The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (2022)

Why It Works

  • A balanced sauce has plenty of vinegary kick to balance out the cloying sweetness of most restaurant versions.
  • Cooking the aromatics for the sauce at a lower temperature lets their flavors develop without having to superheat your wok or skillet.
  • Vodka's higher volatility and ability to inhibit gluten formation leaves you with a superior crisp crust when added to the chicken coating.
  • Adding some of the marinade to the dry coating mixture creates little nuggets that cling to the chicken pieces, adding more surface area for extra crunch.

If the British can proudly callchicken tikka masalatheir national dish, then surely it's time that General Tso got his chicken in our national spotlight. After all, ask yourself this question that Jennifer 8. Lee, journalist and author ofThe Fortune Cookie Chroniclesasked in aTED Talk: how many times a year do you eat Chinese food versus the supposedly all-American apple pie?

According to Lee, there are 40,000 Chinese restaurants in the country—more than all of the McDonald's, Burger Kings, Wendy's, and Kentucky Fried Chickens combined. And whether it's called General Tso's (as it is here in New York), General Gau's (the way I knew it through my college years in New England), Cho's, Chau's, Joe's, Ching's, or, as they call it in the Navy, Admiral Tso's, walk into any one of those restaurants and chances are you'll find it on the menu.

Its origins are still up for debate. Its namesake, General Zuo Zongtang, almost certainly never tasted the dish before his death in 1885 and, as Lee discovers, his descendants—many of whom still reside in the General's hometown of Xiangyin—don't recognize the dish as a family heirloom, or even as particularly Chinese, for that matter.

As my friend Francis Lam reported inthis fantastic pieceon the origins of General Tso's chicken, the late Ed Schoenfeld, proprietor of New York's Red Farm and one of the world's experts on Chinese-American cuisine, traced its origins to Chef Peng Jia, a Hunanese chef who fled to Taiwan after the 1949 revolution. Made with un-battered large chunks of dark meat chicken tossed in a tart sauce, it was more savory than sweet. It wasn't until a New York-based chef, T.T. Wang, learned the recipe from Peng in Taiwan, brought it back, added a crispy deep-fried coating and sugar to the sauce, and changed the name to General Ching's that it stuck, eventually making its way onto Chinese menus across the country and the globe. It's so popular that there's an entirefeature length film on its origins.

It makes sense: As Lee says, we Americans like our food sweet, we like it fried, and man, do we love chicken.

The details may vary—you'll see everything from broccoli to canned water chestnuts to mushrooms to (eek!) baby corn added to versions around the country—but the basics are the same: You start with chicken with the kind of crisp, craggy, deep-fried coating that Colonel Sanders himself would be proud of (what is it with military men and fried chicken anyway?), then toss it in a sweet and punchy sauce flavored with garlic, ginger, scallions, and dried chiles. Throw it all on a plate with some steamed white rice and you've got one of America's most popular dishes.

It also happens to be one of the safer options on Chinese-American menus. Even the $5-with-a-can-of-Coke-and-egg-drop-soup lunch special at the sleaziest college take-out joint hits your taste buds in that sort of hangover-craving kind of way that a McDonald's Chicken McNugget dipped in Sweet 'N Sour Sauce manages to nail time after time. And yet, I firmly believe that it has the potential to be so much more than that. How great would a homemade version of General Tso's be, with a flavor that shows some real complexity and a texture that takes that crisp-crust-juicy-center balance to the extreme?

I'm smart enough to know that one should never get involved in a land war in Asia. Luckily, this was a battle I could fight in my own kitchen at home. I rolled up my sleeves and headed into the fray.

Making the Sauce

Knowing that getting the crisp coating on the chicken right was going to be the toughest challenge, I decided to get the sauce out of the way first.

Though Chinese restaurants often brand General Tso's with a token chile or two next to its number on the menu, its flavors are really more sweet and savory with a bracing hit of acidity than actually spicy. Shaoxing wine (a Chinese rice wine similar in flavor to dry sherry), soy sauce, rice vinegar, chicken stock, and sugar are the base ingredients, and they all get thickened up into a shiny glaze with a bit of cornstarch.

