From the reader mail bag:…

From the reader mail bag:

I was wondering if you have any experience trying to make a good General Tso's sauce for either chicken or tofu. I have done some searching of my own but feel that the recipes seem a little boring. Granted, it is a very generic (though popular) food item on a Chinese menu, but I was just hoping you might have come across a recipe or tried one yourself which made the food a little more exciting. I tend to prefer the sauce a little less sweet as well, but that's just me. Any feedback, advice, or creative thinking would be appreciated if you have the time.

I don't. Does anyone else? I don't do much Chinese cooking at home.

7 thoughts on “From the reader mail bag:…”

  1. This is a basic sticky (so is that Szechauan?) chinese stir fry sauce…pretty foolproof: You can adjust this as necessary
    Can be doubled or tripled – here’s the single recipe
    FOR CHICKEN-BASED recipes
    * 2t corn starch
    * 4T soy sauce
    * 2T dry sherry
    * Crushed/minced garlic – a few cloves
    * Grated ginger – a small pile (or more) (Peel the ginger first)
    * 1/2t crushed red pepper – or more – the more the better
    FOR BEEF-BASED recipes
    Same thing, but substitute water or red wine for sherry and black pepper for crushed red
    After you stir fry everything and you have just the cooked meat in the pan (assuming you do everything separately), turn down the heat, stir the sauce, pour it in, wait for it to bubble (it happens quickly) stir and then pour in everything else. Stir some more. Serve! Yum.

  2. Check out cook’s illlustrated’s Orange Chicken recipe. The sauce for it is quite delicious, and if you leave out the orange zest, it would make a great General Tso’s sauce. The OJ is there mostly for acidity, and doesn’t impart a heavy orange flavor. I’d also add some dried chili pepper as well to give it a bit of a kick.

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