound shrimp
  • 1 Tablespoon shaoxing wine
  • 1 Teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon chile oil, spicy
  • ½ Cup cornstarch
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 1 Pinch pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 2 Teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 6 red chiles, dried
  • 2 green chiles
  • 2 red chiles

Garnish

  • sesame seeds
  • scallions

General Tso Sauce

  • ¼ Cup soy sauce
  • ¼ Cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chili oil, spicy
  • 2 Tablespoon mirin
  • 2 Teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions 

  • Preheat 2 cups of oil in a wok until 350 degrees F.
  • Add shrimp to a bowl with shaoxing wine, soy sauce, spicy chili oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let marinate as the sauce is prepared.
  • For the General Tso Sauce, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add soy sauce, hoisin, spicy chili oil, sesame oil, and mirin to the pan and bring to a low boil. Once the sauce starts to bubble, stir in the cornstarch and remove from heat.
  • Add cornstarch and red pepper flakes to the shrimp and toss to coat. Fry for 3 minutes. Do not overcrowd the oil. Work in batches and place fried shrimp onto a paper towel lined sheet as you work.
  • Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, dried red chiles, and sliced green and red chiles to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the sauce and stir. Cook until thickened, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp to the sauce in the wok and toss to coat.
  • Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Notes

Don’t Skip the Marinating Step: Marinating the shrimp in the mixture of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and chili oil is crucial. It helps infuse the shrimp with flavor and guarantees that they’re not dry after frying.
Work in Batches: When frying the shrimp, avoid overcrowding the wok. Working in batches will help make sure that each shrimp gets crispy and golden brown all over.

Nutrition

Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 0.3mg | Sodium: 884mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 179IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

General Tso shrimp is a delicious and easy Chinese shrimp recipe you can make in less than 30 minutes in one pan. It’s just as delicious as any Chinese takeout order – I’d say it’s even better! If you’re a fan of seafood and spices, you have to try this delicious seafood recipe.

Other Recipes To Try

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow was this delicious! My family has been raving about this meal for days. Definitely keeping this one at the front of my recipe file. Thank you!