I looked at several existing recipes and tasted versions of the sauce from restaurants all around New York. Most restaurant versions are syrupy sweet, while home recipes range from being cloying to containing almost no sugar at all. I found that plenty of sugar is actually agoodthing in these sauces, but that the sugar has to be paired with enough acidity to balance it out. I settled on a mixture of 2 tablespoons wine, 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 3 tablespoons chicken stock, and a full 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, along with a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil and a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it up.

Even with the basic liquid ingredients balanced, the sauce tasted flat and boring without aromatics; in this case, they're ginger, garlic, scallions, and some dried whole red chiles.

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (1)

Here's one of the great things about making General Tso's at home:you don't need a wok.* See, General Tso's is not really a stir-fried dish. It's deep fried chicken tossed with a sauce. The only place that stir-frying might come into play is with cooking those aromatics.

*I mean, you don't need need a wok for any Chinese dish, but if smoky, deep wok hei is your goal,it certainly helps.

I tried cooking a couple batches of sauce side by side. One I made the traditional way: oil heated until smoking hot, with the aromatics added in and stir-fried for just 30 seconds or so before adding in the liquid ingredients and letting the sauce simmer and thicken. The second I made by starting the same aromatics in a cold pan with oil, heating them while stirring until aromatic, then adding the liquids.

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (2)

I fully expected the high-heat version to have superior flavor, but when tasted side by side, we actually preferred the easier, lower-heat version—the garlic, ginger, and scallion flavor was more developed and blended in more smoothly with the other ingredients.

As for the chiles, if you have a good Chinese market, they should be easy to find, though red pepper flakes will do in a pinch.

Another great thing about General Tso's is that you can make the sauce well in advance—heck, you can even make it the day before if you'd like—and just warm it up to toss with the chicken when it's good and ready for it.

Coating the Chicken

To start my chicken testing, I scanned through various books and online resources, pulling out recipes that claimed to solve some of the problems I was looking at—namely, a crazy crunchy fried coating that doesn't soften up when the chicken gets tossed with sauce. Though similar, there were variations across the board in terms of how thick the marinade should be (some contained only soy sauce and wine, others contained eggs, and still others were a thick batter), whether or not to toss with dry starch or flour after marinating, and whether to use light or dark meat chicken.

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I put together a few working recipes that seemed to run the gamut of what's out there to test, including:

  1. Thin marinade of soy sauce and wine, tossed in cornstarch before frying.
  2. Egg white-based marinade, tossed in cornstarch before frying.
  3. Whole egg-based marinade, tossed in cornstarch before frying.
  4. Egg-based batter made with cornstarch, no dry coating before frying.
  5. Egg-based batter made with cornstarch, with a dry coating before frying.
  6. Egg-based batter made with flour and cornstarch, no dry coating before frying.
  7. Egg-based batter made with flour and cornstarch, with a dry coating before frying.

Here are a few of the results:

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (4)

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (5)

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (6)

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (7)

(Video) The Tastiest General Tso's Chicken You'll Ever Make | Cooking alongside Masterchef • Taste Show

They alllookalright, butnoneof them stayed crisp for long, even before they were added to the sauce. From testing, one thing was certain: a thicker, egg-based marinade is superior to a thin marinade, which produced chicken that was powdery and a crust that turned soft within seconds of coming out of the fryer.

Adding a bit of starch to the marinade before tossing it in a dry coat was even better. Better, but not perfect. The General may have won this battle, but he will lose the war, I swear it.

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (8)

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (9)

The other takeaway? Dark meat is the way to go. Breast meat comes out dry and chalky, a problem that can be mitigated with some extended marinating (the soy sauce in the marinadeacts as a brine, helping it to retain moisture), but the process adds time to an already lengthy recipe, and even brined white meat is nowhere near as juicy as dark meat.

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And who are we kidding? General Tso's is never going to be health food. Break out the thighs for this one (and check outour guide to deboning 'em).

General Tso's Chicken Requires a New Coating Approach

None of the existing techniques I found gave me quite the coating I was looking for, so I decided to start expanding my search, pulling out all of the chicken-frying tricks in the book.

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What about double-dipping? I started my chicken pieces in a thick marinade made of egg white, soy sauce, wine, baking powder and cornstarch (I found that adding baking powder to the batter helped keep it lighter as it fried), then dipped it into a mixture of cornstarch, flour, and baking powder (adding flour helps with browning).

After that I moved itbackto the wet mixture, and again into the dry, creating an extra thick coating.

