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Chinese take-out style General Tso's chicken.

mels Sep 14, 2010 10:56 AM

I am willing to admit I love Americanized Chinese take out in all of its over-salted glory.

Now that is out of the way...does anyone make their own General Tso's at home? I make something similar out of an old cook book of mine that has soy, red wine vinegar, sherry, and sugar. It has the sweet/tangy thing going on but it isn't General Tso's. I have seen a few mentions online of Fuchsia Dunlop's recipe, however she states in the NY Times article that hers "lacks the sweetness" of the American version. I believe she says hers is a Taiwanese version.

Anyone care to share their secrets or point me towards a good recipe source?

Fuchsia's recipe, which I don't think is exactly what I am looking for:

  1. k
    katecm Sep 15, 2010 10:23 AM

    For something this specific, I like to use Food Gawker as a resources. Most of the blogs that post to it include recipes, and you should get a good descriptor (and image) of what they have made. This may help you nail it:


    4 Replies
    1. re: katecm
      mels Sep 16, 2010 07:35 AM

      Thanks for the link, I have never heard of Food Gawker. I'll report back on any success (or failure) I have...

      1. re: mels
        cheesecake17 Sep 16, 2010 09:01 AM

        The General Tso's tofu on that site looked pretty good.. and simple to make.

      2. re: katecm
        millygirl Sep 16, 2010 09:37 AM

        Wow, love this site....thanks katecm. Now for sure I'll never get anything done today. Sigh.

        1. re: millygirl
          katecm Sep 16, 2010 09:47 AM

          I've come to prefer it and Tastespotting to regular search engines for when I'm not looking for a specific recipe, but just want to troll, or when I have in mind a particular dish but one recipe won't cut it.

      3. r
        Rheta Sep 16, 2010 10:17 AM

        Here's an excellent recipe for General Tso's:

        2/3 cup hot chicken broth-low-fat ok
        1/3 cup granulated sugar
        14 cup cornstarch mixed with tsp2 Tbls. water
        1/4 cup soy sauce
        1/4 cup sherry
        2 Tbls. white vinegar
        1 tsp. minced 1 tsp. minced ginger
        1 1/2lbs. skinned and boned chicken thighs, cubed
        2 Tbls.soy sauce
        1/2 tsp. white pepper
        1 egg - beaten
        1/2 cup corn starch
        1/2 cup vegetable oil
        1 tsp. sesame or peanut or vegetable oil
        1 cup diced scallions
        2-6 small dried chili pepper- chopped or 3 tsp. chili pepper flakes

        Combine broth, sugar, cornstarch/water mixture, 1/4 cup soy sauce, sherry, vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Refrigerate until needed.

        Mix together chicken, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, white peper and egg. Stir in cornstarch until chicken is coated evenly.
        Stir in 1/2 cup vegetable oil to separate chicken pieces.

        Deep fry chicken in 350 degree oil until crispy.
        Drain chicken on paper towels.

        Place 1 tsp. oil in wok and heat until wok is hot.
        Add scallions and pepper and stir fry briefly.
        Pour refrigerated mixture and chicken into wok.
        Simmer and stir until sauce is thick.

        Enjoy! Great served with brocoli.

        This really is delicious and easy!

        1. Aravisea Sep 16, 2010 10:43 AM

          Fuchsia has two recipes for General Tso's in her Hunan cookbook. I think both are from Hunan-born Chef Peng, who created the dish in Taiwan and altered the formula for American tastes when he opened a restaurant in New York. I've made both recipes - the Taiwanese version, which you linked, is good but not recognizable to an American as General Tso's; the American version has the sweetness we're used to in the States and sets the bar pretty high for take-out! I haven't seen the second General Tso's recipe online anywhere, but you might be able to get Fuchsia's Hunan cookbook at the library - my local library has it.

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