If you are a fan of Chinese food, you must have heard about Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken.
So what’s the difference between them? To answer this question, we need to understand what makes up these dishes and put them side by side to point out the differences as well as similarities between Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken.
What is Szechuan chicken?
Szechuan chicken is a Chinese dish that originated in Sichuan province.
The dish typically includes stir-fried chunks of meat, usually dark meat like chicken thigh, dried red chili peppers, Szechuan peppercorns, and/ or vegetables if desired with other seasonings to taste.
To make the dish more flavorful and velvety in texture, all the ingredients are cooked in a sauce that consists of oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth, sesame oil, and Chinese rice wine.
Garlic and ginger can also be used in the recipe to enhance the flavor of Szechuan chicken.
Sichuan is reputed for its spiciest food in China, even in the world.
Therefore, no wonder why its chicken dish, called Szechuan chicken, contains many hot ingredients and spices which result in a very spicy taste.
It is traditionally served hot with steamed rice.
What is Mongolian chicken?
Mongolian chicken is not a Mongolian dish as the name implies, it is actually a Chinese dish.
It is a variant of the more popular dish, Mongolian beef that resembles Mongolian barbecue.
Mongolian chicken can be made from either white meat chicken like chicken breast or dark meat like a chicken thigh.
It can be cut into chunks or cubes, or sliced into thin pieces.
The chicken is then stir-fried until crispy and brown and cooked in a sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and other spices like garlic, ginger, and green onions.
You can also add vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or mushrooms to make the Mongolian chicken dish healthier and have more texture as well as color.
The resulting dish is best served hot, with steamed rice or fried noodles on the side.
What are the differences between Szechuan chicken vs Mongolian chicken?
There are some differences between Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken.
The comparison table below will give you details about how these two dishes differ from each other:
|Szechuan chicken||Mongolian chicken|
|Ingredients||Chicken (usually chicken thigh), dried red chili peppers, Szechuan peppercorn, soy sauce, oyster, garlic, ginger, and other spices per preference||Chicken (can be white meat or dark meat), soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger,|
|Taste||Spicy, sweet, and salty||Milder, usually sweet|
|Appearance||Deeper in color, have more red because of dried red chili peppers||Brown and lighter|
What are the similarities between Szechuan chicken vs Mongolian chicken?
It seems that Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken have more characteristics in common rather than being different from each other, despite the signature spicy taste of Szechuan dishes.
Here are some similarities between these two dishes:
1. Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken have the same cooking method
Two dishes are cooked the same way.
You will need chicken chunks or slices, stir-fried until slightly brown and crispy.
After that, cook the chicken in the prepared sauce from spices with soy sauce and oyster sauce, and other ingredients depending on the recipe.
2. Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken can be cooked with vegetables per preference
The main ingredients in Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken are chicken, sauce, and spices.
However, you totally can add more vegetables to the recipes if you like.
Some common types of veggies that work well in these dishes are carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and water chestnuts.
By adding these veggies to your Szechuan or Mongolian chicken dish, you will end up with a more flavorful, colorful, and nutritious dish.
3. Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken are very popular in Chinese and American cuisine
Another similarity between Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken is their popularity.
Both are signature dishes of Chinese cuisine as well as American Chinese cuisine.
If you don’t want to make them at home from scratch, you can easily buy either dish from any Chinese or American Chinese restaurant in your country to enjoy it at the restaurant or as a takeout dish.
Which one is better?
|Product Comparison||Fusion Select Premium Szechuan Peppercorn - Authentic Sichuan Whole...||San-J Gluten Free Mongolian Stir Fry and Marinade Sauce | Non GMO,...|
|Latest Price||Check Current Price||Check Current Price|
With all the information we’ve discussed, it should be clear that there are many similarities between Szechuan chicken and Mongolian chicken.
However, they have a few differences as well, especially the hot level of each dish.
Szechuan food is famous for its spiciness, therefore, make sure you are a fan of spicy food before opting for Szechuan chicken.
Otherwise, we think Mongolian chicken will be better for you.
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