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Extra thick coatings produce extra crunchy chicken for sure. Too crunchy, unfortunately. Getting close to a quarter inch thick in parts, the coating made the General Tso's taste more like tough crackers than anything. Extra leavening didn't help.

Next I went for a different approach, looking to Korea for some clues. I had already spent a good deal of time perfecting a recipe forKorean fried chicken, and that recipe tackles a similar problem: how to get battered, deep fried chicken wings to stay crisp when coated in sauce.

The solution there? Use a thin slurry of cornstarch that's been cut with vodka, an idea that I first saw in British chef Heston Blumenthal'sPerfection series at Amazon. The vodka can help fried foods get crisp in two important ways.

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (13)

First, alcohol is more volatile than water (and soy sauce, wine, and eggs are basically water). That is to say, it evaporates more readily, and since frying is essentially a process of evaporation, batters made with alcohol tend to come out crisper.

Vodka also serves to limit gluten development. Why is this important? One of the issues I was finding with my fried chicken chunks was that the coating, which started out crisp, soon turned leathery as it began to get cool or moist. This is a result of overdevelopment of gluten, the interconnected network of proteins that forms when flour and water are mixed. You wantsomegluten in the mix (without it, you end up with a powdery, papery crust), but too much can be an issue. Because gluten does not form in alcohol, vodka lets you achieve a batter that doesn't get leathery as it cools.

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I tried coating chicken thigh pieces with the exact same batter that I used for thatKorean fried chickenbefore tossing it in sauce and tasting it.

It was an improvement on the stay-crisp-when-wet front for sure, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for in General Tso's. It needed more craggy nooks and crannies to capture that sauce.

With the idea of nooks and crannies in my head, my thoughts immediately jumped to myhomemade Chick-Fil-A sandwich. The trick there turned out to be adding a bit of the wet batter to the dry mixbeforedredging the chicken in it. By working that wet batter into the dry mix with your fingertips, you create little nuggets of breading that stick to the exterior of the chicken.

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (15)

After deep frying, those little nuggets help increase the surface area of the chicken, making it extra crunchy and crisp.

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In retrospect, thinking of fast food seemed like such an obvious move. After all, those Chicken McNuggets stay crisp forhours, and if you've been following along for a while, you'll know of this little hack: usePopeye's chicken nuggetsin Chinese-American stir-fries instead of frying your own chicken. It justmakes senseto start this dish with really great chicken nuggets, right?

By combining that method with the vodka trick I learned from my Korean fried chicken, I ended up with even better end results. The best of both worlds:

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (17)

(Video) How to Make Takeout Icon General Tso’s Chicken

And the best part? Those sauce-catching crags stay crisp for alongtime—so crisp that even microwaved the next day, the chicken is almost as good as it was freshly-fried.

Tips for Pulling It All Together

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For flavorful and crisp chicken, start with a marinade of an egg white mixed with a couple of tablespoons of dark soy sauce, a couple of tablespoons of Shaoxing wine, and a couple of tablespoons of vodka. Set aside half of this mixture to moisten up my dry coating later on, then finish the coating with cornstarch, baking soda, and the chicken.

At this stage, you can refrigerate the chicken for up to a few hours, or you can plow straight through the rest of the recipe with a shortened marinating period. It makes very little difference.

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Add that reserved marinade to the dry mix of flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. The mixture should look coarse and crumbly, with a few big nuggets of the flour-marinade mixture.

You can just dump all the chicken in and then work on carefully separating and coating each piece in the mixture, pressing firmly so that it adheres (youwillget messy hands using this method), or you can use my preferred method, which takes a bit more practice: Holding the dry mix in one hand and tossing constantly, drop individual pieces of chicken in one by one with your other hand. As you toss, the chicken pieces should all get individually coated.

You may have heard me say it before, and I'll keep repeating it until evidence to the contrary arises: unless you have a deep fryer,a wok is the best vessel for deep frying. Its wide shape makes it easy to maneuver food and helps catch spatters, keeping your countertop clean as you cook.

All of the normal caveats about deep frying hold true here: use a thermometer to regulate temperature (350°F (177°C) in this case), add pieces one at a time and gently lower them into the hot oil (don't drop them!), and keep things moving so that they fry rapidly and evenly, which in turn will help them get crisper faster.

