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General Tso's Chicken??

JMelnyk Mar 16, 2009 10:49 AM

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. BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: JMelnyk Mar 16, 2009 11:05 AM

    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
      Chris VR RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 16, 2009 02:12 PM

      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
        Delhiwala RE: Chris VR Mar 16, 2009 03:01 PM

        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
          nfo RE: Delhiwala Mar 16, 2009 05:16 PM

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

          1. re: nfo
            Delhiwala RE: nfo Mar 17, 2009 10:15 AM

            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
              Aromatherapy RE: Delhiwala Mar 18, 2009 05:41 AM

              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
          davis_sq_pro RE: Chris VR Apr 15, 2014 07:01 AM

          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
            Chris VR RE: davis_sq_pro Apr 15, 2014 07:21 AM

            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
              opinionatedchef RE: Chris VR Apr 15, 2014 12:55 PM

              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
                davis_sq_pro RE: opinionatedchef Apr 15, 2014 01:33 PM

                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
                  opinionatedchef RE: davis_sq_pro Apr 15, 2014 03:33 PM

                  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
          Gio RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 17, 2009 09:53 AM

          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
            yumyum RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 17, 2009 10:21 AM

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

          2. j
            julieapfel RE: JMelnyk Mar 16, 2009 12:50 PM

            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
              aregularjoe RE: julieapfel Apr 15, 2014 02:09 PM

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

            2. Prav RE: JMelnyk Mar 16, 2009 01:09 PM

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

              3 Replies
              1. re: Prav
                jgg13 RE: Prav Mar 16, 2009 01:36 PM

                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
                  chickendhansak RE: jgg13 Mar 16, 2009 02:48 PM

                  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
                    jgg13 RE: chickendhansak Mar 16, 2009 03:20 PM

                    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. nsenada RE: JMelnyk Mar 16, 2009 01:24 PM

                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. k
                  Kenji RE: JMelnyk Mar 16, 2009 01:25 PM

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

                  1. p
                    pollystyrene RE: JMelnyk Mar 16, 2009 11:53 PM

                    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. j
                      JoJo5 RE: JMelnyk Mar 17, 2009 09:17 AM


                      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
                        greygarious RE: JoJo5 Mar 17, 2009 03:31 PM

                        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. b
                        bakerboyz RE: JMelnyk Mar 17, 2009 09:31 AM

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

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bakerboyz
                          tdaaa RE: bakerboyz Mar 17, 2009 10:29 AM

                          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. SaraASR RE: JMelnyk Mar 18, 2009 07:33 AM

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

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: SaraASR
                            gourmaniac RE: SaraASR Mar 18, 2009 07:39 AM

                            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
                              fredid RE: gourmaniac Mar 18, 2009 11:29 AM

                              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
                                gourmaniac RE: fredid Mar 18, 2009 11:36 AM

                                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
                                  Karl S RE: gourmaniac Mar 18, 2009 12:00 PM

                                  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
                                    opinionatedchef RE: Karl S Apr 12, 2014 01:08 PM

                                    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: opinionatedchef
                                      enhF94 RE: opinionatedchef Apr 12, 2014 06:58 PM

                                      An excellent book.

                                      1. re: enhF94
                                        opinionatedchef RE: enhF94 Apr 12, 2014 10:55 PM

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

                          2. v
                            verka RE: JMelnyk Apr 14, 2014 08:43 AM

                            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
                              Walthamfoodman RE: verka Apr 14, 2014 07:19 PM

                              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
                                smtucker RE: Walthamfoodman Apr 14, 2014 07:20 PM

                                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
                                  Boston_Otter RE: smtucker Apr 15, 2014 04:07 AM

                                  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
                                    smtucker RE: Boston_Otter Apr 15, 2014 04:20 AM

                                    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?

                            2. jpr54_1 RE: JMelnyk Apr 14, 2014 09:20 AM

                              a propos the topic

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