General Tso Noodles. Easy-to-make, one pan vegetarian noodles tossed in a flavorful sweet, tangy and spicy homemade general tso sauce. These stir fried noodles come together in no time for a quick lunch or dinner anyday.
Among the numerous chinese american dishes, General Tso sauce chicken is one of our huge favorite. The general tso sauce with its perfect balance of sweet, spicy, tangy and hints of umami pushes all the right buttons.
General Tso chicken is the most popular version made out of this westernized asian condiment, however I feel that sauce can be used for almost anything - tofu, chickpeas, shrimp, mushrooms or noddles. Infact, that is how this recipe was actually born! I had leftover sauce from making the chicken and after a couple of days, I tossed noodles and vegetables in it for lunch and viola! My indian soul could not help but compare them to hakka noodles or chowmein, however the sweetish taste definitely makes them different from indo chinese noodles .
How is General Tso Sauce Made?
General Tso Sauce is simple to make and can be easily put together if you have asian pantry staples. I use a lot of things from my indo chinese pantry on days when I am out of things and trust me it works fine(read below)! Here is everything that goes in this homemade sauce. :-
Please Note :- I am Adding Amazon links to the ingredients for reference only. I currently DO NOT earn anything from Amazon.
- Soy Sauce :- Use stir fry or regular soy sauce, not the lite/light variety. You can use dark soy sauce as well.
- Hoisin Sauce- This is easily available in asian aisle of all stores and I like the one by Lee Kum Kum Kee.
- Sesame Oil - You need just ½ teaspoon. Toasted sesame oil is quite strong (in my opinion) and for me, its an acquired taste. I have ruined many dishes in the past while trying to understand its usage. Simply put, a little goes too far. I won't add more than 1 teaspoon.
- Garlic Chilli Paste. Needless to say, adds a wonderful kick. It is easily available in all stores, this is the brand I use. But if you would like to substitute - go for sriracha + minced garlic.
- Red Chilli Pepper Flakes. If you are out, use extra sriracha or minced green chilies.
- Rice Wine Vinegar- Adds much needed tanginess. I sometimes use Ching's Chili Vinegar with added heat 🙂
- Brown Sugar. To balance out all the heat & saltiness going here.
- Minced Ginger & Garlic - Simply pound a knob of fresh ginger and few garlic pods to a fine paste in mortar and pestle and use. It tastes a few minutes and the freshness is amazing. Avoid using store bought ginger garlic paste- the citric acid used for preservation just does not go well in here.
- Vegetable Stock
Refer the recipe card for exact quantities.
How To Use Indo Chinese Pantry for this Recipe?
Don't want to run to the store for specific ingredients or get ingredients just for this recipe? I feel you. Also, if there are ingredients which you feel do not have multiple uses in your kitchen then avoid buying and simply substitute. If your kitchen boasts of a solid indo chinese pantry, here are the few ways to easily make General Tso sauce.
- Use Ching's Secret Dark Soy sauce .
- Replace garlic chili paste with Ching's Schezwan Chutney Sauce.
- Use Ching's Chili Vinegar in place of Rice Vinegar.
- Take a look at this article I found about hoisin sauce substitutes. Its quite helpful.
Substitutions in this recipe are not scientific. Use any kind of chili for heat, lemon or lime will work for tanginess etc. You get the idea!
What kind of Noodles to use for this recipe?
You can use any kind of noodles this recipe- Whole wheat noodles, rice noodle (flat ones), egg noodles or lo mein noodles! Instant Ramen noodles also work great. I use fresh noodles available in the refrigerator section of stores whenever I can find them. We love love thin(ish) noodles and I use them even for making hakka noodles, try it sometimes! I simply rehydrate the noodles by pouring hot water. This is the one I use. These have long refrigerator life.
Pro Tip:- Always massage the noodles with little bit of oil once they have boiled to avoid them from sticking to each other as well as for better crisping later when tossed with the sauce.
General Tso Noodles Recipe Steps
Whenever you are making any asian recipe, make sure to prepare all the ingredients before hand since the actual cooking takes place on high heat within a matter of minutes. Preparing everything before hand will make sure that there is no overcooking. Texture is of great importance in asian dishes and prep work helps a lot in achieving that. Here are the easy steps to make the General Tso Noodles.
