Tuesday, September 08, 2009

US fusion - Crab Rangoon and General Tso's chicken

I told you about Crab Rangoon, one of my favourites, and how it was served at Yenching at Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA. Another tasty treat is General Tso's Chicken. Both dishes sound and look genuinely Chinese, but they are most likely an American or American-Chinese fusion.

Crab Rangoon

Crab Rangoon is supposedly based on a Burmese recipe. Ingredients fits, except the cream cheese, that will be hard to find as ingredient in Burmese or any other East Asian cuisine.

As many Italian dishes, Crab Rangoon is invented in the US either by an Asian immigrant or an inventive American cook inspired by Asian cuisine.

Crab Rangoon has been served for more than 50 years. The cradle of this dish is on the Western coast, facing the Pacific and beyond - the Asian continent.

What we do know is that it has been on the menu on the legendary Trader Vic's restaurant in San Francisco at least since 1957, but it is probably identical with the "Rangoon crab a la Jack" served at the restaurant at a Hawaiian style party in 1952.

Whatever origins it is delicious. The crispy wonton pastry and the creamy filling inside are intriguing culinary contrasts.

Wanna know how to make your own Crab Rangoon?

By chance I found this clip where Alli Adolphson, a junior at the University of Missouri , who studied abroad in Beijing, and she teach you how to make these treats.

General Tso's Chicken

Another favourite is General Tso's chicken. This dish is even more steeped in mystery than Crab Rangoon. It is named after a 19th century Chinese general. It is neither known as an original recipe in China, nor in the Chinese diaspora found around the world.

General Tso's chicken is wonderfully spicy deep fried chicken, inspired by the cuisine of the Hunan province.

Some claim that it derived from an older and simpler recipe from the Hunan cuisine. The name should in this case, not be inspired by the general's name, but rather derived from a similar word meaning old ancestral hall.

Others claim that the dish was invented on Taiwan by Peng Chang-kuei, a local cook. Peng Chang-kuei fled Taiwan to settle in New York and supposedly introduced it to the American cuisine.

It has, in any case, a shorter history on American menus than Crab Rangoon. It was first mentioned in New York Times in 1977 and has, since then, been introduced to many menus in restaurants in the US and Canada.

Wanna know how to make your own General Tso's chicken?

Here is another film clip from YouTube where you are given instruction on how to make General Tso's chicken in your own kitchen.

1 comment:

Karachi Hotel said...

I like very much to the Crab Rangoon and Tso's chicken.Let me know that what is the full recipe of this.