Sesame Chicken / General Tso’s Chicken
For readers who live in North America, the dish General Tso’s Chicken (左宗雞) hardly needs any introduction. This American-Chinese dish is often considered as one of tje favorite Chinese dishes in the US.
Since its inception in the 70s, General Tso’s chicken has involved into a staple of American dining and even become the synonym for Chinese food!
Need proof? Just try walking into any of the 50,000+ Chinese takeout restaurants in the US and the chances are you’ll find it on the menu!
While the origin of this dish is still up for debate, one thing we are sure is that this sweet, sour, and slightly spicy “Huannese” dish was created in the US and has remained relatively unknown in China even until now.
I like this dish to a certain extend. I love the combination of the crunchy texture and the sticky sauce but personally the restaurant version is a little too sweet and too greasy for my liking. So for the past few weeks I’ve been testing this homemade version of restaurant style General Tso’s Chicken!
I wouldn’t call my recipe the most authentic General’s Tso chicken (if that even exists) but I have created this version by modifying a recipe from a restaurant I worked for so I can assure you that the dish will come out just like the pictures shown here
A couple of key points for you avid home-cooks to achieve that classic crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside consistency:
- To get that tender texture, use chicken tenderloin, a smaller strip located on the upper breast, if possible. Can also use dark meat
- All the batter ingredients should be well incorporated and the batter should be smooth and slightly thick
- Fry the chicken over high temperate in hot oil. When the oil is not hot enough the chicken will not only come out saggy but also greasy
- Double fry the chicken briefly after the initial fry will create that crunchy coating typically seen in Chinese restaurants
One last thing, if you have not been told, General Tso’s chicken is 99% identical to its cousin Sesame chicken. To make sesame chicken, just follow this recipe minus the dried chili part and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds at the end to garnish!
Enjoy and get more American-Chinese recipes here!