Have you been to a Chinese restaurant and wanted to order everything? That deserve to be the case when you watch Hunan and also Szechuan chicken or beef top top the menu. It is time you figure out what every of this dishes is and also how lock differ.

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Let’s dive into the people of szechuan vs hunan chicken, take a look!

What Is Hunan?


Hunan is an authentic Chinese cuisine native the Hunan region. This an ar traditionally supplies chili peppers and the use of tart ingredients. This food is considered a stir-fry the is both hot and sour and also contains various ingredients.

The meat in this meal is an initial coated through cornstarch and also then pan-seared till it browns. After the meat is ready, the vegetables room added, which include shallots, and also scallions. Other ingredients are ginger, chili peppers, chicken broth, soybean beans sauce, alcohol vinegar, sugar, and also sherry.

Hunan cuisine is likewise called Xiang, and it comprises foods items from the Xiang River, Dongting Lake, and Western Hunan regions. Every dish is different, yet they are all tied together by a freckles mix called “Mala.” while Hunan chicken is the most common dish, Hunan sauce deserve to be added to any meat or protein, and also it is what makes this dish unique.

Nutrition Facts

One cup (217 g) of Hunan beef has actually the complying with nutritional content (*):

228 calories171 g water15.4 g protein11.5 g fat15.8 g carbohydrate3.26 g fiber5.23 g sugar47.7 mg calcium2.41 mg iron888 mg sodium25.2 mg vitamin C137 µg vitamin A

Which Hunan food Is Better?

Hunan cook is exceptionally rich in flavors and also spices. The distinctive features of Hunan cuisine room that the food is spicy, there is sauteing, stir-frying, steaming, and even smoking. The key ingredients in Hunan dishes room chili peppers, making these dishes lot hotter than other Chinese ones.

Many Hunan key contain crunchy vegetables that are sauteed in oil, which renders them healthy than other preparations. Many meats are accompanied through vegetables and also served over rice or rice noodles. In part cases, honey may be included as well to numb the hotness a bit.

When it concerns picking the finest dish, it depends on your taste. Some people prefer Hunan chicken because it is safe and really tasty. Others will select Hunan beef due to the fact that it can help numb the summer sprouts a little.

Other Hunan dishes precious noting include pork tripe soup, steamed fish, shredded pork, steam ribs with chili peppers, and braised eel with cucumbers. The seasonings are somewhat different, but the basic of the dishes stays the same. You will discover yourself drinking lots of water, yet the meal will certainly be unforgettable.

If you are still not certain what to order, go v the classic Hunan chicken or beef first. This food is thought about an introduction to Xiang cuisine and will be reasonably healthy come try. You can then adventure right into some the the more complicated flavors.

Keep in mind, though, that provided the nature of the ingredients in the sauce, Hunan recipes space high in sodium. Lock can likewise be high in fat depending on the dish you choose and how that is prepared. You may want to shot it at home using low-sodium alternatives, and also less oil.

What Is Szechuan?


Also spelled Szechwan or Sichuan, this form of cuisine comes from the Sichuan province of southwest China.

While Szechuan chicken is the most famed dish, over there are numerous others, all v a unique flavor characterized by the use of Sichuan peppercorn. The flavors and aroma may additionally be citrus-like, and there is a tongue-numbing sensation. 

The ingredients because that Szechuan meals incorporate Worchester sauce, dry sherry, soybean beans sauce, egg whites, cornstarch, brown sugar, chili paste, and also sesame oil. Part vegetables are included such as garlic, red bell peppers, green onions, carrots, cayenne pepper, and also red chili. 

For meat, many dishes usage chicken, beef, or pork, or another resource of protein. The battered meat is normally fried, and the rest of the ingredients are an unified with the sauce.

The facility of Szechuan food preparation is the Szechuan pepper, i beg your pardon unlike others is reduced on the heat scale. Due to the fact that it has peppercorn, it gives a study abroad sensation the numbs the heat away. Mashed garlic is often likewise included in large quantities linked with soybean beans sauce and also chili paste.

Nutrition Facts

One serving dimension (200 g) the Szechuan beef has the following nutritional content (*):

272 calories8.58 g protein7.14 g fat41.4 g carbohydrate2.8 g fiber24.2 g sugar18 mg calcium10.2 mg magnesium0.52 mg iron514 mg sodium1.8 mg vitamin C286 IU vitamin A

Which Szechuan dish Is Better?

As through Hunan cuisine, Szechuan dishes space varied, however the most usual in Chinese restaurants throughout the human being is Szechuan beef or chicken. The key star that this food is a five-spice mix that contains fennel, pepper, aniseed, cinnamon, and clove, chili, and Sichuan pepper. Various other ingredients are large bean chili paste, shallots, ginger, and also garlic.

