General Tso (First Wok-Copycat)

"This is a copycat from our favorite Chinese place: First Wok in Lincoln IL. After trying many many versions all over the net, I finally found the missing ingredient that gives it the sweeter, fruitier taste: Plum sauce. I plan to continue to tweak this recipe, but here it is for the record! 4/29/9 Reformulating this recipe to more of the First Wok taste: Tried starting with a bottle of plum juice (might try from concentrate) add 1/4 c brown sugar, honey, sherry, tiny bit of hoisin, soy sauce (sparingly). Dash of ginger, garlic to taste. Marinate meats in sherry and vinegar, lots of garlic, small amt ginger, salt. Better to have the sauce sweeter (almost syrupy) and meats more of other flavors."
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Ready In:




  • Marinade chicken in additional sherry, garlic, and sugar.
  • Make rice.
  • Combine hoisin, plum sauce, sherry, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sugar, powdered ginger, and garlic salt in a bowl. Adjust to taste if needed.
  • Chop scallions and reserve green tops.
  • Saute scallion bottoms, red peppers, minced garlic and minced ginger.
  • Drain from pan and reserve.
  • add one egg, beaten, to the chicken with corn starch.
  • Heat oil again add more if needed and cook chicken on medium high until brown and cooked through.
  • Add sauce and cook just until thick.
  • Add reserved veggies -- looks better if you don't stir them inches.
  • Serve over rice with steamed broccoli.
  • Enjoy!

Questions & Replies

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  1. We typically order a spicier version of this dish, so I added 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper and a dash of ground red pepper to the sauce, when I added the vegetables back to the pan. Also, I prefer it with a bit less vinegar. Overall, though, this has a very good, complex flavor.


I love food! I am always amazed that there are always new things to try... even foods I hated as a child are often a new thing to love. I'm always interested in trying gourmet or cultural favorites. I dabble in the kitchen on whims mostly. Usually spurred on by upcoming events, parties, etc. I especially love a great presentation. Outside the kitchen I like reading to my kids, classic lit, fantasy, Harry Potter mania stuff, church stuff (weird mix?-- I think not). Right now we are in the mid-madness of getting the kids ready with their 4-H projects and getting ready to help with church camp which we volunteer for.
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