The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (20)

Once the chicken is fried and drained, it's just a matter of tossing it with the sauce, which can be made in the same wok immediately after frying or in advance (see note section and make-ahead instructions below). (I like to add a few 1-inch pieces of scallions to the mix, but that's totally optional.) A rubber spatula does the trick. It takes a bit of work to get the sauce to coat every surface, but you will be rewarded when all's said and done.

Greatly rewarded.

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It was a long, twisted road to get here, but with a mix of chicken-frying techniques and a sauce that balances its sweetness with just the right amount of acidity, I believe I finally have a version of this most American of Chinese dishes that even the General's family would approve of.

April 14, 2014

This recipe was updated in March, 2022 to prioritize wok use, so that the single cooking vessel can be used most efficiently for frying the chicken and making the sauce. It can still also be made using a Dutch oven (for frying) and a skillet (for the sauce and finishing), and the sauce can still be made in advance, as described in the note and make-ahead sections below.

1:52

Click Play to See This General Tso's Chicken Come Together

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(Video) Jet Tila's General Tso’s Chicken | In the Kitchen with Jet Tila | Food Network

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 20 mins

Total: 30 mins

Serves: 4to 6 servings

For the Marinade:

  • 1 large egg white

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Chinese dark soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Shaoxing wine (see note)

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) 80-proof vodka

  • 3 tablespoons (24g) cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) baking soda

  • 1 pound (455g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks

For the Dry Coating:

  • 1/2 cup (64g) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup (64g) cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.5g) kosher salt

To Fry Chicken:

  • 1 1/2 quarts (1.4 liters) peanut, vegetable, or canola oil for deep frying

For the Sauce and to Finish (see note):

  • 4 tablespoons (50g) granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) dark soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Shaoxing wine (see note)

    (Video) General Tso's Chicken [REAL Chinese American DUDE Shows How to Make It] | Wally Cooks Everything

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Chinese rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) peanut, vegetable, or canola oil

  • 2 teaspoons (6g) minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons (4g) minced fresh ginger (about one 1-inch piece)

  • 2 teaspoons (4g) minced scallion bottoms (about 1 scallion), plus 6 to 8 scallions, white parts only, cut into 1-inch lengths

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) toasted sesame oil

  • 8 small dried red Chinese or Arbol chiles (see note)

  • 1 cup, loosely packed steamed white rice

  1. For the Marinade: Beat egg whites in a large bowl until broken down and lightly foamy. Add soy sauce, wine, and vodka and whisk to combine. Set aside half of marinade in a small bowl. Add cornstarch and baking soda to the large bowl and whisk to combine. Add chicken to large bowl and turn with fingers to coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

    The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (22)

  2. For the Dry Coat: Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until homogeneous. Add reserved marinade and whisk until mixture has coarse, mealy clumps. Set aside.

    The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (23)

  3. To Fry Chicken: Heat 1 1/2 quarts peanut, vegetable, or canola oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F (177°C) and adjust flame to maintain temperature.

  4. Working one piece at a time, transfer chicken from marinade to dry coat mixture, tossing in between each addition to coat chicken. When all chicken is added to dry coat, toss with hands, pressing dry mixture onto chicken so it adheres, and making sure that every piece is coated thoroughly.

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  5. Lift chicken one piece at a time, shake off excess coating, and carefully lower into hot oil (do not drop it). Once all chicken is added, cook, agitating with long chopsticks or a metal spider, and adjusting flame to maintain a temperature of 325 to 375°F (163 to 191°C), until chicken is cooked through and very crispy, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain. Pour frying oil through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof bowl; allow to cool, then reserve for future frying.

    The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (25)

  6. For the Sauce and to Finish: Combine sugar, chicken stock, soy sauce, wine, vinegar, cornstarch, and sesame oil in a small bowl and stir with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set aside.

  7. Combine oil, garlic, ginger, minced scallions, and red chiles in a wok or large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are aromatic and soft, but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir sauce mixture and add to wok, making sure to scrape out any sugar or starch that has sunk to the bottom of bowl. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Add scallion segments.

    The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (26)

  8. Add chicken to sauce, then toss, folding it with a wok spatula or silicone spatula until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Serve immediately with white rice.