When it concerns meat or protein, Szechuan dishes contain pork, chicken, beef, fish, or tofu. The main food preparation methods because that this cuisine encompass stir-frying, steaming, braising, baking, and also fast-frying. Vegetables incorporate soybean sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, broccoli, and more.

Some timeless Szechuan dishes include steamed pork, mapo tofu, dan dan noodles, kung pao chicken, boiled fish, sesame oil chicken, and cuttlefish. When the flavors might vary, this dishes are all based upon the usage of Szechuan pepper. The five-spice mix is likewise present in many of the recipes in this cuisine.

You might be far better off beginning with a classic Szechuan stir-fry meal, such together vegetables, pork, chicken, or beef. You can then work-related up the courage come order something different, favor Szechuan hot pot, Fuqi Fei Pian (lung slices), or stir-fried environment-friendly beans. Many of this dishes will be easily accessible at a traditional Chinese restaurant.

Keep in mind that fast-food chains may have actually bastardized some of these dishes, prefer the timeless stir-fry or kung pao chicken, however the enjoy the meal is not an alleged to be oily and dense. If you desire to save calories, you may want to prepare castle yourself. While several of the recipes are greater in fat and also sodium, they are for the most part

As v Hunan cuisine, Szechuan meals have the right to be high in sodium, fat, and also sugar. Many of the included salt originates from things, prefer soy sauce, so choose a low-sodium range if possible. In part cases, people add sugar to boost flavor, but you deserve to skip the when cooking at home.

Hunan Chicken vs Szechuan Chicken

The main difference between these two species of cuisines is the ingredient they contain. Unlike what human being believe, pork is the wanted meat in the Hunan kitchen, as are fresh chili peppers, and also crunchy vegetables. Top top the various other hand, Szechuan cuisine supplies Szechuan pepper together the main ingredient, and beef is often desired with pork after.

Another difference between these two layouts of cooking is the region where they come from. As the surname suggests, Hunan cuisine comes from the Xiang River, Dongting Lake, and also the western Hunan province of China. Szechuan cuisine comes from the southwestern regions of China well-known as Sichuan or Szechuan province.

In Hunan meals, the crunch factor comes from tons of vegetable that space sauteed. In Szechuan meals, the crunch deserve to be because of peanuts, cashews, or sesame seed added. Girlfriend will watch fewer vegetable in timeless Szechuan dishes.

The way that recipes room prepared likewise varies in these two cuisines. In Hunan cuisine, the techniques of food preparation include stewing, frying, pot-roasting, braising, and smoking. In the Szechuan kitchen, many dishes are prepared either by stir-frying, steaming, or braising.

Both cuisines favor to use preserved foods items in their dishes. However, Hunan cuisine supplies smoked and also cured foodstuffs as component of the recipes. Szechuan offers pickled, dried, and also salted foodstuffs in your dishes instead.

Main DifferencesHunanSzechuan
OriginXiang River, Dongting Lake, and also Western Hunan regions of ChinaSichuan or Szechuan province in southwest China
AromaHot, aromatic, and also citrusCitrus, slightly sweet
ColorOrange, irradiate redBrown, orange sauce
Protein ChoicePork, chicken, beef, or tofuBeef, pork, chicken, or tofu
TasteTart and spicySlightly pungent, acidic, and aromatic
How to CookCover her protein of selection in cornstarch and also pan-fry it until brown. Chef the remainder of the vegetables v the sauce.Cover your protein of choice in cornstarch and also stir-fry it. Include the sauce and also vegetables slowly and also in intervals.
Cook TimeCooking time: 30-40 minutesCooking time: 30-40 minutes
Calories every 100 gram serving105 calories136 calories

Is Hunan or Szechuan Better?

While both these types of cuisines space Chinese, the flavors and ingredients carry out vary. For those that want to endure intense heat and eat classic foods, Hunan cuisine might be better. The Szechuan kitchen uses a little of a milder freckles level and also is a an ext common layout of cooking.

Both cuisines sell a comparable amount of fat, protein, carbohydrate, sugar, and sodium. You have to prepare the food at home and also use less sugar and sodium to do the dish healthier.

Be careful when friend order one of two people Hunan or Szechuan dishes in ~ a restaurant, together they have the right to contain a many sodium.

Start through trying one of two people Hunan or Szechuan beef, pork, or chicken to see if the flavors room of her liking. You can end increase liking one end the other, and also that is most likely the best one for the future. Once you know, friend can begin ordering much more adventurous bowl from one of two people cuisine.

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Choose one of two people Hunan or Szechuan cook recipes based on your taste. For those that choose spicy food, Hunan recipes space for you! If you prefer a milder and more rich flavor, Szechuan dishes room the ideal choice.


Never look at a menu in confusion again as soon as you go to a Chinese restaurant. You deserve to now pick either a Hunan or Szechuan dish based upon these differences. Enjoy your favourite Chinese recipes knowing specifically what lock contain and also how to do them in ~ home!