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Hunan Beef vs Szechuan Beef


Hunan beef is different from Szechuan beef. Hunan beef vs Szechuan beef is often confused because they are both spicy stir-fried dishes made with beef.

By the end of this article, you won’t be wondering what the difference is anymore. Let’s get started with understanding what makes these two types of beef different.

Szechuan beef vs Hunan beef? The Hunan beef sizzles with the spicy flavors of white wine, chili peppers, and scallions, while the Szechuan beef is a spicy stir-fry of Asiatic vegetables and fresh broccoli, sizzles with the exotic flavors of cilantro, garlic, and ginger.

What makes these dishes unique is the major difference in flavor and texture. Hunan beef is spicy and colorful, different from Szechuan beef, which is spicy and numbing.

What is Hunan beef made of?

What is Hunan beef made ofHunan beef has a lively red color with tender, soft and moist meat. It is also known as simmering beef.

The main ingredients used in making this cold dish are sliced cold boiled beef and cold boiled beef offal. Then they are served with fresh vegetables and a spicy sauce together

It is first marinated in a mixture of wine, soy sauce, and spices and then braised to tenderness over a hot wok where it becomes infused with its flavor and aroma.

What is Szechuan beef made of?

What is Szechuan beef made of

Szechuan beef is a Chinese dish that consists of strips of beef marinated in a spicy sauce. The dish is commonly made using chicken, pork, or fish and served with rice.

It is made of sliced lean pieces of tender square-cuts braised with meat (usually beef), chili bean sauce, fermented black beans, garlic, green onions, and Sichuan pepper.

It would be best to eat it as an appetizer with veggie spring rolls, but it can also as a main course.

Hunan vs Szechuan beef

Hunan vs Szechuan beefThese two beef have several similarities, differences, and recipes. 

Szechuan beef vs Hunan beef – Similarities

Hunan and Szechuan have a lot in common. Both dishes are fragrant and highly aromatic. Flavors can vary slightly from one region to another, but key ingredients for both are distinctive flavors

Both kinds of beef use the spicy taste of freshly ground large chili pepper to enhance their flavor. Hunan and Szechuan beef also add fresh herbs like cilantro or coriander (cilantro)to make the food more attractive.

The two beef look alike.

Hunan beef vs Szechuan beef – Differences

The Szechuanese Beef is from small younger livestock which is left to grow without finishing. It remains tender and juicy to the final dish. 

On the other hand, the Hunanese beef comes from older livestock, mature meat that has been for two or more years. 

Hunan beef is dryer than the Szechuanese, so you must marinate the former slightly before grilling to maximize moisture retention.

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Hunan beef recipe?

Hunan beef recipeIt can serve it with white rice. The combination of Hunan beef ingredients like onions, scallions, and bell peppers makes it so delicious. It’s so easy to prepare and doesn’t take too long to cook either. 

Hunan Beef and Broccoli recipe is is another delicious dinner, and the best part is that it comes together in about 25 minutes. The flavors of fresh vegetables and Hunan beef sauce combine for an excellent meal.

A thin-sliced beef stir-fried with several thin slices of bell pepper, thin-sliced onion, and thin-sliced water chestnut will be a great dish to make on a weekday for a quick, healthy dinner.

Szechuan beef recipe?

Szechuan beef recipe

A quick and easy Szechuan Beef recipe made in one pan with thin strips of beef, red bell pepper, carrots, onions, bamboo shoots, scallions, edamame beans, and celery tossed in a spicy brown sauce flavored with soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, chili paste, and ginger.

You can add another ingredient like licorice. It has a little bit of peppercorn-like flavor added to it, giving this punchy Szechuan dish an extra spicy kick.

What Does Hunan Beef Taste Like

Hunan beef is spicy, salty, fragrant, and sweet. The texture is not only tender but also soft. It tastes rather spicy and sour, with a hint of salty, stronger fragrance and a little greasiness. The strong flavor of the sauce can be smelled from far away, so it is usually eaten with rice in China.

Though it’s an acquired taste, Hunan beef tastes like almonds, soy sauce, and a hint of ginger. It may remind you of a bbq sauce or a marinade because this short rib dish requires hours to cook, but it is worth the wait. 

