General Tso’s Chicken: A Chinatown Celebration

While each longstanding dish, be it a salad, casserole, dessert, or anything else, has a tasty story to tell, few foodstuffs are as storied as General Tso’s Chicken.

How it came by a eminent moniker — a distinguished Qing Dynasty figure is a inspiration, it is pronounced — and how it came to be one of a sharp luminary suppers of Chinese restaurants opposite America has been minute in articles, essays, and menu descriptions aplenty. “The Search for General Tso,” a 2014 documentary, also delved into a tasty behind story of this delicious forever-favorite.

Now a mythological creation’ll take a sample-filled centerstage in Chinatown’s ancestral West Plaza on Saturday, Aug. 20. “Beyond a (Takeout) Box: The Culture, Community, and Comfort Behind American Chinese Food” starts a evening, with several panelists deliberating “the change food has on personal identity” as good as a horde of fascinating foodly topics.

Jennifer 8. Lee, a writer of “The Search for General Tso,” joins a Chinatown Summer Nights row alongside other luminaries including publisher Lisa Ling, cartoonist Gene Luen Yang, writer Melvin Mar, Andrea Cherng of a Panda Restaurant Group, and designer and highbrow Alvin Huang.

A cooking demo starts after a row wraps, and General Tso’s Chicken is indeed a plate of honor. You know that a snack traditionally boasts dusty red chilis, and garlic, and cornstarch, and, yes, chicken, though each cook seems to put a opposite and tasty spin on a princely edible.

Samples of General Tso’s Chicken from Panda Express, a row and demo’s host, will be accessible (so hang around after a demo wraps for a taste, if we wish).

It’s a gratifying night for a festively flavored take-out staple, though a to-dos extend over a demo stage. Look for KCRW DJs, a ukulele presentation, a print booth, calligraphy and fruit figure events, and more. 

But when a dusk ends, will we prolonged for some General Tso’s take-out on a approach home? It truly is one of a quintessential dishes of modern-day cookery, a dish that so clearly itself that when we crave General Tso’s, we need to find accurately that.

Of course, a “exactly that” with this robust and spicy transport can meant a few opposite things depending on where we go, and that, too, is partial of a extraordinary story.


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