Now, let’s be honest – can you think about a lot of Asian meals as popular as General Tso chicken and Kung Pao are? Probably not, and that’s because they are just awesome!
Yep, this they have in common, but otherwise, they are not very alike. Nevertheless, many people even think they’re the same. That couldn’t be more wrong, though.
So what is the difference between General Tso chicken and Kung Pao? The most important difference between General Tso chicken and Kung Pao is in their taste – Kung Pao is hot and spicy. In contrast, General Tso chicken is sweet, with slightly spicy undertones.
But this is just a brief answer because Kung Pao and General Tso chicken are two completely unlike dishes. Why is it so? Let’s find out together!
Table of Contents
- Is General Tso chicken and Kung Pao the same?
- What is General Tso chicken?
- What is Kung Pao?
- What is the difference between General Tso chicken and Kung Pao?
- What do General Tso chicken and Kung Pao have in common?
- Which one tastes better, General Tso chicken or Kung Pao?
- Which is healthier, Kung Pao or General Tso?
Is General Tso chicken and Kung Pao the same?
No, General Tso chicken and Kung Pao are not the same, even though many people confuse them. The main reason is that Kung Pao is an authentic Chinese dish, while General Tso chicken belongs to the Chinese-American cuisine.
General Tso chicken and Kung Pao chicken are pretty different in a lot of other aspects as well, but we’re about to get into that soon.
What is General Tso chicken?
General Tso chicken is an extremely popular fast-food takeout meal from Chinese-American cuisine. Arguably, it can even be said that General Tso chicken is the absolute most popular dish in Asian bistros throughout the United States.
It is made out of fried pieces of chicken in crispy breading that is then mixed with white rice and a signature sauce that gives the meal its beloved sweet flavor with spicy undertones.
What is Kung Pao?
Kung Pao, on the other hand, is a dish that indeed has its home in China – Kung Pao has been a staple meal of Chinese cuisine for literally centuries.
It consists of not-breaded chicken pieces and a famous spicy sauce. Another absolutely crucial ingredient for Kung Pao is peanuts.
What is the difference between General Tso chicken and Kung Pao?
Although General Tso chicken and Kung Pao chicken are some of the most popular takeout dishes in both the United States and China, that doesn’t make them much similar.
Firstly, while Kung Pao is a traditional food in China, General Tso chicken doesn’t come from there; rather, it is a famous piece of Chinese-American cuisine.
Secondly, the chicken used to make General Tso chicken is breaded and deep-fried, but the chicken for Kung Pao isn’t.
But the most essential difference between General Tso chicken and Kung Pao lies in their sauces – the sauce in Kung Pao is definitely more spicy and hot than the one in General Tso.
Additionally, it can also be mentioned that while peanuts are a key ingredient in Kung Pao, there can’t be found in General Tso chicken.
What do General Tso chicken and Kung Pao have in common?
As we’ve mentioned and explained above, General Tso chicken and Kung Pao are two highly different meals that don’t even come from the same place.
Therefore, it is hard to find in which aspect they are similar – one of the few things they have in common is that they’re both exceptionally popular as a takeout dish.
Which one tastes better, General Tso chicken or Kung Pao?
Saying which one of General Tso chicken and Kung Pao tastes better is a nearly impossible challenge because the choice depends only on your tastebuds.
However, we can give you a helping hand for that choice – if you like your food to be spicy and hot, Kung Pao will be the better choice for you.
On the contrary, if you seek sweet flavors, General Tso chicken will undoubtedly suit you better.
Which is healthier, Kung Pao or General Tso?
Although this will vary by each restaurant, in most cases, it can be said that Kung Pao is healthier than General Tso. That’s due to the fact it’s not deep-fried and also contains considerably more vegetables.
Out of the dozens of meals found in Asian restaurants throughout the United States, only a few of them shine as bright as Kung Pao and General Tso chicken do.
That is especially true when talking about take-out dishes because both General Tso chicken and Kung Pao are arguably some of the most famous of those.
With that being said, though, it needs to be pointed out that these two dishes don’t have a lot else in common – while Kung Pao is an authentically Chinese meal, General Tso chicken comes from Chinese-American cuisine.
Additionally, General Tso is made out of deep-fried, crispy chicken pieces, while Kung Pao uses not breaded pieces that are just stir-fried.
Kung Pao is also well-known for containing peanuts, but no peanuts can be found in General Tso chicken.
Last but not least, it also has to be mentioned that the sauce of Kung Pao is much hotter and spicier than the one used to make General Tso chicken.
Image credits – Canva