How Do Szechuan Chicken and Hunan Chicken Compare?

You’ve probably seen Szechuan Chicken and Hunan Chicken on the menus of your favorite Chinese eateries. Although both meals are noted for their rich and flavorful ingredients, there are significant differences between the two.

Both are often served with steamed white or brown rice and are ideal for an afternoon snack or a filling evening meal. The two meals, however, vary greatly in terms of consistency, ingredients, and taste profile.

They are also from two separate parts of China. In order for you to better comprehend their primary distinctions, we’ve chosen to compare and discuss them in this post.

Thus, if you’re trying to decide whether to order (or make) Hunan or Szechuan Chicken, you’ve come to the correct spot.

Difference Between Szechuan and Hunan Chicken

The biggest distinction between Szechuan Chicken and Hunan Chicken is the amount of spiciness and the added seasonings.

Hunan Chicken has a hotter and tangier taste and is often coupled with veggies, whilst Szechuan Chicken has a robust and less spicy flavor and is typically combined with peppers.

These are the key differences between the two dishes.

Spiciness: Although each of these recipes have the potential to be spicy, their taste profiles are formed by distinct components. Szechuan Chicken, for example, is often prepared with dried red chili peppers and peppercorns.

This explains why it is often recognized to produce mouth numbness and tongue tingling when ingested.

Hunan Chicken, on the other hand, receives its spice from hot chili bean powder or paste (the paste is also known as doubanjiang).

Hunan Chicken is often served with a mix of ingredients or, at the absolute least, broccoli. For instance, your cuisine might include veggies such as bell pepper, carrots, green onion, mushrooms, maize, and zucchini.

It’s simply adaptable to your veggie choices. Szechuan Chicken is generally served with peppers, sesame seeds, and in some instances bell peppers, but don’t be shocked if you see it served on its own.

Preparation: In Szechuan cuisines, the chicken is frequently chopped into cubes and pan-fried in a flour-based batter. The red chili peppers, peppercorns, red chilis, and other seasonings are sautéed while the chicken is still cooking.

The chicken in Hunan Chicken is often chopped into thinner strips, marinated, then stir-fried in hot oil with vegetables.

Caloric Content: Because of its cooking style, Szechuan Chicken often contains higher calories. The chicken is deep-fried first, then stir-fried. It is also coated with batter (egg or flour), which increases the calorie content.

It is prepared with much more oil, which adds roughly 36 calories per 100 gram portion. Hunan chicken, on the other hand, is somewhat healthier, with just around 100 calories per 100-gram portion.

Hunan Chicken is often served with a light sauce that covers the veggies and chicken. Szechuan chicken, on the other hand, has a drier texture and no sauce or gravy.

Nevertheless, some restaurants add a tiny bit of gravy in their Szechuan version, which is generally obtained from the chicken broth.

Szechuan Chicken is distinguished by its crimson tint, which may be attributable to the chili bean paste or powder used to prepare it. Since there is no sauce, it is a little dry, but the chicken should be moist and tender.

Hunan chicken is often smothered in brown sauce and resembles a meat and vegetable mixture.

Szechuan vs Hunan Chicken Comparison Table

  Szechuan Chicken Hunan Chicken
Spiciness Robust but plain, with a tingly spice level that dances on your tongue. A spicy and tangy flavor profile, but less of a tingling sensation
Additional ingredients Made with Doubanjiang, peppercorn, sugar, and wine or sherry. Has dried chilis and garlic for flavor. Typically served with veggies such as bell pepper, carrots, green onion, mushrooms, corn, and zucchini.
Cooking techniques Meat is cut into cubes, battered, deep-fried then pan-fried.   Meat is thinly sliced. Often marinated in oyster sauce and wine. Stir-fried with sauce and veggies.
Caloric Content Has about 150 calories per 100 grams of serving. Has about 100 calories per 100 grams of serving.
Dish sauce Is typically served dry with no gravy.   Covered in a light brown gravy.
Appearance Cubed chicken with a reddish tint and crispy crust. Thinly-cut, crustless chicken mixed with various vegetables.

Can You Substitute Szechuan for Hunan Chicken?

Szechuan Chicken and Hunan Chicken may be used interchangeably.

Yet, it would need a substantial variation in their preparation as well as a big difference in the contents. If you want to make Hunan Chicken into Szechuan Chicken, start by chopping the chicken into cubes rather than slices.

The chicken should then be battered and deep-fried before being tossed into a skillet for stir-frying. You should also add the chilis and peppercorns to the sauce to give it a distinct taste.

To transform Szechuan Chicken into Hunan Chicken, add oyster sauce, chicken broth, and other seasonings to marinade the chicken ahead of time.

You’ll also need to choose which vegetables to use and cut them up to add to the chicken. What you’ll wind up with is more likely a blend of the two recipes than a complete substitution, but it’ll still be excellent.

Don’t be hesitant to combine elements from other dishes depending on how spicy you like it, how many veggies you want, and if you want your final meal to be saucier or drier.

What Is Szechuan Chicken?

Szechuan chicken is a popular Chinese dish recognized for its spicy, fragrant, and robust flavor. The way it tingles the tongue is commonly used to identify it.

How to use Szechuan Chicken

This dish originated in the region of Sichuan in southern China. The region of China is noted for offering foods with delicious fragrances that often contain chili peppers, peppercorn, bell peppers, and garlic.