Step 1:- Start by preparing the sauce. Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let sit for flavors to mingle while you do rest of the steps.
Step 2:- Follow package instructions and prepare the noodles.
Step 3:- Saute aromatics in oil. Add noodles and sauce. Stir fry on high heat. Done!
Follow recipe card for more instructions. Scroll down for serving suggestions.
How to Serve General Tso Noodles?
General Tso noodles are saucy chinese style noodles and really delicious and flavor packed on their own. On days when you want to treat yourself to some carb heaven, enjoy them as it is. You can serve them with panfried vegetables (like I do) or chicken, mushroom, broccoli or tofu. Toss the sides- veggies or protein in the sauce as well (recipe makes extra!) Seriously the general too sauce is so good with everything.
Can General Tso Sauce be made Gluten Free or Vegan?
Yes. There are ton of substitutes available in the market these days. to name a few, use tamari in place of soy sauce, make sure that the vegetable stock you are using is gluten free. I am not a vegan or gluten expert but its common sense. Basically, read the labels of the condiments and make sure that they suit your dietary needs.
Can I use General Tso Sauce?
Yes of course! If you want to use a store bought General Tso sauce- this is the one I recommend, I have used it for making and love the taste.
Is the sauce too spicy?
For my Indian palate, no 🙂 It is a good balance of spicy sweet and tangy. You can reduce the chili paste or red chili flakes quantity as per you tolerance.
Can I use this sauce to make something else?
Yes. Absolutely!. This sauce is perfect for stir fried veggies, shrimp, tofu,chicken or even fried rice. In fact my recipe makes a double batch of sauce so you can use it for something else later in the week.
Make Ahead & Storage Suggestions
You can make the sauce ahead of time(like a night before) and use it next day for noodles or vegetables or chicken etc. However, I want to point that after a few hours (let say about 4 or 5 hours) of tossing, the noodles did start to lose their chewy texture. Which is expected for most asian dishes so keep that in mind. Point being, stir fry and serve right away!
Other Noodle Recipes You Would Love
- Paneer Chowmein
- Gochujang Noodles
- Singapore Street noodles
- Hakka Noodles
- Green Chili & Garlic Egg Noodles
General Tso Noodles Recipe
- Wok or Wide Pan
- Chopping Board & Knife
- Mixing Bowls & Measurement Spoons
To Make the General Tso Sauce (Makes extra)
- 2 tablespoon chilli garlic paste, adjust to tolerance
- 2 tablespoon Regular Soy Sauce (Or 1 tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce)
- 2 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Red Chili pepper flakes, adjust to tolerance
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1.5 tablespoon vegetable stock (or water)
- 1 teaspoon pure toasted sesame seed oil
- ¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon Minced Ginger & Garlic
For Making the Noodles
- 12 oz (350g) noodles
- 3 tablespoon cooking oil
- 4 scallion stalks, white & green parts chopped separately
- 3 tablespoon chopped ginger & garlic
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Set the noodles to boil or hydrate while you prep the sauce and vegetables. Cook as per package instructions, drain once cooked, reserve ½ cup noodle water and massage drained noodles with a little oil after to avoid them sticking.
- In a small bowl, mix all the listed ingredients for the general two sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust the ingredients if needed as per your liking. At this point it should taste bold and salty. Keep ready.
- In a 10 inch pan or wok, heat up oil on medium high.Add the white scallion parts, chopped ginger & garlic for 2 minutes till they are soft. Work quickly.
- Add the noodles and add about ⅓ cup of the general tso sauce. Stir fry the noodles in the sauce on high for about 3 minutes continuously tossing else they will not be crispy and begin to steam in the sauce. Taste and adjust the salt. Add black pepper if you wish. Add more sauce if you wish.
- Mix in the chopped green onion parts. Serve!
- Refer to the written article about substitutions.
- The leftover extra sauce stays well for about 4 days in the fridge. So you can make another dish in the same week. Refer to the article for suggestions.
- You can add some sliced onions as well while stir frying.