How General Tso Became A Pro

General Tso’s chicken is a savory combination of lightly battered chicken in a chili-infused, sweet-sour sauce. The dish was created in the 1950s by Peng Chang-kuei, a chef originally from Hunan province in China. The early version of General Tso’s was traditional Hunan-style: heavy, sour and fiery. In the 1970s, Peng opened a restaurant in New York, and found adding sweetness to the dish was appealing to American palates. The popularity of General Tso’s chicken grew as Peng’s apprentices moved on to other restaurants with the recipe. 

Who was General Tso? Tso Tsung-t’ang was a 19th-century general born in 1812 in Hunan province. He died in 1885 after a distinguished career in the Qing Dynasty civil and military administration. The general is said to have enjoyed a Hunan-style dish that inspired chef Peng to create General Tso’s chicken. 

To get a taste of this classic preparation you don’t need to travel far. General Tso’s chicken is a signature dish at Thyme in Sister Bay. The restaurant reopens for the season on April 12. 

Thyme is located at 10339 state Highway 57 in Sister Bay. 

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