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Old 06-21-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
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General Tso's Chicken recipe?

It's my one true weakness: General Tso's. I eat pretty healthy except for when it comes to these cravings. Anybody have any tried and true recipes for this delicacy? I'd rather make it at home than get take-out...who knows how unhealthy that stuff is..

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Old 06-21-2010, 01:25 PM   #2
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General Tso's Chicken
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003



1 large egg white
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine, or dry sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Vegetable oil, for frying
12 dry red chile peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup roughly chopped lightly toasted cashews
Green onions, sliced on the bias, garnish
Hot steamed white rice, accompaniment

In a bowl, whisk together the egg white, 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of the wine, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
To make the sauce, in another bowl, whisk remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of the chicken stock until smooth. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons chicken stock, 1 tablespoon wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, the vinegar, and sugar and whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to finish the dish.
In a large wok or pot, heat enough oil to come 3 inches up the sides to 350 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and carefully slide into the hot oil. Fry, turning, until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Discard all but about 1 tablespoon of the oil from the wok. (Alternatively, in a clean wok or saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.) Add the chile peppers and stir-fry until nearly black. Add the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup green onions. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chicken stock sauce, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Arrange the chicken on a platter and pour the sauce over it. Garnish with the cashews and additional green onions. Serve with hot rice.
4 servings

Episode#: EM1G60
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:42 PM   #3
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Who is this General Tso? I need to get out more.
Reading the recipe Charlie has. I don't see anything that's bad for you. For those on a no sugar/carb diet the cornstarch and sugar might be a problem. I don't think it's an excessive amount to worry about. You can sub the oil for another.

Nice recipe Charlie thanks for posting it.

Munky.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:09 PM   #4
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Who is this General Tso? I need to get out more...
You haven't missed anything Chef Munky. General Tso's Chicken is (reportedly) and most likely a New York City invention from the mid-1970s. It doesn't match anything authentic Chinese in style because it's both spicy and very sweet, unlike Hunan or Szechuan which is predominantly one or the other for any particular dish. (Sweet and Sour is an American invention as well!)

It's like so many other psuedo-Chinese dishes... battered and stir fried chicken with a sweet and spicy soy sauce based glaze. Unimaginative and loaded with MSG.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:15 PM   #5
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(Sweet and Sour is an American invention as well!)

Not according to The Gourmet Regional Chinese Cookbook, Calvin B.T. Lee & Audrey Evans Lee
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:19 PM   #6
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It's like so many other psuedo-Chinese dishes... battered and stir fried chicken with a sweet and spicy soy sauce based glaze. Unimaginative and loaded with MSG.
I agree that Gen Tso's (also goes by numerous other names such as Gen Gaus) is hardly authentic Chinese food, but most of what Americans get when they go out for Chinese is not authentic Chinese food. In my area we have seen a few more authentic places pop up in the past 5 years or so and they have an amazing array of dishes that most Americans have never heard of or would never venture to try (and none of them have Gen Tso's on the menu).

That being said, there is nothing wrong with Americanized Chinese food. Just because it is not authentic Chinese does not mean it can not be delicious. My wife loves Gen Tso's chicken so we often get it as one of the dishes we are ordering whenever we go someplace new for Chinese. We have had some horrendous ones and some amazing ones. The great ones have crispy juicy tender chicken in a slightly sweet sauce with a decent kick and nice citrus undertones. The nasty ones are covered in red gloppy sauce and are sickeningly sweet or overly spicy.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:37 PM   #7
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I agree 100% GB!

Wyogal, what we North Americans consider Sweet and Sour is nothing similar to authentic Chinese Sweet and Sour. American style is heavy on the "sweet" (about 50% sweet (from cane sugar) - 50% sour) whereas Chinese is about 30% sweet (from fruit juices) - 70% sour/spicy. The dishes are the same name, but treated very differently.

I enjoy both... but they're not the same.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:05 PM   #8
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whatever. just going by the recipes in the book.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:59 PM   #9
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I agree that Gen Tso's (also goes by numerous other names such as Gen Gaus) is hardly authentic Chinese food, but most of what Americans get when they go out for Chinese is not authentic Chinese food. In my area we have seen a few more authentic places pop up in the past 5 years or so and they have an amazing array of dishes that most Americans have never heard of or would never venture to try (and none of them have Gen Tso's on the menu).

That being said, there is nothing wrong with Americanized Chinese food. Just because it is not authentic Chinese does not mean it can not be delicious. My wife loves Gen Tso's chicken so we often get it as one of the dishes we are ordering whenever we go someplace new for Chinese. We have had some horrendous ones and some amazing ones. The great ones have crispy juicy tender chicken in a slightly sweet sauce with a decent kick and nice citrus undertones. The nasty ones are covered in red gloppy sauce and are sickeningly sweet or overly spicy.
I have some friends who are a bit stuck up about food. They cannot wrap their head around the concept that just because it isn't "authentic" doesn't mean that it can't be delicious. I have a feeling that they are closet faux ethnic food eaters!

