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General Tso's Chicken??

I'm looking for the best general tso's chicken in Boston. I've tried a few places but none are quite right... chicken should be good quality (and not resemble "mystery meat" that makes you close your eyes when you bite it in half), crispy, and with a delicious sauce. If anyone has any recommendations for a place in or around Boston, please let me know.

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  1. Jo Jo Taipei's "country spicy taste chicken" (under Fusion dishes on the menu) is their version of General Tso's, down to the broccoli on the side. The second-best iteration of the dish I have ever had. The first best is at Fuloon in Malden, but it was only on their New Year's special menu this year, unless they took the advice of everyone I know who tasted it and put it on their regular menu.

    Looking forward to the almost assured onslaught of sniffy posts about how anyone could ever want to eat such an "inauthentic" dish.

    12 Replies
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      Fuloon put it on the regular menu, but only available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, along with the rest of that menu http://fuloon-restaurant.com/default.... It is DAMN tasty stuff.

      1. re: Chris VR

        Plus, Fullon puts it on the lunch buffet on weekends. So you can authentic Chinese food and General Tso's Chicken in the same meal for a great fixed price.

        1. re: Delhiwala

          Really? What else do they have for the weekend buffet, is it northern style dim sum?

          1. re: nfo

            The weekend lunch buffet has about 6-8 yummy appetizers (e.g., scallion pancakes, pork dumplings, egg rolls, etc.), about 8-10 main dishes, rice and noodles as well as an entire buffet table of dim sum dishes and another smaller table of deserts and dipping sauces. Oh, they also have 2 or 3 soups (the hot and sour is fabulous). All this for about $10 a person (including wondeful hot tea of course), and free parking is never a problem.
            When I went there on Saturday for the buffet lunch the place was quite full and about 90 percent of the people appeared to be Chinese.

            1. re: Delhiwala

              Second that. Some of the smaller items can be dry and sad but pick carefully and you can do well. It's *much* busier than even 6 months ago, so if you're remembering it from then, things have picked up a lot. I don't think it's a special destination yet, but it's pretty good. And if you don't want the buffet the chef is in the kitchen.

        2. re: Chris VR

          Is the Fuloon version still up to par? I haven't dined with the General for several years, but the SE recipe now has me craving a fix...

          Most importantly, I wonder whether it can possibly pair well with the Mapo Tofu? That's one dish I absolutely must order on every visit to Fuloon... (Although that dish is still really good the next day, so perhaps I can make due.)

          1. re: davis_sq_pro

            I was just wondering that myself. I've moved to Lexington and FuLoon is out of my rotation. I hope someone else knows, though.

            1. re: Chris VR

              yes, it's become a go-to dish there for us. diane says they do 2 versions , one spicier? than the other, and frankly, i can't remember whether we've maybe tried both and liked both..... Wrote about it on another F thread iirc,
              and got the sometimes predictable smarmy comments like 'why on earth were you ordering gen. tso's at fuloon?'

              btw, chris, now that you are further from F, maybe you'd like to try Quingdao on Mass Ave near rt.16? There are CHs who really love it. I've only had their frozen dumplings. (See smtucker's post at the current bottom of this thread.)

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Hm, only one thing called "General Tso's" on the menu. Any recollection of what the spicier one might be called? (I'm assuming the General Tso's would be the normal version with sticky sweet sauce, not that there's anything wrong with that :-))


                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                  hi pro, there wasn't a name for it; diane (the ever-present owner) told us about it. Just ask her and she'll help you.

        3. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          Actually, I believe there *is* an authentic version of General Tso's Chicken. We cooked it from Fuschia Dunlop's Sezchuan cookbook, "Land of Plenty" during a COTM. It is not sweet and has no batter to speak of but is very tasty and full of flavor. If the recipe was not titled you'd never know it was Gen. Tso's....

          We've had it from Fuloon and agree it is a very nice presentation....

          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            It only took 24 hours. See bakerboyz post below. :-) That's actually not too bad.

          2. I haven't ordered General Tso's from this place in about 5 or 6 years, but I remember it being the best I'd ever had - and I would only ever order General Tso at a Chinese restaurant. It was/is at Bille Tse's on the edge of the North End on Commercial St (I think). They also had the best hot and sour soup. Again, I haven't gone there is about 5 or 6 years so if it's not as good as I remember please forgive me!

            1 Reply
            1. re: julieapfel

              Second That. Is was great there back then...

            2. Mary Chung's in Central Sq does a good version.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Prav

                Agreed. I usually eschew The General unless I'm specifically in the mood for ultra-americanized type of stuff, but I really like it here.

                1. re: jgg13

                  It certainly needs some eschewing when not done right. The General Gao's Chicken at Zoe's in Somerville USED TO BE awesome, but has been heading towards the mystery meat end of things in recent times IMO. Might be worth a punt, though.

                  1. re: chickendhansak

                    Interesting. I've lived almost entirely with the sichuan & northern sections of Zoe's menu due to having read some reviews which said to stay away from the other spots. Are there other of the more americanized dishes worth checking out?

              2. Dragon Chef in Needham does a pretty good one, though I can't remember if it was General "Tso" or "Gao". I also can't remember who won the battle that pitted those two against each other, and whether it was the first conflict featuring molten-hot syrupy poultry nuggets as projectiles.

                1. Mary Chung's version of this dish is the best I've ever had.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Kenji

                    Maybe alot of changes can happen in 5 years, or maybe yesterday was a bad day at MC, but we ordered this yesterday at MC because of the raves here, and it was WAY inferior to Fuloon. Not so much a sauce issue (sweet but not too too)but more the fry job, which was just plain bad. No crunch, thick and dead.Ditto the quality of the chicken itself. And a noticeably smaller portion too.

