General Tso Chicken vs. Szechuan Chicken: A Taste Off!

Have you ever wondered about the difference between General Tso’s and Szechuan chicken? They both seem to be popular dishes, but are they the same? Here we will explore the difference between these two dishes and help you decide which one to order the next time you’re at a Chinese restaurant. 

What is General Tso’s chicken? 

General Tso’s Chicken is a favorite Chinese food take-out choice that is tasty, slightly spicy, and a little sweet. A crispy coating of fried chicken is tossed in a sticky, glossy sauce. It is typically served over steamed rice or noodles with stir-fried vegetables. This dish has an interesting history in the United States and is very popular.

What is Szechuan chicken? 

Szechuan chicken is a Chinese dish originating in Sichuan. It is a popular take-out dish served in Chinese restaurants in various parts of the United States. 

Sichuan cuisine is known for bold flavors, particularly the spiciness brought by copious amounts of garlic and chili peppers. One dish that epitomizes this spiciness is Mapo Tofu, a dish of tofu and ground pork in a chili-bean paste sauce. 

Szechuan chicken is very similar to another American-Chinese dish, sesame chicken, in its use of egg batter and breading. 

What are the differences between general tso’s chicken and szechuan chicken? 

  • General Tso’s chicken is typically served with broccoli and carrots, while Szechuan chicken is typically served with bell peppers and onions.
  • General Tso’s chicken is usually made with dark meat chicken, while Szechuan chicken is usually made with white meat chicken.
  • General Tso’s chicken is often served with rice, while Szechuan chicken is often served with noodles.
  • General Tso’s chicken is a popular dish in the United States, while Szechuan chicken is not as well known.
  • General Tso’s chicken is typically easier to find in restaurants, while Szechuan chicken may be more difficult to find. 

General Tso’s and Szechuan chicken are two popular options for Chinese food takeout. Both have different flavors due to different preparation methods. It is the perfect comparison to determine which chicken entrée reigns supreme. 

General Tso’s chicken is battered and fried before being coated in a sweet sauce. The chicken is prepared quickly in a wok or frying pan over high heat. The sauce is thickened with cornstarch and generally includes garlic, rice wine, sugar or honey, vinegar, and soy sauce. The dish is garnished with scallions or sesame seeds. 

On the other hand, Szechuan chicken is not battered or fried. The chicken is usually stir-fried with vegetables, and a sauce is added to the wok at the end of cooking. The sauce is made from chili paste, bean paste, ginger, garlic, rice wine, sugar, and vinegar. The sauce is thinner than the one used in General Tso’s chicken and has a stronger flavor. In addition, Szechuan chicken typically contains vegetables, such as water chestnuts, broccoli, or peppers. 

Overall, the biggest difference between the two dishes is the type of sauce. The sauces used in general Tso’s chicken and Szechuan chicken are quite different, and the main flavor contrast comes from that.

Note: Szechuan chicken is spicier. 

What are the similarities between general tso’s chicken and szechuan chicken? 

  • Both are chicken dishes.
  • Both are popular in Chinese cuisine. 
  • Both use a combination of spices and sauces.
  • Both are typically served with rice.
  • Both can be modified to suit individual preferences.

Which is better, general Tso’s chicken or Szechuan chicken? 

General Tso’s chicken and Szechuan chicken are two very different dishes. General Tso’s chicken is a sweet and spicy dish, while Szechuan chicken is a more savory and spicy dish. Both chicken dishes are served with rice, but the rice is usually steamed for General Tso’s chicken and fried for Szechuan chicken.

The main difference between these two dishes is the sauce. The General Tso’s chicken sauce is made with a combination of soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and cornstarch, while the Szechuan chicken sauce is made with chili paste, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch. The Szechuan chicken sauce is also usually spicier than the General Tso’s chicken sauce.

So, which is better? This is a personal choice. Some people may prefer the sweet and spicy General Tso’s chicken, while others may prefer the more savory and spicy Szechuan chicken.


I'm Sophia, a cooking enthusiast. I love to cook and experiment with new recipes. I'm always looking for new ways to make my food more interesting and flavorful. I also enjoy baking, and I have a special interest in pastry making. I'm always up for trying new things in the kitchen, and I'm always happy to share my recipes with others.

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