Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Obi" Wan Fan - General Tso's Chicken

As part of our week in China, I, the Physicist, made General Tso's Chicken (and Tofu). I looked at a bunch of recipes and then basically winged it. I coated the chicken and tofu pieces in a batter made from an egg, half a cup of water, about a tablespoon of sesame oil, and a lot of cornstarch. At first, I only put in half a cup of cornstarch based on a recipe by Tyler Florence, but he was sadly wrong. This batter was runny and I probably added 2-3 times that much before it was thick, sticky, and coated the pieces well. Once this was worked out, I fried everything in the wok in batches, then dumped out most of the oil and made the sauce from garlic, ginger, red pepper, chicken stock, soy sauce, honey, and cornstarch to thicken. If I did this again, I'd dump all the oil and use fresh. After frying a pound of chicken and a box of tofu, the oil was a bit brown and brought a burnt taste to the final dish. The Girl would also appreciate less red pepper than I used. This was easy to play around with, adding more honey or cornstarch slurry at the end to get the result I liked, for instance, and I think it's a great next step beyond basic stir-fry. Overall, it was tasty, but could have been better. But there's only one way to learn.

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