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Creator of General Tso’s chicken dish dies at 98

The chef credited with inventing General Tso’s Chicken, a world-famous Chinese dish smothered in a sweet sauce that was never a staple in China, has died in Taiwan at 98.

Peng Chang-kuei died of pneumonia earlier this month in Taipei. He was still cooking in the family’s Taipei restaurant kitchen just a few months ago.

Peng first brought the sticky, sweet and spicy dish to New York about 40 years ago.

It’s now on Chinese restaurant menus across the United States, exploding in popularity after President Nixon visited China in 1972.

But General Tso’s chicken was never part of the Chinese culinary tradition.

The chef created the dish in the 1950s in Taiwan, where he fled in 1949 with Chiang Kai-shek after the communists took over.

His funeral was scheduled for Dec. 15 in Taipei.

— The Associated Press

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