Chinese dish: Jar doo gai

Can anyone ID this dish?

I had this dish back about 1973, I believe. It was at a chinese restaurant in an Indianapolis suburb. It was also advertised as “sweet and sour chicken” but it was nothing like standard sweet and sour chicken.

Basically it had bite-sized chunks of white meat chicken, uncoated, which were dipped in a variety of things in small bowels which were served with it, including a white granular powder. It was quite flavorful, and it brought about the epiphany that turned me away from being a picky eater and into the adventurous gourmand I am now! I don’t remember what else it was served with, besides rice.

But I’ve never seen this dish again anywhere! I can’t even find it on the internet. Granted, I may be missspelling it, but after over 30 years of searching and failure, I turn to my fellow SDMB types for help.


I’ll ask some of my foodie friends but based on your description, it sounds much more Korean than Chinese to me.

I think I may have figured out why you can’t find it.

Make sure it isnt “cream of sum yung gai”.

I’m a huge fan of Chinese food, but I haven’t heard of this dish. I did a search too, and I ended up finding something called “Jar Doo Chicken Wings” or “Ja-doo chicken wings” (which seems to be a match, since “gai” is Cantonese for chicken), but it sounds more like a variant on simple soy sauce chicken than what you’re describing. I also think it is probably not a typical Chinese dish and possibly from a different culture (Korea is a possibility).

It sounds like it must’ve been good though! I hope someone does find a recipe.

Did the chicken come with crispy skin?

Hey, you didn’t even try the menudo soup that time in Prescott, Arizona. It was… different. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the link. Interesting, but maybe not it.

Maybe it was Korean. But that would have been really out there for Indiana in the early 1970’s.

No skin at all, if I recall correctly.