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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Entertainment > General Chat > Food and Beverage


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Old 01-09-2015, 08:49 AM   #1
Cat III Cat III is offline
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China General Tso's Chicken



It is named for an actual 19th century general, though it has no direct connection to him. Like most food served in Chinese restaurants, General Tso's chicken does not originate in China but was created by Chinese immigrants to appeal to American customers. Fried chicken, an American staple, is given an exotic spin by covering it in sauce that is both spicy and sweet. Served with rice and vegetables, it's one of the most popular dishes in Chinese restaurants and is also frequently seen in the frozen food aisle.

* * * * * *

Personally I think there's nothing better. Never had a version that was bad. Not in any restaurant. Not even out of a box. The best I ever had came from a grocery store deli of all places. I don't know what they were putting in it, but it was so spicy it made your eyes water and your lips burn. The chicken meat was tender while the breading was crunchy but not too crunchy. The sauce was so delicious that I was ecstatic to endure the burn (a glass of milk really does help). Unfortunately they no longer sell it which is probably for the better since its hefty price was eating a hole in my wallet. Hasn't stopped me from eating the stuff wherever I can find it.

So what do you think of the ubiquitous food? Where do you get it? What side(s) do you have with it? Do you refer to it by one of it's alternative names (i.e. General Chang, General Tsao)? Let us know.



Fun fact: the US Naval Academy serves the dish in its mess hall as Admiral Tso's chicken
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:45 AM   #2
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I ordered Chinese takeout last November, when my father in law was in town. I went outside the box and ordered something with chicken that had peanuts in it. NEVER AGAIN!! I figured I get something different besides General Tso's Chicken, NOPE I will continue to get it because it really is the best thing on the menu!
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:34 AM   #3
Cat III Cat III is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekesmind View Post
I ordered Chinese takeout last November, when my father in law was in town. I went outside the box and ordered something with chicken that had peanuts in it. NEVER AGAIN!! I figured I get something different besides General Tso's Chicken, NOPE I will continue to get it because it really is the best thing on the menu!
I feel ya. I try not to order the same thing every time but that means the occasional disappointment. Even if I forgo the General, I find most Chinese chicken is reliably good. Orange, sesame, Szechuan, lemon, Kung Pao, sweet and sour...

Oh, man this thread is making my mouth water.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:55 PM   #4
onyxbfly onyxbfly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekesmind View Post
I ordered Chinese takeout last November, when my father in law was in town. I went outside the box and ordered something with chicken that had peanuts in it. NEVER AGAIN!! I figured I get something different besides General Tso's Chicken, NOPE I will continue to get it because it really is the best thing on the menu!
Sounds like you had some Kung Pao chicken. I enjoy it but its not for everyone. I've had it at diff restaurants and wondered how they screwed it up. I don't blame ya sometimes its best to stick with what ya know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat III View Post
I feel ya. I try not to order the same thing every time but that means the occasional disappointment. Even if I forgo the General, I find most Chinese chicken is reliably good. Orange, sesame, Szechuan, lemon, Kung Pao, sweet and sour...

Oh, man this thread is making my mouth water.
There are so many dishes out there to choose from. But if I am at a unfamiliar restaurant I'll go with the general!

This thread will make you want to get lunch for breakfast.....NOW!!!
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:02 PM   #5
jittersuperhero jittersuperhero is offline
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I actually avoided Chinese food until my 20's because my first exposure was chicken fried rice loaded with bean spouts (a vegetable I still don't like). A friend insisted I give General Tso Chicken a try. I've been a fan of it and have it almost once a week ever since. It was the gateway into how great Chinese food can be. I also found I love Orange, Kung Pao, Honey, Walnut, Lemon and Coconut Chicken as well.

I did learn of General Tso's American orientation when I traveled internationally and found that most Chinese restaurants weren't even familiar with its existence under any name.

Oh well, some of our favorites in American (pizza as it is commonly eaten included) came from the immigrants who dared to start a new life and create a legacy in the U.S.

