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Szechuan Chicken Vs General Tso: What’s The Difference?

The world of Chinese food is vast and varied.

Two dishes that are often compared are Szechuan chicken and general Tso.

While they might seem like the same dish, there are a few key differences between the two which will be outlined in this blog post to help you decide which type you prefer or if you want to try both!

What is special about Szechuan chicken?

House of Tsang Szechuan Stir Fry Sauce, 11.5 oz

Szechuan chicken is a Chinese dish that is most known for its spicy flavor.

The typical Szechuan sauce contains garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and chili peppers.

It can be served in many ways but typically it’s sliced or diced and cooked with a thin coat of cornstarch and then fried until crispy.

Szechuan chicken is often enjoyed as an appetizer but also makes for a great main course! 

What is special about General Tso chicken?

IRON CHEF General Tso's Sauce & Glaze, All Natural, Kosher, 15-Ounce...

General Tso is a dish that has been around since the 1970’s.

It is named after Zuo Zongtang, also known as General Tso, who was an army commander in China during the Qing Dynasty.

The dish consists of meat or vegetables stir-fried with garlic and chili peppers in a brown sauce along with some other condiments such as soy sauce and rice wine.

There are many variations to this recipe depending on what type of meat you use but it is traditionally chicken.

What are the differences between Szechuan chicken vs general Tso?

Do you know the difference between Szechuan chicken and General Tso? If not, this below table will highlight the differences between these two dishes so that you know which one best suits your taste buds!

 Szechuan chickenGeneral Tso
TextureSzechuan sauces are thinned out with rice wine or waterGeneral Tso’s sauce is thickened with cornstarch
FlavorSzechuan Chicken is another stir-fry dish, but this one has an even spicier flavor than general Tso’sGeneral Tso’s chicken is a sweet and spicy stir-fried dish, made with chunks of dark meat chicken coated in a sticky sauce
Nutritional valueSzechuan chicken (520) has more calories than General Tso’s chicken (460)General Tso’s chicken has more sodium content than Szechuan chicken, with 1,330 mg of sodium vs 870 mg of sodium
ServingSzechuan chicken is served without vegetablesGeneral Tso is usually served with broccoli
PriceSzechuan will cost around $7-12The price for general Tso’s typically ranges from $5-10

What are the similarities between Szechuan chicken vs general Tso?

If you’ve ever wondered about the similarities between Szechuan chicken vs general Tso, this blog post will answer your questions.

1. Both dishes are spicy

Szechuan chicken and general Tso are both spicy, but they differ in many ways.

General Tso is a sweet sauce with peanuts over white meat chunks of either pork or poultry served on top of fried rice while Szechuan Chicken has a savory soy-based sauce that gets spicier the longer it sits and also uses green peppers for flavor.

2. Both Szechuan and general Tso’s chicken are deep-fried before being covered with sauce

Both Szechuan and general Tso’s chicken are fried before being covered with a mixture of spicy chili sauces, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar as well as rice wine or dry cooking Sherry to create this enticing flavor profile that is loved by so many people who eat it!

3. Both dishes are served over rice or noodles

To satisfy the tastes of Americanized Chinese, both Szechuan and general Tso’s chicken are served over rice or noodles.

General Tso’s is characterized by a sweet sauce with spices that vary from recipe to recipe; while Szechuan leans more towards heat but also offers several other dipping sauces on the side for your choice.

Which one is better?

Product ComparisonHouse of Tsang Szechuan Stir Fry Sauce, 11.5 ozIRON CHEF General Tso's Sauce & Glaze, All Natural, Kosher, 15-Ounce...
Product ImageHouse of Tsang Szechuan Stir Fry Sauce, 11.5 ozIRON CHEF General Tso's Sauce & Glaze, All Natural, Kosher, 15-Ounce...
Latest PriceCheck Current PriceCheck Current Price

The choice is yours.

General Tso’s chicken has a sweeter and less spicy sauce, but Szechuan Chicken typically has more vegetables in the dish than its counterpart.

Both dishes are delicious and come with their own unique flavor profiles that you may enjoy depending on your preference! We hope this blog post helps you make an informed decision as to which dish will be best for you!

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