Chef Peng Chang-kuei first made General Tso’s chicken in the 1950s, when he was working as a chef for the Taiwanese government. When U.S. Navy Admiral Arthur W. Radford was stationed in Taiwan in 1954 to lead a summit of high-ranking government officials, Peng decided to branch out in regards to the usual banquet menu.
One of his innovations, a breaded and stir-fried chicken dish in a sweet and spicy sauce, was so popular that the chef was asked what it was called. On the spot, Peng coined “General Tso’s Chicken,” after a celebrated war hero from Hunan, his home province.
It’s a sad loss in the world of Asian cuisine, RIP Mr.Chang-kuei.
Photo credit: NY Times