general tso's chicken

Do you know what the problem is when your daughter is dating a Chinese American boy for a few years?

When you decide to cook Chinese food, the first thing out of her mouth is,'Moooooooom, this is white people Chinese food!'


So I am embracing the white people Chinese food this one time... much to the horror of my daughter. Oh well, can't please everyone, all of the time.

According to Wikipedia, 'General Tso's chicken is a sweet-and-spicy, deep-fried chicken dish that is popularly served in American Chinese and Canadian Chinese restaurants. The origins of the dish are unclear. The dish was previously largely unknown in China and other lands home to the Chinese diaspora.'

And apparently as with any Americanized food there are disputes of who it belongs to, what restaurant prepared it first, and should it be served with the skin on, should it be sweet and sour or spicy, ect.

Everything gets mired in the details and then I get worried that someone *cough cough trolls on the internet or my daughter* will point at me and yell, 'SHENANIGANS' or even worse 'IMPOSTOR' or the worst 'WHITE PEOPLE FOOD'. You know what? Who cares? It's good food and that's all that should matter.

This recipe doesn't call for you to deep fry the chicken pieces. Instead you lightly coat them in cornstarch and pan fry. This dish comes together quite quickly so have the rice and broccoli cooked ahead of time, so your chicken is crispy and saucy at the same time.

general tso's chicken: food and wine may 2011

1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 large egg white
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
steamed broccoli and white rice, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the toasted sesame oil with the egg white, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch. Add the chicken, stirring to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. *A note here: the cornstarch and liquid comes together in a weird blob sludge thing when you mix it together, don't worry! Add the chicken and just keep stirring, it will coat the chicken. Really, it will.

In a small bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the chile-garlic sauce, sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

In a large saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir the broth mixture, add it to the pan and cook until thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until shimmering. Carefully add the chicken, one piece at a time, and fry over high heat, turning once or twice, until very browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain the chicken on paper towels and immediately add to the sauce along with the scallions. Cook just until coated, about 30 seconds. Serve right away, with steamed broccoli and rice.


Amy said...

When I'm feeling very tired and lazy, I pick up some Chinese from our local market's Chinese hot bar. I always get the sesame chicken, but the General tso's is Paul's favorite. I suppose it is white people Chinese food. But it is yummy...sometimes it's okay to go slummin' ya know?

me again said...


Regarding "Chinese chile-garlic sauce", is there a brand name you recommend?


White Feather said...

I love this delicacy and have tried several recipes that just didn't match up to what I've had in restaurants. Your recipe is a little different than those I've found so I have copied it and will try it as soon as I go shopping for all the ingredients. Your pictures sure are mouthwatering. Thank you so very much. I'll be back with further comments.

A Taste of Paprika

krysta said...

lennie... i actually used sambal oelek which is more of a Indonesian chile sauce. the brand i used was a local brand. if you can't find any thing like that email me and i'll send you some.


Sgt.Todd said...

No worries, I love Americanized Chinese food! If it tastes good, then who cares how authentic it's origins are??

I'm Cassie.... said...

totally making this.

Rebecca said...

I am jealous of both your dinner AND your chopsticks. I might just come snitch them when you're not looking :-)

I love WPCF.

Mom24 said...

Finally got around to making this tonight. Oh my goodness! So good! My son, who normally takes a token piece of chicken to grow cold on his plate took 5 helpings of chicken! Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I can't wait to make it again.