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      As with most things at MC, I find it better to not do a comparison based on name of a dish and rather view it as it's own thing. They tend to have their own spin on everything, and you'll either like it or not for a given dish

                  2. Water Lily in Wayland does an excellent version, and it is owned by the same folks who own Chang Sho in Cambridge, so there's a good chance it might be worth trying there.

                    1. Hi,

                      A bit far afield, but I recommend Uncle Cheung's on Rte. 9 in Framingham. It's the best I've ever had with a wonderful gingery, slightly spicy sauce, which is not gloppy like some. No broccoli though if that's what you like, just wonderful crispy chicken..


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JoJo5

                        I'll take it out of the ball park and on a road trip: Chen Yang Li (sadly the Nashua branch is gone) in Bedford NH and Bow NH. Not greasy, sprightly flavors and beautiful presentation.

                      2. Too me, all versions taste about the same, sweet, fried and gloppy.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bakerboyz

                          That's what makes it great, when you are in the mood for fried, sweet, gloppy food. It's a bummer when you get chewy, gristly, soggy when you are in the mood for crisp and sweet.

                        2. Any recommendations in Chinatown? I'd think that would be the most authentic.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: SaraASR

                            I disagree on the authentic thought. It really is an Americanized dish. The Fuloon version is Malden is also the best that I've had. That said, for Chinatown, the chicken pieces in the General Tso's are excellent at New Jumbo (on Hudson Street) but the sauce is too gloopy. The weekday luncheon special ($4.75) is a good way to try this.

                            1. re: gourmaniac

                              I thought that Diane, the wonderful hostess at Fuloon, indicated that their prep "was" from China - Gourmaniac, I think you were a bit late and missed that, but I could also be mistaken about what she said.

                              1. re: fredid

                                It is a Chinese dish. Most of the versions that we see here in the US are Americanized and General Gau/Tso became what sweet and sour pork was for a previous generation. By the way, the Chinese versions of sweet and sour pork are really good.

                                1. re: gourmaniac

                                  Hmm, Jennifer 8 Lee recounts the journey of General Tso's Chicken in "Fortune Cookie Chronicles" and zeroes in on 2 competing cooks in NYC in the 1970s....

                                  1. re: Karl S

                                    karl, that's a book? well written?
                                    I am soo excited to see, today, that there's a new documentary about the dish!! Let's all hope it will come to Boston soon! I love the trailer:


                                      1. re: enhF94

                                        thx en, found it through amazon and ordered it. I know it will be fascinating!

                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      karl,i forgot to thank you for posting about this book. I read it last Spring and have already given it to 3 people. LOVED this book. I feel like it should be mandatory reading for anyone seriously interested in the food culture of America! It's a little hard to explain to people how multi dimensional it is; I enjoyed and laughed through it,learned sooo much,and became much more culturally aware, all the while developing an indepth understanding and compassion for the past and present of the millions of Chinese restnt workers in this country. She's such a great writer
                                      and a real hot ticket! Wouldn't it be great to have a book like this for all the major food cultures in the U.S.?!

                                      1. re: Karl S

                                        There's also a documentary movie released this year.


                                        1. re: tatsu

                                          The trailer is entertaining; I'm sorry I missed several screenings of the full film over the past year.

                              2. For those brave enough to tackle this one...


                                I, for one will continue trying it at the restaurants mentioned below!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: verka

                                  Funny I just bookmarked this recipe also from Serious eats. Seems a little easier if you like to cook. I do love General Gau of Tso or whoever he is but too many restaurant versions are just not so great. Usually a little too sweet for my taste.

                                  1. re: Walthamfoodman

                                    In the Boston area, if the folks at Quindao know you, they will make you a spicy, delicious, not-too-sweet version of this dish.

                                    1. re: smtucker

                                      If they can make a spicy, delicious dish, I wish they'd make it for anyone, not just folks they know personally.

                                      1. re: Boston_Otter

                                        Well, to be honest, I can't speak to them not knowing someone, since I can't ever order as that person. So I only posted my own experience.

                                        They can make a wonderful version. Perhaps give them a try?

                                  1. General Tso's chicken isn't authentic, you definitely want General Gao's.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Beachowolfe

                                      The true cognoscenti hold out for General Ching's Chicken.


                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                        I always loved the General Tsingtao Chicken. Maybe it's the beer talking.

                                    2. In-laws ordered General Tso's at Sichuan Gourmet in Brookline. It has some interesting spices and is mostly chicken. I like it.

                                      1. I like Peach Farm's rendition. They actually do all the americanized dishes very well in my experience. Pork fried rice, peking ravioli, rangoon, etc are all what you want them to be if you are craving that kind of food.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: joth68

                                          I recall a recent live-tank-whole-fish lunch at Peach Farm where I went around the room checking what the other white patrons were eating. The frickin' General on nearly every plate.


                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                              Did you throw some live fish on all of those plates?

                                              ObGeneralGau: I ordered the general yesterday. I swear I was inebriated.

                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                I did not offer any of my fish. I did ask, "Is that The General?", and if they said yes, I smiled a tight, fake smile.


                                          1. You can actually find the original authentic recipe in the 1860 autobiography of General Tso (it has been transcribed into English) called "The Art of War and Cooking my Chicken"

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: grant.cook

                                              Wouldn't that be General Tzu's Chicken?

                                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                No, Sun Tzu wrote just "The Art of War" - he wasn't into culinary arts at the time. But he did do a subsequent volume later in life on that classic Chinese dish "The Art of Bourbon Chicken"