Don't wait for delivery – prepare your own spicy, tangy version of this classic dish yourself.
One of (if not the most) popular Chinese takeout dishes in America, General Tso’s Chicken, has been a favorite for decades.
So who is this General Tso, anyway? He was a statesman in the Qing dynasty whose actual name was Zuo Zongtang (Zuo is pronounced "Tso"). But while this wildly popular dish was named after him, he wouldn't have been familiar with it – and actually, nor are his descendants. When interviewed about the dish a few years ago they'd never heard of it. So the dish bears his name but has no connection with him at all.
In fact, it isn't even authentic Chinese!
But that’s okay because it's thoroughly authentic Chinese-American – and that's what we're celebrating.
Now you can make it whenever and wherever you want in just 30 minutes, and the results will rival your favorite takeout version.
Gather up your ingredients.
Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour them over the cubed chicken. Stir to thoroughly coat the chicken and let it sit while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Combine the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the cornstarch.
Shake off the excess cornstarch and place the chicken pieces in a deep fryer with the oil heated to 375ºF. You'll need to work in 2 or 3 batches.
Fry the chicken until golden brown, crispy and cooked through.
Place the chicken on paper towels while you prepare the sauce.
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the garlic and chili peppers until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the sauce and simmer until thickened.
Add the chicken pieces, stir to thoroughly coat, and simmer for a couple of minutes so the chicken absorbs the sauce.
Serve immediately. Steamed rice and broccoli are traditional accompaniments.
Chia̍h khì! (That's "eat up!")
For more delicious Chinese dishes, visit Kimberly's food blog The Daring Gourmet.