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Hot Braised Chicken Vs General Tso: What’s The Difference?

When there are so many delicious options on the menu, it’s hard to decide which one to order.

Hot braised chicken and General Tso are two of the mouth-watering and popular dishes from China, which makes it even harder for you to pick one that you prefer over the other.

This article will help you understand more about these two chicken dishes and figure out how they differ from each other so that making a decision will be much easier.

What is hot braised chicken?

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Hot braised chicken is a popular dish in China.

It is quick and easy to make, but wonderfully tasty.

The ingredients are simple, and all items can be found at any grocery store in your area.

In Chinese traditional cooking, people cook it in a clay pot.

However, you can cook hot braised chicken in a crockpot, slow cooker, or even in an oven.

The chicken is braised with other ingredients like fresh ginger root, rice wine vinegar, garlic cloves, honey, soy sauce, and black pepper or chilies for a spicy kick.

The resulting dish is hot and very flavorful, and the chicken is tender enough to melt in your mouth.

Normally, chicken is usually braised with mushrooms, but it all depends on the cook’s preference.

If you want to serve it as a soup dish, remove it from the heat before the sauce or liquid is not completely dehydrated.

What is General Tso?

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General Tso’s chicken is a very popular dish among the Chinese and Americans.

Due to its popularity, there are also many stories behind the dish’s origin.

Some believe that General Tso is a dish that originated in Taiwan in 1955 by chef Peng in order to honor a Hunanese war hero, Zou Zongtang or Tso Tsung-tang.

Another theory says that General Tso was created in an American Chinese restaurant in the 1970s by chef Peng Chang-Kuei.

No matter what the true story is, General Tso’s chicken seems to be the same in any place.

It consists of deep-fried chicken pieces that are tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce that contains garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and chili peppers.

General Tso is one of the classic Chinese dishes in North America.

It can be found in any American Chinese restaurant, to be eaten inside the restaurant, or as a take-out dish.

General Tso’s chicken is best to serve over steamed white rice.

It can also be mixed with broccoli, carrots, and snow peas to create a healthy dish that also includes different kinds of vegetables.

This dish can be eaten on its own as a snack to enjoy at any time of the day.

What are the differences between hot braised chicken vs General Tso?

Hot braised chicken and General Tso are two different chicken dishes that are not only popular in both Chinese and American Chinese cuisines.

So what are the differences between these two dishes? Let’s take a closer at the table below:

 Hot braised chickenGeneral Tso
IngredientsChicken, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, honey, black pepper, chilies, mushroomChicken, batter, sweet and spicy sauce (soy sauce, chili pepper, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic)
Cooking methodBraising chicken with other ingredients under low heat and slow cookChicken is coated with batter and deep-fried until crispy, then tossed into the sauce for a few minutes before serving
TextureSoupy, the meat is tendererThe sauce is usually evaporated and penetrates into the meat, so the chicken will look glowy and velvety with a crispy texture, while the dish is not watery
TasteRicher and juicerSweet, savory, and spicy

What are the similarities between hot braised chicken vs General Tso?

Hot braised chicken and General Tso are two types of chicken dishes.

Despite the main differences between these two dishes, they do share numerous similarities, as mentioned below:

1.    Hot braised chicken and General Tso are Chinese dishes that are also popular in American Chinese cuisine

Hot braised chicken and General Tso are two popular chicken dishes from China.

Although there are a few different stories behind the true origins of these dishes, they are all around Chinese cuisine.

Due to the large population of Chinese immigrants in America, hot braised chicken, and General Tso’s chicken are also staples in American Chinese cuisine.

2.  Both dishes feature some Chinese staples like chicken, soy sauce, and ginger

It is obvious that the main ingredient in both dishes is chicken, which is also a staple kind of meat in Chinese cooking.

Moreover, two recipes also feature some common ingredients and spices like ginger root, soy sauce, and chilies.

3. Hot braised chicken and General Tso can be eaten alone or served with steamed rice and vegetables

Another similarity between hot braised chicken and General Tso’s chicken is how they are served.

Both dishes can be served alone or accompanied by other dishes like steamed white rice and boiled or stir-fried vegetables.

Which one is better?

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Hot braised chicken and General Tso’s chicken are both delicious in their own ways.

With the information from this article at hand, now you know how these two Chinese dishes differ from each other as well as share several similarities, hopefully, making your final selection will be easier.

Which of these tasty Chinese chicken dishes sounds best for you?

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