    The Best General Tso's Chicken Recipe (27)

Special Equipment

Whisk, wok or Dutch oven (for frying) and large stainless-steel skillet (for sauce and finishing)

Notes

Shaoxing wine can be found in most Asian markets. If unavailable, dry sherry can be used in its place. If you can't find boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can debone them yourself using this guide. If you can't find whole dried chiles, substitute with 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

This recipe is written to maximize efficiency with a wok: frying the chicken first, then making the sauce in the same wok (emptied of frying oil) and finally tossing it all together. This way, you only have to wash the wok once after making the full recipe. If desired, however, you can prepare the sauce in advance (up to 1 day ahead), then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use; warm sauce before tossing with fried chicken right before serving.

Make Ahead and Storage

If desired, the sauce can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container, then warm before tossing with freshly fried chicken right before serving.

This Recipe Appears In

  • For the Wispiest, Crispiest Deep-Fried Crusts, Grab the Vodka

FAQs

What is General Tso's sauce made of? ›

How to Make General Tso's Sauce: The sauce for General Tso's chicken is so simple to make with pantry staple ingredients: rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water, sugar, and some corn starch to thicken the sauce. Simply add the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine.

What is the difference between General Tso and General Tao? ›

General Tao was a real person, but he was not a chef. Zuo Zongtang, also known as General Tso in the United States, was a well-known military man from Hunan Province in China.

What makes General Tso Chicken? ›

It is said to originate from the Hunan province of China and is named after a well-respected Chinese military leader, General Tso.

Is General Tso Chicken authentic? ›

Yup. General Tso's chicken was unheard of in Hunan, but was invented as an authentic dish in honor of Hunan by Chef Peng at his restaurant in Taipei.

Is General Tso healthy? ›

Worst: General Tso's Chicken

Named after a Chinese war hero, this fat-laden dish won't help you win any weight loss battles. The breaded, fried chicken is smothered in a sugary sauce. One order clocks in at around 1,500 calories and 88 grams of fat, and it delivers more sodium than you should get in a day.

What flavor is General Tso Chicken? ›

What is General Tso's chicken? This chicken dis is a popular Chinese entree made with fried chicken pieces coated in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce. This chicken is similar to sesame chicken, but the sauce has a little more heat and a more complex savory flavor. It is often served with a side of steamed broccoli.

Is Szechuan chicken the same as General Tso? ›

General Tso is a sweet sauce with peanuts over white meat chunks of either pork or poultry served on top of fried rice while Szechuan Chicken has a savory soy-based sauce that gets spicier the longer it sits and also uses green peppers for flavor.

Which is spicier Kung Pao or General Tso? ›

Kung Pao vs General Tso

Kung Pao is hot and spicy, whereas General Tso is sweet and spicy. There are no peanuts in General Tso, whereas peanuts are integral to Kung Pao. Kung Pao is a much older dish than General Tso.

What's better General Tso chicken or sesame chicken? ›

If you love general tso chicken but find it too spicy to eat regularly, sesame chicken is the right order for you. It brings much of the same flavors without the dried chilis and intense heat. Sesame chicken is also an excellent choice if you want general tso chicken but are looking for a healthier option.

Do Chinese people eat General Tso? ›

General Tso's chicken ([tswò]; Chinese: 左宗棠雞; pinyin: Zuǒ Zōngtáng jī) is a sweet and spicy deep-fried chicken dish that is served in North American Chinese restaurants.

What can substitute for hoisin sauce? ›

Ready-made alternatives for hoisin sauce

Soy sauce and tamari sauce are also perfect for adding flavor to vegetables and stir-fry dishes. Barbecue sauce is a great substitute for meat dishes. Or, use duck or orange sauce for dipping.

What is hoisin sauce made of? ›

Though regional variations exist, most modern hoisin sauce recipes contain some combination of the following ingredients: fermented soybeans, five-spice powder, garlic, red chili peppers, and sugar. "Hoisin" comes from the Cantonese word for seafood, though it's not commonly associated with seafood dishes.

What's another name for General Tso's chicken? ›

General Tso's Chicken:

This dish originated in Hunan and was named after a Chinese general and statesman Zuo Zongtang (Tso). However, it has many other names like General Tao's chicken, General Gao chicken, and even General Mao chicken.

What else is General Tso Chicken called? ›

General Tso's (or Zuo's) chicken is the most famous Hunanese dish in the world.