To innovation!
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:31 PM   #6
Cat III Cat III is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jittersuperhero View Post
I actually avoided Chinese food until my 20's because my first exposure was chicken fried rice loaded with bean spouts (a vegetable I still don't like). A friend insisted I give General Tso Chicken a try. I've been a fan of it and have it almost once a week ever since. It was the gateway into how great Chinese food can be. I also found I love Orange, Kung Pao, Honey, Walnut, Lemon and Coconut Chicken as well.

I did learn of General Tso's American orientation when I traveled internationally and found that most Chinese restaurants weren't even familiar with its existence under any name.

Oh well, some of our favorites in American (pizza as it is commonly eaten included) came from the immigrants who dared to start a new life and create a legacy in the U.S.

To innovation!
That's why it bothers me when people say Chinese food isn't actually Chinese. It's more accurate to say it isn't traditional Chinese food, but the people who created it were Chinese-American so it's really the product of the best both cultures have to offer. The American dream and all that.

There was a documentary made last year about the history of the dish and Chinese food in America more generally. It was called The Search for General Tso. I hope we see a Blu-ray release soon.

Coconut chicken is one I'm not familiar with. Will have to try it some day.

Last edited by Cat III; 01-12-2015 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:31 AM   #7
Thomas Irwin Thomas Irwin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat III View Post
That's why it bothers me when people say Chinese food isn't actually Chinese. It's more accurate to say it isn't traditional Chinese food, but the people who created it were Chinese-American so it's really the product of the best both cultures have to offer. The American dream and all that.

There was a documentary made last year about the history of the dish and Chinese food in America more generally. It was called The Search for General Tso. I hope we see a Blu-ray release soon.

Coconut chicken is one I'm not familiar with. Will have to try it some day.

I love all types of Asian cuisine, and as much as I love restaurant fare, I find much of it differs dramatically from home cooking. My ex-wife is from China so I've had more than my share of traditional Cantonese cuisine. Beyond more "American" staples, I've enjoyed things such as tripe, snails, chicken feet, duck and preserved duck egg (thousand-year egg - a favorite of mine). Among the more "unusal" things I've had are bird (unknown species ), lungfish, anchovies, lotus root, gohyah (bitter melon - another favorite), dried lily flower, and yes, durian. Once you get past the overwhelming odor of "custard and rotten onion", durian is actually a quite pleasant fruit - it really is the psychological effect of the smell that stops most people from experiencing and enjoying it.
As to favorite restaurant dishes... I'd say Yu Hsiang Beef, Shrimp Ho Fun, Singapore Mei Fun, Crispy Beef, Beef with Black Bean Sauce, and anything with Black or Straw or Wood Ear mushrooms. A rare treat for me when I can get it (luckily there's a place right near me) is Congee with Salt Pork and Preserved Duck Egg. It's all good to me.

Last edited by Thomas Irwin; 01-10-2015 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Irwin View Post
I love all types of Asian cuisine, and as much as I love restaurant fare, I find much of it differs dramatically from home cooking. My ex-wife is from China so I've had more than my share of traditional Cantonese cuisine. Beyond more "American" staples, I've enjoyed things such as tripe, snails, chicken feet, duck and preserved duck egg (thousand-year egg - a favorite of mine). Among the more "unusal" things I've had are bird (unknown species ), lungfish, anchovies, lotus root, gohyah (bitter melon - another favorite), dried lily flower, and yes, durian. Once you get past the overwhelming odor of "custard and rotten onion", durian is actually a quite pleasant fruit - it really is the psychological effect of the smell that stops most people from experiencing and enjoying it.
As to favorite restaurant dishes... I'd say Yu Hsiang Beef, Shrimp Ho Fun, Singapore Mei Fun, Crispy Beef, Beef with Black Bean Sauce, and anything with Black or Straw or Wood Ear mushrooms. A rare treat for me when I can get it (luckily there's a place right near me) is Congee with Salt Pork and Preserved Duck Egg. It's all good to me.
You're more adventurous than I. I've heard of thousand-year eggs and am still astounded people willingly choose to eat them, but to each their own. Not familiar with durian. Maybe one of these days I'll give a shot. You only live once and all that.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:53 PM   #9
JeffTheMovieGuy JeffTheMovieGuy is offline
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I always order The General over Lo mein the sauce from the chicken merges with the noodles and magic happens.

