General Tso’s chicken is a spicy, aromatic, sweet and sour dish with roots in Hunan, China, Taiwan and New York City. Now we branch off again with Vegan General Tso’s ‘Chicken’! In this recipe, I use the BEST vegan fried chicken, oven-fried, as the vegan chicken alternative. It’s amazingly juicy, crispy, crunchy, and perfect for rolling in this sweet and sour sauce while still retaining its texture. This recipe is easily made gluten-free by choosing gluten-free tamari instead of regular soy sauce and using gluten-free dry sherry instead of Shao Hsing wine.
Video tutorial for Vegan General Tso’s Chicken Recipe (gluten-free)
Like many staple Chinese American (and Canadian) dishes, General Tso’s Chicken is a dish that enjoys wide recognition in North America but very little in China. Here’s an interesting read about the history of General Tso’s Chicken.
I like oven-frying the “vegan chicken” in this recipe because it’s less trouble than setting up to deep-fry and the clean-up is quicker too. Plus, while the vegan chicken is in the oven, you can start cooking your jasmine rice and prepare all the stir-fry ingredients.
You can certainly use a store-bought vegan chicken alternative and use the same dredging and baking process to achieve that delicious crispy, crunchy crust. Or, simply use breaded vegan chicken tenders to speed things along. Either way, you’ll love this simple recipe for General Tso’s chicken made vegan.
Printable recipe for Vegan General Tso’s Chicken (gluten-free)
However, the BEST vegan fried chicken recipe takes a couple days of prep to freeze and thaw the main ingredient, medium firm tofu. To speed up this recipe, you can use store-bought vegan chicken alternatives. Follow the dredging and baking instructions for vegan chicken alternatives that do not have breading already. For vegan chicken tenders with breading, you can simply heat them up according to package instructions and toss them into the stir-fry at the end. After you have your vegan chicken prepared, the stir-fry takes 15 minutes or less.
This recipe is easily made gluten-free by choosing gluten-free tamari instead of regular soy sauce and dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine.
- 1 batch the BEST vegan fried chicken recipe, oven-fried or deep-fried; OR Packaged vegan chicken tenders cooked according to package instructions
- 1/2 cup vegan chicken-style broth or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing Wine (or gluten-free dry sherry)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or your choice of sweetener)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil, such as canola or peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 4 dried (or semi-dried) chilies, chopped roughly
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped, dark green parts roughly chopped
- 3 cups mixed vegetables like onions, peppers and broccoli (optional)
- jasmine rice
- toasted sesame seeds
- Prepare the vegan fried chicken using the oven-fried method(recommended). While the vegan fried chicken is baking, start cooking your jasmine rice and prepare the Stir-fry Sauce Mix by combining all the ingredients and stirring well until the cornstarch is dissolved. Measure out all the stir-fry ingredients and have them handy as the stir-fry process goes quickly. If including vegetables, chop them into even, bite-sized pieces.
- When the vegan fried chicken is ready, let it cool while you heat up a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add two teaspoons of cooking oil.
- When the oil is simmering oil, add the ginger, garlic, chilies, and the white and light green scallion. Stir-fry about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- If using, add the vegetables and turn the heat up to medium-high and stir-fry another 30 seconds to a minute; until the vegetables turn bright.
- Give the Stir-fry sauce a quick stir to make sure the cornstarch isn't stuck at the bottom, then pour it into the wok or skillet. The sauce will start to bubble and thicken quickly. When it does, add the vegan chicken. Turn off the heat and fold to coat the ingredients completely in the sauce.
- Add the dark green parts of the scallion and add sesame seeds if desired. Serve immediately over jasmine rice. Enjoy!
- Shaoxing wine is a rice wine but normally contains wheat as well. Dry sherry is a good alternative that is normally gluten-free.
- If cooking nut-free, be sure not to use peanut oil.
- I used semi-fried hot chilies in the video. They are more spicy hot than dried chilies. If you want a milder dish, use dried chilies and remove the seeds before cooking.