What does General Tso sauce taste like? ›

What does General Tso sauce taste like? It is sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time. You can also taste some umami in there, brought about by the hoisin sauce.

What is the healthiest Chinese food to eat? ›

Healthier choices include steamed brown rice, sautéed or steamed vegetables, spring rolls, or soups like egg drop soup or hot and sour soup. Veggie-based items like edamame, lettuce wraps, braised bamboo shoots, or cucumber salad are a few other great options you can try.

What is the healthiest Chinese takeaway? ›

The 17 Healthiest Chinese Food Takeout Options, According to Registered Dietitians
  • Chinese Eggplant With Garlic Sauce. ...
  • Steamed Dumplings. ...
  • Brown Rice With a Scrambled Egg. ...
  • Shrimp or Tofu Entrées. ...
  • Kung Pao Chicken. ...
  • Buddha's Delight. ...
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps. ...
  • Sauce on the Side. This tip came up again and again.
7 Jan 2018

Does General Tso's chicken have a lot of sugar in it? ›

This dish is not advised for those attempting to limit sodium since it exceeds daily recommendations. Lastly, it is not recommended for diabetics or those on a heart-healthy diet due to its high sugar content of 62 grams per serving, which may contribute to elevated blood sugar and triglyceride levels.

What is the closest thing to General Tso Chicken? ›

Sesame chicken: These two dishes are very similar. The main difference is the oil used in the sauce. Sesame chicken calls for sesame oil, which adds a salty and nutty taste, making it a little less sweet than General Tso. It is also always topped with sesame seeds.

What is amazing chicken Chinese food? ›

The ever-popular General Tso's Chicken, normally made with dark meat. But Amazing Chicken is chicken breast, lightly coated and fried in a sauce created by Sesame Inn's chef. The resulting taste is hot, oily, spiced and sweet without being overwhelming.

Is Kung Pao chicken the same as General Tso? ›

Kung pao chicken and General Tso's chicken are similar in that they are both chicken-based dishes with a hint of chili, but the primary difference is that latter is deep-fried and coated with a syrupy sweet and sour sauce, and the former is coated with a gentle, more balanced sauce.

Which is spicier Szechuan or General Tso? ›

The difference between these two is that the general TSO chicken has a sweeter flavor than the Szechuan which has a spicier taste.

Which is hotter kung pao or Szechuan? ›

The main difference between the two is that Szechuan chicken is typically going to be much spicier than Kung Pao chicken when bought in America. The Szechuan peppers that give Szechuan chicken its name combined with dried red chilies make this dish beautifully spicy, but super complex.

Is there orange in General Tso's chicken? ›

Ginger, garlic and red chiles make the sauce spicy. Get the General Tso's Chicken recipe. Orange zest goes into this sauce, but it's definitely not the single dominant flavor. Cinnamon, anise, ginger, and tamari or soy sauce also have a voice here.

Which is healthier Kung Pao chicken or General Tso Chicken? ›

Kung Pao Chicken vs. General Tso's Chicken

The choice here depends on the restaurant, but in most cases Kung Pao chicken is the winner. It packs in extra veggies and is topped with peanuts, a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Plus, the chicken isn't fried, which is always a plus.

Does General Tso Chicken have sesame? ›

General Tso and sesame chicken are fundamentally the same dish but with a few variations. General Tso is a mix of sweet and spicy while sesame chicken is noticeably sweeter without the heat.

Is General Tso's chicken really spicy? ›

The consistency of the sauce, which is pretty thick, helps to lock in that spicy flavor that characterizes the dish. But General Tso's Chicken is not so spicy-hot since the red chiles aren't used as heavily in it.

Does General Tso's chicken have seeds in it? ›

The sauce is made of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, cornstarch and water. The dish is accentuated with green onion, ginger and sesame seeds (optional).

How do you pronounce TSO? ›

How to Pronounce General Tso? - YouTube

What do Chinese people eat everyday? ›

Chinese daily meals consist of four food groups: grains, vegetables, fruit, and meat. Because of lactose intolerance, Chinese do not consume large amounts of dairy products. Instead, Chinese substitute these with soymilk and tofu, which also contain large amounts of protein and calcium.