Also Durian is great it's the trash like smell that gets you.
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:47 AM   #10
AeroK AeroK is offline
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I load up on the Tso and Bourbon and MSGs.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:51 PM   #11
Nice Guy Eddie Nice Guy Eddie is offline
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I cant stand Chinese food, I only eat American food like pizza and tacos.
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Old 02-08-2017, 06:51 PM   #12
reaperx187 reaperx187 is offline
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Its probably one of my favorite Chinese dishes overall or at least in the top 3 or 5 list most likely.
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Old 02-08-2017, 06:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I cant stand Chinese food, I only eat American food like pizza and tacos.
Tacos are Mexican and pizza is Italian.
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman1980 View Post
Tacos are Mexican and pizza is Italian.
lol I thought his comment was humorous but I'm also wondering if he was joking because while we may think of those as being popular in America, as you say, they are not from America. Wonder if he'll reply to your comment.

I had never heard of General Tso's before Panda Express. I do not like Chinese food at all but I do like the meat dishes at Panda. I get the entrees that don't have any veggies, but if they did, I would pick them out. My dad does like the GT and he calls it General T-S-O
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:12 AM   #15
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I used to order General Tso's all the time in NYC & Florida, sadly now living in the UK, it seems Chinese joints just don't do it [at least locally to me]. Luckily though, my wife makes it sometimes.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:52 PM   #16
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I also like getting the Dragon and Phoenix which is this one plus shrimp added so half and half its an solid mix of Chinese food though.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:14 PM   #17
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I absolutely LOVE Chinese (well almost any Asian cuisine really) and like others have said yes this is not a traditional Chinese dish (which I also love) and is a Chinese American concoction but I have always loved General Tso's chicken.
In my early 20's I lived with four other roommates and there was a place called Wong's Café a couple miles away that we always ordered General Tso's chicken from and it was probably the best I have ever had. They just had everything nailed down as far as the texture - not too soft, not too hard breading - and the sauce, not too thick, not too watery, just the right about of spiciness. Just perfect. Well they changed owners and recipes so I had to find a new place for General Tso's and for the longest time I didn't find anything comparable. Some places were good but nothing compared to Wong's.
I did find a store bought sauce (forget the same but it's a black and red bottle) that is very good and I perfected the art of deep frying chicken at home. This was a pretty comparable to the Wong's chicken I loved but I would only make it every so often because deep frying the chicken is very labor and time intensive when you are making it at home just for you and the family. (I have done General beef and shrimp too, so good)
Finally after years of searching there is a place by my house called the Orient Restaurant which was a bit fancier than Wong's ever was. I saw they had Generals Tso's on the menu but the chicken was not deep fried, breaded, but the sauce was right on point. One day I asked and they said they could deep fry the chicken and this has been the closest I have come to another restaurant having General Tso's that tasted like Wong's. So good.
All that said, I have been on a low/no carb/sugar diet for almost two years now so I only treat myself to something like General Tso's once or twice a year at this point. But when I get it man do I enjoy the hell out of it.
Also note - the General Tso's at Panda is not very good. While I can be a bit of a snob as far as Chinese food from a nice Chinese restaurant I don't mind "slumming" it at Panda or the like but there are many better items you can get at panda than their poor attempt at General Tso's
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:07 PM   #18
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I've never seen General Tso's Chicken at a Panda Express, only their orange chicken (which I had for lunch today as a matter of fact)
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:41 PM   #19
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their sad attempt at General Chicken was a limited time menu item. Right now they have Five Flavor shrimp which is pretty good
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:45 PM   #20
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Good Lord I love this stuff.
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