General Tso’s Chicken vs Kung Pao Chicken: A Comprehensive Comparison

General Tso's Chicken vs Kung Pao Chicken: A Comprehensive Comparison

General Tso’s chicken and Kung Pao chicken are two popular Chinese dishes that are often compared with each other. They both have a spicy and savory flavor but differ in their ingredients, cooking methods, and origins. This outline will provide a comprehensive comparison of the two dishes:

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Kung Pao Chicken (also known as “Kung Po Chicken”) is a Sichuan dish created by chefs at the famous restaurant called Shun Lee Palace in New York City in 1973. It consists of diced chicken pieces stir-fried with chili peppers, peanuts, garlic, and scallions (green onions).

The name comes from its creator Chef Peng Chang-Kuei who was born in Sichuan province, where kung pao chicken originated; he named it after himself because he thought it was so good!

CriteriaGeneral Tso’s ChickenKung Pao Chicken
OriginHunan province, ChinaSichuan province, China
Main IngredientBoneless chickenChicken with peanuts
SpicinessMedium to hotMedium to hot
Cooking MethodStir-friedStir-fried
Popular inUnited StatesUnited States, Asia
Adjustable Spice LevelYesYes
Health BenefitsLow-fat and quick to makeCan be made with lean protein and can be adjusted to different spice levels


General Tso’s Chicken: Boneless Chicken

General Tso’s Chicken is made with boneless chicken and other ingredients. These include cornstarch, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and garlic. The dish also contains dried chili peppers for added spice. You can find General Tso’s in most Chinese restaurants across America today because it has become so popular over time!

Kung Pao Chicken: Chicken with Peanuts

Kung Pao Chicken is another popular dish that uses chicken as its main ingredient but also includes peanuts which give it a crunchy texture when eaten alongside steamed rice or noodles (depending on what kind of restaurant you visit).

This dish typically has more than just one type of spice mixed together so that there will be different flavors throughout each bite – making sure you taste your favorite part and something else new too!

FAQs on Ingredients

Can I use different types of meat for these dishes?

Yes, you can. Chicken is the most common choice, but you could also use pork or beef if that’s what you have on hand. If it’s not in the budget to buy more than one type of meat at once, try mixing things up by swapping out the chicken with tofu (or another vegetarian option) and using beef instead of pork when making your General Tso’s recipe.

Can I make these recipes vegetarian?

Absolutely! Just substitute tofu for chicken in both recipes–and remember that tofu has a much firmer texture than chicken so it might take longer to cook through before frying or baking it with sauce on top

Cooking Methods

General Tso’s Chicken is a stir-fried dish that originated in Hunan, China. To prepare it, you’ll need:

  • chicken breast or thigh meat (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • cornstarch (to make the coating)
  • egg white (for an extra layer of crispiness)

The frying process is simple: coat your chicken in cornstarch, dip it into beaten egg white, then fry until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Once your chicken has been fried, remove from heat and add sauce before serving. The sauce should be thick enough so that it sticks to each piece of meat when tossed together during cooking but thin enough so as not to overwhelm its flavor–you want just enough sauce for flavor without being overpowered by an excess amount!

FAQs on Cooking Methods

Can I bake or grill the chicken instead of deep frying it?

Yes, you can bake the chicken in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F. If you want to grill it, ensure it is very hot before placing the pieces on top.

How do I adjust the spiciness level of these dishes?

If you want to make either dish less spicy, omit some or all of the chili peppers from each recipe (you can also substitute bell peppers for some or all of them). If this still isn’t enough for your taste buds, try adding more sugar and salt into your sauce mixture–both ingredients will help balance out some of those fiery flavors!


General Tso’s Chicken is a dish that originated in the Hunan province of China. It was named after General Tso Tsung-tang, who led an army against rebels during the Taiping Rebellion. A chef created the dish at his restaurant as a tribute to him and his bravery.

Kung Pao Chicken originated in Sichuan Province and was named after Ding Baozhen (aka Ding Baozhu), who served as governor of Sichuan from 1853 until 1856. He was also known as “The Iron-Fisted Governor” because he ruled with an iron fist and did not tolerate any rebellion against his rule or disobedience from his people.

Benefits of General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso’s chicken is a healthier option than deep-fried dishes. It’s quick and easy to make and can be used in many different ways. For example, if you’re in the mood for something spicy and sweet at the same time, try adding some sugar and chili sauce to your General Tso’s chicken recipe!

This dish has become so popular that even restaurants are dedicated solely to serving it (like this one in Los Angeles).

Benefits of Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken is an authentic Chinese dish that can be adjusted to different spice levels. The unique flavor of this dish makes it a favorite among many people who love Chinese food.


If you’re looking for a good place to order Chinese food, it’s important to understand the differences between General Tso’s Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken. These two dishes are often confused with each other because of their similar names and appearance, but they actually have very different flavors and ingredients.

By understanding these differences, you can make an informed choice when ordering Chinese food.