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I don"t know who general tao is but I love his chicken !!

Posted by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:47 PM
  • 21 Replies

We had chinese last night and I am the only one that will eat the general tao chicken (it's like super spicy orange chicken) So i get to eat theleftovers for lunch YUMMY!!!

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:47 PM
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by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:48 PM

It's delicious!!!!!!!!!

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:48 PM

I love it! DD and SO does too!

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:48 PM


by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:48 PM

mmmm so good!

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:49 PM

General Tso's chicken (sometimes General Tao's Chicken, General Tsao's Chicken, General Gao's Chicken, or General Gau'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.[1]

The association with General Tso, or Zuo Zongtang, a Qing dynasty general and statesman, is unclear. The dish is atypical of Hunanese cuisine, which is traditionally very spicy and rarely sweet. Instead, the dish is believed to have been introduced to New York City in the early 1970s as an example of Hunan- and Szechuan-style cooking.[1][2] The dish was first mentioned in The New York Times in 1977.[3]



[edit] Name and origins

It is unclear how the dish came to bear the name of Zuo Zongtang (左宗棠, 1812–1885), a Qing Dynasty general from Hunan. Zuo himself is unlikely ever to have tasted the dish.[2] The dish is not found in Changsha, the capital of Hunan. Nor is it found in Xiangyin, the home of General Tso. Moreover, descendants of General Tso still living in Xiangyin, when interviewed, say that they have never heard of such a dish.[4]

There are several stories concerning the origin of the dish. Eileen Yin-Fei Lo states in her book The Chinese Kitchen that the dish originates from a simple Hunan chicken dish, and that the reference to "Zongtang" in "Zuo Zongtang chicken" was not a reference to Zuo Zongtang's given name, but rather a reference to the homonym "zongtang", meaning "ancestral meeting hall" (Chinese: 宗堂; pinyin: zōngtáng).[5] Consistent with this interpretation, the dish name is sometimes (but considerably less commonly) found in Chinese as "Zuo ancestral hall chicken" (simplified Chinese: 左宗堂鸡; traditional Chinese: 左宗堂雞; pinyin: Zuǒ Zōngtáng jī). (Chung tong gai is a transliteration of “ancestral meeting hall chicken” from Cantonese; Zuǒ Zōngtáng jī is the standard name of General Tso's chicken as transliterated from Mandarin.)

[edit] Taiwan claim

One claim is that the recipe was invented by Taiwan-based, Hunan cuisine chef Peng Chang-kuei[6] (A.K.A Peng Jia) (Chinese: 彭長貴; pinyin: Péng Chánggùi), who had been an apprentice of Cao Jingchen's, a famous early 20th century Chinese chef.[citation needed] Peng was the Nationalist government banquets' chef and fled with Chiang Kai-shek's forces to Taiwan during the Chinese civil war.[6] There, he continued his career as official chef until 1973, when he moved to New York to open a restaurant.[citation needed] That was where Peng Jia started inventing new dishes and modifying traditional ones; one new dish, General Tso's chicken, was originally prepared without sugar, and subsequently altered to suit the tastes of "non-Hunanese people."[citation needed] The popularity of the dish has now led to it being "adopted" by local Hunanese chefs and food writers, perhaps as an acknowledgment of the dish's unique status, upon which the international reputation of Hunanese cuisine was largely based.[1][4] Ironically, when Peng Jia opened a restaurant in Hunan in the 1990s introducing General Tso's chicken, the restaurant closed without success because the locals found the dish too sweet.[4]

[edit] New York claim

Peng's Restaurant on East 44th Street in New York City claims that it was the first restaurant in the city to serve General Tso's chicken. Since the dish (and cuisine) was new, Chef Peng Jia made it the house specialty in spite of the dish's commonplace ingredients.[1] A review of Peng’s in 1977 mentions that their “General Tso's chicken was a stir-fried masterpiece, sizzling hot both in flavor and temperature”.[7]

New York's Shun Lee Palaces, East (155 E. 55th St.) and West (43 W. 65th St.) also says that it was the first restaurant to serve General Tso's chicken and that it was invented by a Chinese immigrant chef named T. T. Wang in 1972. Michael Tong, owner of New York's Shun Lee Palaces, says, "We opened the first Hunanese restaurant in the whole country, and the four dishes we offered you will see on the menu of practically every Hunanese restaurant in America today. They all copied from us."[2]

The two stories can be somewhat reconciled in that the current General Tso's chicken recipe—where the meat is crispy fried—was introduced by Chef Wang, but as "General Ching's chicken," a name which still has trace appearances on menus on the Internet. However, the name "General Tso's chicken" traces to Chef Peng, who cooked it in a different way.[4]

A dish of General Tso's chicken

[edit] Recipes

Though relatively inexpensive to produce, General Tso’s chicken is often listed as a “chef’s specialty” at Chinese restaurants in North America, commanding a higher price than other items.[8] Many restaurants, especially in areas with many vegetarians, also serve General Tso's tofu or General Tso's veg (soy protein).[9]. Other variants often use substitutes such as shrimp, beef, or pork for the chicken.[10][11]

[edit] Regional differences

The name the dish goes by varies by region. At the United States Naval Academy, the dish is served in the main mess hall, King Hall, as “Admiral Tso’s Chicken,” reflecting a nautical theme.[4] The Pei Wei chain of Chinese restaurants has a “Pei Wei Spicy” preparation (which can be served with chicken or other types of meat and vegetables). The menu says “our version of General Chu” in parentheses. It is made with “chile vinegar sauce, scallion, garlic, snap peas, carrot.”

Outside North America, one notable establishment that serves General Tso’s chicken is the Taiwanese restaurant Peng Chang-kuei, which is credited by some sources as the inventor of the dish[6]. Differences between this “original” dish and that commonly encountered in North America are that it is not sweet and sour in flavor, the chicken is cooked with its skin, and soy sauce plays a much more prominent role.[4]

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Ah....Chinese! Love the stuff, but can't eat it any more. Makes me thirsty and bloated.

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Quoting Robbin74:

Ah....Chinese! Love the stuff, but can't eat it any more. Makes me thirsty and bloated.

this makes me sad for you I will think of you while I eat my yummy chicken

by Platinum Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:55 PM

 Ah I had Chinese takeout Saturday nite and got that along with chicken w/ broccolli and vegetable fried rice...great now I am craving Chinese AGAIN.

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:55 PM

 YUM! It's my favorite!

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Damn you, now I want Chinese.

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