Like Lori, I did a little research and didn't come up with much in regard to the dish's origin. The dish is not known in China. It is mostly served in American and Canadian Chinese restaurants. It is "a lightly battered chicken in a chili-laced, sweet-sour sauce," per Fuchsia Dunlop in Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. One can say that it partially originates from Hunan cuisine. Partially because the Hunan do not care for sweet and savory dishes...so, a combination of Hunan and Szechaun cuisines.
Whatever the origin, the dish is delicious!! Thank you, Lori for introducing us to this wonderful main course! We made pineapple rice to accompany the dish. What a great combination of flavors!
General Tso’s Chicken
Lori at All That SplattersYield: 4-6 servings
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced (I followed Lori's lead and grated using a Microplane.)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 large egg whites
1-1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Vegetable oil for frying
Garnish: 2 green onions, green parts thinly sliced
To make the sauce, whisk together the hoisin sauce, white vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, and water in a bowl. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the hoisin mixture. Stir until the sauce is dark brown and has thickened. Remove from heat and cover.
Cut chicken into 1-inch chunks. Whisk the egg whites in a shallow dish until foamy. Thoroughly combine cornstarch, flour, and baking soda in a separate shallow dish. Toss half the chicken into the foamy egg whites until well-coated, and then dredge the chicken in the cornstarch mixture, making certain that all sides are coated. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
Heat oil in a fryer (or Dutch oven, or a large wok) until it registers 325ºF. Fry the chicken in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning pieces over halfway through cooking. Transfer cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
Re-warm the sauce over medium heat until bubbling. Add the chicken pieces tossing to coat. Garnish with sliced green onions.