Who invented General Tso's chicken? ›

Peng Chang-kuei, the acclaimed Taiwanese chef many credit with inventing the iconic General Tso's chicken, passed away on November 30 at the age of 98. Despite its reputation as the epitome of Hunanese cuisine, there is no longstanding tradition of the dish within the region.

Is General Tso Chicken dark meat? ›

General Tso's chicken is a popular Chinese dish made with lean white meat tossed in a sticky coating and stir fried with a spicy chili sauce.

Can I use Worcestershire sauce instead of hoisin? ›

Hoisin sauce and Worcestershire sauce don't make good substitutes for each other, although they can both work in a pinch. The similarity in these sauces is the combination of umami and sweet flavorings. However, Worcestershire sauce is much thinner than hoisin, and has a fruitier flavor.

Is teriyaki sauce the same as hoisin sauce? ›

Another key (not so secret) ingredient in this teriyaki sauce is Hoisin Sauce. Hoisin sauce contains soy, red chiles, sugar, vinegar, and garlic and is thick in texture. It brings a depth of flavor to this teriyaki sauce that's so good I doubt I'll ever make another teriyaki sauce again.

Is oyster and hoisin sauce the same? ›

They are very different in taste. Oyster sauce is made from oyster extract, whereas the key ingredient in hoisin sauce is fermented soybean paste. Hoisin sauce is sweet with a fragrance of warm, toasted spices, whereas oyster sauce is salty with an ocean-like flavour.

What does Oelek mean? ›

Oelek, which is sometimes also referred to as olek or ulek, refers to the mortar and pestle used to make this type of sambal in Indonesian kitchens. Compared to sriracha, sambal oelek is less acidic and lacks a strong presence of vinegar, so you can add heat to a dish without impacting the overall flavor.

What's the difference between soy sauce and hoisin sauce? ›

What Is The Difference Between Soy Sauce And Hoisin Sauce? Hoisin sauce is going to be much thicker than soy sauce and much sweeter in flavor. We use soy sauce in our hoisin sauce, but hoisin sauce also contains a number of other ingredients that give it a distinct flavor.

What is the Szechuan sauce? ›

What exactly is Szechuan sauce? It's recipe includes soy, ginger, vinegar, and garlic. The fan favorite sauce made its debut in 1998 and made two brief appearances since then. Customers can get the sauce with their order of McNuggets or buy up to five containers on the side. Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC.

Why is orange chicken so good? ›

Dark meat is inherently more flavorful than white meat, so the chicken in your orange chicken is going to have a more intense chicken-y flavor than your standard white breast chicken nuggets. When combined with the rest of the orange chicken ingredients, this dark meat is simply magic.

What is orange chicken called at Chinese restaurant? ›

Orange chicken or chen pi ji (traditional Chinese: 橙子雞; simplified Chinese: 橙子鸡; pinyin: chéngzǐ jī; Jyutping: caang2 zi2 gai1) is an American Chinese dish.
...
Orange chicken
CourseMain
Place of originMainland China (original version) United States (American Chinese version)
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What is General Tso meat? ›

General Tso's (pronounced tsow) chicken is a Chinese-American dish that features deep-fried chicken tossed in an irresistibly sticky glaze made with garlic, sugar, soy sauce, and chiles. The dish is named after 19th-century military leader Tso Tsung-t'ang.

What is General Tso's sauce made of? ›

How to Make General Tso's Sauce: The sauce for General Tso's chicken is so simple to make with pantry staple ingredients: rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water, sugar, and some corn starch to thicken the sauce. Simply add the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine.

What's better orange chicken or sesame chicken? ›

Sesame chicken is crispier and crunchier than orange chicken; it usually tends to have a soft texture and consistency. Orange chicken is traditionally stir-fried while sesame chicken is deep-fried. It is also possible to bake them both in the oven, though.

What is orange chicken sauce made of? ›

What is orange chicken sauce made of? The orange chicken sauce recipe is made with orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fresh ginger, minced garlic, red chili flakes, water, cornstarch, and orange zest.

What is the difference between General Tso and General Gao? ›

General Gau's chicken, often called General Tso's chicken, is chicken that's been battered and fried, then coated in a fragrant, orange-y ginger sauce that's spicy, tangy, sweet, and hot all at the same time.

