Pronunciation of

General Tso

How to pronounce General Tso
General Tso's chicken is deep-fried chicken dish that is very popular in the United States. The dish is not considered part of Chinese cuisine and was invented in the United States. The dish was named after the military leader Zuo Zongtang (romanized as Tso Tsung-t'ang), although he never had direct contact with the dish. It is unclear who invented General Tso's chicken, but it is probable that it is distantly based on a Hunan chicken dish.
The pronunciation of General Tso varies greatly in the United States, with many pronouncing Tso as Tao, Gao, So, or phonetically, as Tso. Based on how you would pronounce the actual general's name, Zuo (or Tso), all three of these pronunciations are incorrect. In the audio pronunciation, you will hear the correct pronunciation of General Tso as tsah-oo, with an elongated -oo sound. However, when ordering this dish in American Chinese restaurants it's probably best to stick to Tao, So or the phonetic Tso, because often, when this Chinese name is associated with the dish, these pronunciations are most common.
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