The best part about Szechuan Chicken is the right balance of sweetness and spice. It has a lemony, salty flavor and is notorious for generating a mouth-tingling feeling.

Dried red chili peppers, maize, green onion, and sugar are among the key components.

It may also include cured foods, ginger, and, in some circumstances, sesame paste. Szechuan Chicken has an unique aroma and flavor and works well as a satisfying lunch menu item or as a complete supper dish.

The red chilies and peppercorns are the most prominent flavors of Szechuan chicken. The chili paste gives it a dry, spicy, and powerful flavor. While making the dish, you may also use cooking wine, sherry, or rice wine.

To create the recipe, assemble your ingredients and combine them with the chicken. Let the chicken to marinade for a few minutes after mixing everything together. After that, cut the chicken into cubes, coat them, and pan-fry them for a few minutes.

You may make the batter using eggs, cornstarch, or all-purpose flour. Following that, stir fried the chicken with any extra seasonings or sauce (if used) and garnish with sesame seeds.

Finally, for an even more satisfying meal, mix the chicken with rice.

What is Hunan Chicken?

Hunan Chicken is another Chinese spice meal that uses Doubanjiang (a spicy bean sauce) to give it a hot and flavorful taste.

It’s a saucier meal than Szechuan Chicken, so it might seem richer and thicker.

How To Use Hunan Chicken

Hunan chicken is also known as Xiang chicken owing to its origins in China. This dish originated around the Xiang River area, which is situated in the Chinese territory of Western Hunan.

This Chinese dish has a generous number of chili peppers (or Doubanjiang), which give it its famous mouth-watering (and somewhat numbing) taste characteristic.

Soy sauce, garlic, shallots, ginger, rice wine, sugar, and different light vegetables such as baby corn, mushrooms, and carrots are also key components.

The use of numerous veggies separates this dish from Szechuan Chicken. Hunan Chicken is also sometimes prepared with cured or smoked meat to create a more salty, earthy, and acidic taste.

To make Hunan Chicken, chop your chicken into small slices or strips and marinate it in your preferred sauce (soy sauce, sherry, etc.). After that, stir in the chili peppers, chicken broth, scallions, sugar, and cornstarch.

Let the chicken to marinade for 15 to 20 minutes before stir-frying it in a pan until cooked. Following that, serve the chicken over white or brown rice for a filling supper.

You can also serve it with noodles and a cooked scrambled egg to make it more like fried rice.


Which is better Hunan chicken or Szechuan chicken?

Hunan chicken is a better choice since it is stir-fried, but Szechuan chicken has more calories owing to the deep-frying procedure. Other Chinese Chicken Dishes: Chicken with sesame sauce.

Which is sweeter Hunan or Szechuan?

2) Both meals are loaded with chili peppers and garlic. Hunan, on the other hand, has a spicier taste than Szechuan. 3) Szechuan chicken has an excellent balance of sweet and spicy flavors, while Hunan chicken is plainer and hotter.

What is the difference between Hunan and Sichuan cuisine?

Identifying the Distinctive Szechuan and Hunan Flavors

Szechuan cuisine makes use of the Sichuan peppercorn, which gives the tongue a numbing feeling and necessitates the use of a lot of oil. Hunan recipes, on the other hand, use a dry spice made from several varieties of chili peppers.

What does Szechuan chicken taste like?

How does Szechuan chicken taste? The sweet and spicy flavor of the Szechuan chicken takeout meal. It is often prepared with a combination of sweet soy sauce, spicy peppercorns, and chopped ginger and garlic, which gives it a somewhat numbing effect.

Which is hotter Szechuan or Hunan?

Food from Hunan (Xiang Cuisine)

Hunan food is spicier and more flavorful than Sichuan cuisine. Hunan food is very adaptable. Hot dishes keep people cool in the summer, while warm dishes keep them warm in the winter.

Which is better General Tso or Szechuan chicken?

According to our specialists… General Tso’s chicken is the riskiest Chinese dish on the menu, with dark meat battered and deep-fried before being served with veggies in a sweet, spicy sauce. A much better option is Szechuan chicken, which is cooked with leaner, white flesh and sautéed with veggies.

Which is hotter Szechuan or General Tso?

What is the difference between Szechuan and General Tso’s chicken? Szechuan chicken tender includes Sichuan peppercorns and is hotter than General Tso’s chicken. The batter on General Tso’s chicken is thicker, and the chicken is deep fried rather than pan fried.

Which is hotter kung pao or Szechuan?

Kung pao chicken is sweet, nutty, and somewhat spicy. Conversely, Szechuan chicken is hotter and lacks sweetness and nutty flavor. Both of these recipes are quite similar. As a result, many individuals mix up the two meals.

Is Szechuan food very spicy?

According to one ancient Chinese story, the “people of Sichuan defend excellent flavor, and they are fond of hot and spicy taste.” The majority of Sichuan meals are hot, although a normal supper includes non-spicy items to soothe the palette.

What is the best spicy Chinese dish?

ten of China’s hottest foods
Sichuan saliva chicken…
Chongqing’s hot and sour glass noodles…
Hunan’s Gan guo… Guizhou’s Hot and Sour Fish Soup…
Hunan spicy meat, Hunan…. Yunnan spicy chicken, Er kuai.
Chongqing hotpot…
Sichuan’s Yu xiang tofu.
More to come…
•Jul 12, 2017

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