Does General Tso Chicken have eggs? ›

One 3.6 oz serving provides 2 M/MA. No MSG, No Isolated Soy Protein, Zero Trans Fat. Ingredient Statement Chicken: Dark meat chicken chunks, water, cornstarch, white whole grain wheat flour, soybean oil, liquid whole eggs, salt, white pepper powder, garlic, ginger, and green onion.

What is hoisin sauce used for? ›

Hoisin sauce is a great way to add an authentic Asian flavor, thickening, and color to a stir-fry or noodle dish. It also can be used as a dipping sauce for egg rolls, spring rolls, or other appetizers.

What does General Tso sauce taste like? ›

What does General Tso sauce taste like? It is sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time. You can also taste some umami in there, brought about by the hoisin sauce.

What's the difference between orange chicken and General Tso? ›

Compared to General Tso's, orange chicken usually has a lighter-colored sweet, sour, savory glaze. It's not as spicy-hot because dried red chiles aren't as common or used as heavily in this dish. All recipes ask for orange in some form — juice, zest, dried peel, or a combination thereof.

Is General Tso and sesame chicken the same? ›

The main difference between sesame chicken and general tso chicken is that general tso chicken is spicy and made from chicken breast and thighs, while sesame chicken is sweet and made from chicken thighs.

How do you pronounce General Tso Sauce? ›

How to Pronounce General Tso? - YouTube

Which is spicier Kung Pao or General Tso? ›

Kung Pao vs General Tso

Kung Pao is hot and spicy, whereas General Tso is sweet and spicy. There are no peanuts in General Tso, whereas peanuts are integral to Kung Pao. Kung Pao is a much older dish than General Tso.

Which is better General Tso or sesame chicken? ›

If you are in a mood for something sweeter, sesame chicken is a better option. But if you prefer spicier food, go for General Tso's chicken. Either way, both these dishes will scratch that itch when you get the cravings for Asian food!

What is the closest thing to General Tso Chicken? ›

Sesame chicken: These two dishes are very similar. The main difference is the oil used in the sauce. Sesame chicken calls for sesame oil, which adds a salty and nutty taste, making it a little less sweet than General Tso. It is also always topped with sesame seeds.

Is Szechuan chicken the same as General Tso? ›

General Tso is a sweet sauce with peanuts over white meat chunks of either pork or poultry served on top of fried rice while Szechuan Chicken has a savory soy-based sauce that gets spicier the longer it sits and also uses green peppers for flavor.

What is orange chicken called at Chinese restaurant? ›

Orange chicken or chen pi ji (traditional Chinese: 橙子雞; simplified Chinese: 橙子鸡; pinyin: chéngzǐ jī; Jyutping: caang2 zi2 gai1) is an American Chinese dish.
...
Orange chicken
CourseMain
Place of originMainland China (original version) United States (American Chinese version)
3 more rows

Why is orange chicken so good? ›

Dark meat is inherently more flavorful than white meat, so the chicken in your orange chicken is going to have a more intense chicken-y flavor than your standard white breast chicken nuggets. When combined with the rest of the orange chicken ingredients, this dark meat is simply magic.

What is amazing chicken Chinese food? ›

The ever-popular General Tso's Chicken, normally made with dark meat. But Amazing Chicken is chicken breast, lightly coated and fried in a sauce created by Sesame Inn's chef. The resulting taste is hot, oily, spiced and sweet without being overwhelming.

What Chinese dish is similar to General Tso? ›

Lazi Ji – Alternative to General Tso's Chicken

Practically synonymous with westernized Chinese food, General Tso's Chicken is made with deep-fried chicken chunks seasoned with hot chili peppers, scallions, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil.

Is General Tso Chicken spicy or sweet? ›

General Tso's chicken ([tswò]; Chinese: 左宗棠雞; pinyin: Zuǒ Zōngtáng jī) is a sweet and spicy deep-fried chicken dish that is served in North American Chinese restaurants.

What does TSO mean Chinese? ›

左 [Zuo / Tso] Meaning: left, the Left (politics), east, unorthodox, queer, wrong, differing, opposite.

How is gyro pronounced? ›

The word comes from the Greek word for “spin,” a fact confirmed by staff at Greektown restaurant Athena. “Yee-ro” would apply to a single sandwich, as in, “I want a gyro,” while “yee-ros” would be the correct pronunciation if you were to say, “I love gyros,” Greek experts said.

How do you pronounce Tao? ›

How To Say Tao - YouTube

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