We have some authentic chinese places here, and to be honest, I haven't been brave enough to try some of it.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:13 PM   #10
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all this talk about Chinese food... we went to a buffet for supper!!! Now, I'm stuffed!
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:02 AM   #11
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All ethnic foods are made to fit an American customer palate, so none of it is really authentic. I’ve been to many Russian restaurants and none of them really are that Russian, I’m sure the same is true for Chinese. But it doesn’t matter, because this is what people like and want.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:19 PM   #12
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All ethnic foods are made to fit an American customer palate, so none of it is really authentic.
"All ethnic foods"? And "none of it is really authentic"? Really? Perhaps in your part of the country, but you simply cannot realistically say "all", as in everywhere.

I've enjoyed quite a bit of authentic Chinese, Japanese, Thai, German, & Mexican cuisine (& yes, I know the difference) both in NY & here in VA. At the same time, I've also enjoyed dishes that have been somewhat "Americanized". It has nothing to do with the "American palate" (you make that sound so derogatory somehow), it's simply a matter of what folks enjoy.

Search diligently enough & you can find "authentic" ethnic cuisines being served in places you perhaps normally wouldn't guess.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:50 PM   #13
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"All ethnic foods"? And "none of it is really authentic"? Really? Perhaps in your part of the country, but you simply cannot realistically say "all", as in everywhere.

I've enjoyed quite a bit of authentic Chinese, Japanese, Thai, German, & Mexican cuisine (& yes, I know the difference) both in NY & here in VA. At the same time, I've also enjoyed dishes that have been somewhat "Americanized". It has nothing to do with the "American palate" (you make that sound so derogatory somehow), it's simply a matter of what folks enjoy.

Search diligently enough & you can find "authentic" ethnic cuisines being served in places you perhaps normally wouldn't guess.
I have had authentic Japanese right here in NC, a Japanese friend (who travels back to Japan often) brought us there. I have had authentic Korean here as well.

Often you can go to an ethnic restaurant, family run and they will offer food familiar to the American palate, but also more authentic things. Often times they will prepare items off menu for you, usually very excited to do so. Just develop a good relationship with the family that owns a restaurant.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:43 AM   #14
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(you make that sound so derogatory somehow), ....

Somehow I would be surprise if you ever agree with what I said. Where did you see "deragatory". It is simply matter of fact. Do you see a lot of Americans eating Borscht? I doubt.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #15
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Sigh. I never said that you said or were deragatory, I said that the way you made mention of the "American palate" SOUNDED deragatory. There's a large difference there which you're apparently missing.

And what does whether or not a lot of Americans eat Borscht have to do with whether or not authentic ethnic cuisine is available in restaurants? You're not making any sense. There are a couple of Russian restaurants in the Northern VA/DC area, & I'm sure that if Borscht is served, "Americans" are eating it. Geesh.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:11 PM   #16
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So if we go to China and someone there fixes Tso chicken in their kitchen, would that make it authentic?'
You think Chinese people sit around and discuss how the burgers they get there aren't "authentic" American burgers?

Even better, do they discuss how authentically American their Chop Suey is? LOLOL

Personally, I could care less if an ethnic food is "authentic", as long as I enjoy it, and further personally think that people who diss food as "not authentic" are just being snobby. NOt directed at anyone in particular HERE, just people in general. No snobs here, everyone is nice, and happy and friendly. It's a GOOD LIFE. :)
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:22 PM   #17
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So if we go to China and someone there fixes Tso chicken in their kitchen, would that make it authentic?'
You think Chinese people sit around and discuss how the burgers they get there aren't "authentic" American burgers?

Even better, do they discuss how authentically American their Chop Suey is? LOLOL

Personally, I could care less if an ethnic food is "authentic", as long as I enjoy it, and further personally think that people who diss food as "not authentic" are just being snobby. NOt directed at anyone in particular HERE, just people in general. No snobs here, everyone is nice, and happy and friendly. It's a GOOD LIFE. :)
I kind of feel the same way that you do. What makes a food "authentic"? If a person in Italy dumps sauce from a jar (and I am sure millions there do), does it make the meal less "authentic" and more Americanized?

There are so many ways to make just about every food, every region puts their own twist on dishes. Recipes for New England clam chowder, often don't resemble the clam chowder served in Maine, but may be more like what is served in Boston, which one is authentic?

I think too many get hung up on authenticity.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:26 PM   #18
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Well there is such a thing as authentic regional food. If I went to an authentic NY deli and they do not know what a kinish is or serve my Ruben on white bread then I would be pretty upset. That does not mean that a Ruben on white bread could not be delicious though. It is OK to classify something as authentic, but IMO it is not OK to look down your nose at something just because it is not.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #19
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GB you said that better than I did, in far fewer words, LOL!
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:32 PM   #20
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That is because I am on the pay per word model at DC. Each word costs me $.02
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