What Does Szechuan Beef Taste Like

Szechuan beef is a spicy stir-fry dish made with thinly sliced beef, scallions, bean sprouts, and chili peppers commonly seen in Asian dishes. Thanks to the red chilies, the dish is typically served dry with a very rich and spicy sauce with a fiery taste. 

It’s a mixture of spices, not just spicy, but there’s garlic and black pepper as well as more subtle flavors that might be me imagining things because I’m concentrating on the heat.

Meanwhile, Szechuan beef gets its heat from the chili bean paste, and red chili oil can be found in most Asian supermarkets – but you can substitute it with hoisin sauce if your supermarket is struggling to find the real thing.

Szechuan beef vs Mongolian beef

Szechuan beef vs Mongolian beefBoth the meat is delicious, and there is not much sauce. Mongolian beef is said to be spicier than Szechuan beef.

Ordinarily, a Mongolian beef stir-fry comprises a bit of ground chuck, thinly sliced and marinated in a rich soy sauce-based sauce before being sauteed with vegetables. 

Complete the process with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and crisp scallions. However, when it comes to Szechuan Beef vs Mongolian Beef, they are directly opposite.

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Szechuan beef vs Kung Pao beef

Szechuan beef is a simple dish made by stir-frying beef with vegetables. The beef is cut into thin strips, then marinated in a sauce containing soy sauce, oil, crushed garlic, black pepper, rice wine or sherry, sugar, ginger, and other spices. 

Cook it with cabbage, green pepper, white onion. Also, cook it without cabbage if you want. On the other hand, Kung Pao beef is spicy stir-fried beef with peanuts.

Kung Pao beef is a stir-fried Chinese dish using chicken and peanuts. It is known for its spicy and numbing taste and flavors derived from Sichuan pepper and chili oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hunan or Szechuan better?

Szechuan is full of bold flavors, hot peppers, and garlic. By contrast, Hunan-style cooking has a reputation for being the spiciest non-soup Chinese cuisine. It isn’t easy to pick which of these styles is better.

What’s the difference between Hunan beef and Szechuan beef?

Hunan beef and Szechuan beef are both spicy dishes. While they both use various chili and other spicy ingredients, Hunan beef is characterized by the liberal use of garlic and sugar; eat Szechuan hot and sour.

What’s better Mongolian beef or Szechuan beef?

The traditional Mongolian beef recipe calls for many spices and soy sauce marinated beef over sauteed vegetables and sticky rice. On the other hand, Szechuan beef requires a few simple ingredients: flank steak, oil, black pepper, and Szechuan-style sauce.

Additionally, If you’re traditional, it’s Mongolian beef. But if you cut loose, the Szechuan is the way to go. Both are hot and spicy stir-fries created from thin slices of cheap cuts of meat stewed with soy sauce, mirin or rice wine, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and chili peppers.

What is Mongolian sauce made of?

Mongolian sauce comprises soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, garlic cloves, chili pepper, green onions.

It is a wonderful blend of bold flavors, contrasting sweet and spicy.

What is Hunan sauce like?

Hunan is a fiery, thick, and sweet brown sauce based on chilies and soybeans. It has a smoky flavor too. Foods cooked with Hunan sauces come with pork, poultry, fish, or shellfish. A little of this will go a long way in adding an enticing aroma and taste.


The key difference between Hunan beef vs Szechuan beef is their historically respective cooking methods. While Hunan beef dishes are often cooked with chilies, Szechuan beef dishes are usually deep-fried in a wok. Sichuan beef has a savory, numbing flavor and texture and is not as spicy as you might expect.


Szechuan beef recipe

How to Make Szechuan Beef

Szechuan beef is a Chinese dish that consists of strips of beef marinated in a spicy sauce. The dish is commonly made using chicken, pork, or fish and served with rice.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: How to Make Szechuan Beef
Servings: 3
Calories: 485kcal


  • Skillet


  • 1 pound sirloin steak
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 small onions cut into wedges
  • 1 can water chestnuts drained
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup peanuts


  • In a non-metal bowl, combine the meat, cornstarch, crushed red pepper, and garlic. Refrigerate for 20 minutes with a cover.
  • In a big skillet or wok, heat the oil over high heat. Cook beef in a stir-fry for 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Cook for two minutes after adding the broccoli, onions, and water chestnuts. Bring to a boil after adding the broth. One minute later, add the peanuts and serve.



Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 534mg | Potassium: 1144mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 618IU | Vitamin C: 87mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 4mg
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