General Tso Stir Fry


There's a well-documented and much touted link between Jews and Chinese food, that has its roots in the turn of the century but is still discussed today. And while I love picking up some egg rolls and sweet and sour chicken, there's no reason you can't enjoy some Chinese favorites in your own kitchen. There are several components to this dish that come together at the end, but they're all fairly simple, and the result is seriously delicious. This is a pretty mild version of the dish, with no hot peppers – feel free to play up the flavors as you wish.

I love lots of colorful vegetables in my stir fry, so I used red and yellow peppers, carrots and snow peas, but you can vary all the vegetables as you like them. There's a fair amount of cornstarch in the sauce, which acts as a thickener when heated. Make sure to carefully monitor the pot once you've added the sauce, so you don't over thicken and end up with a gloopy mess. The sauce can be thinned down with water or broth to get the consistency you want.

General Tso Stir Fry – Serves 3-4

Stir fry:

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 peppers – red, yellow or orange, diced

2/3 cup grated carrots

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 cup sliced water chestnuts

1 cup snow peas, halved


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cutlets

2 eggs

1/3 cup cornstarch

salt and pepper

canola oil, for frying


1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup water

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 cup rice vinegar

1/8 cup white wine

7 ounces chicken or vegetable broth

Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sautee, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic and carrots, and continue cooking, 15 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and snow peas, and cook another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the chicken breasts in to cubes. Mix the eggs and cornstarch together with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the mixture then drain.

Heat about 1/8" of oil in the bottom of a large skillet. Fry the chicken pieces, one batch at a time, cooking about 3-4 minutes on each side, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Mix together all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl or container with a lid – shake well. Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the pot, and cook, stirring regularly, until it begins to thicken. Don't leave it alone – the sauce can overthicken quickly. Thin out with water or broth if necessary. Add in the chicken, stir to combine and heat through.

Serve over rice.