Orange Chicken Vs Sweet & Sour Chicken – What’s The Difference?

What is the main between sweet and sour chicken and orange? Chickens that are orange and sweet, and spicy chicken are created using similar ingredients, but they have distinct tastes. Orange chicken has a sweet and tart flavor and typically has a hint of spice. Chicken that is sweet and spicy is an equilibrating flavor and is flavored with sweet and sour flavors.

If Chinese takeaway is on the menu for your dinner, you may be tempted to opt for a chicken with orange or sweet and spicy chicken.

For the uninitiated, both appear to be identical. However, they’re equally delicious and completely different cuisines!

Understanding the distinction between orange and sweet and sour chicken will aid you in deciding the one that best fits your tastes and which one you need to order the next time.

Find out more about the differences between sweet and sour chicken so you can better comprehend the two types of food and choose which one to cook or buy next!

Orange Chicken

The orange chicken is a popular dish that originated in China but has become an extremely popular Chinese-American meal. It’s packed with flavor and comes with a tangy and sweet sauce drizzled over fried chicken pieces.

Most of the time, the orange chicken is made from white meat of a chicken, typically the breast; however, it is also constructed from the dark meat of the chicken, for example, the legs.

When the orange chicken is prepared, the skin and bones are removed from the chicken and then chopped into small bite-sized chunks.

The chicken is cooked and breaded before it’s cooked. Each chicken piece is coated with a seasoned batter and deep-fried until crisp and golden.

After being cooked, the chicken pieces have then covered in specially prepared saucered and then simmered for a couple of minutes until the chicken has absorbed the flavors.

Some recipes for orange chicken contain breaded chicken, and chicken pieces are fried by themselves and later put into the gravy.

Chicken sauce made from orange is typically made of a blend of sugar, juice of orange vinegar, soy sauce, and other spices like garlic, ginger, red chili flakes, and orange zest to add taste.

The quantity of each spice and other ingredient utilized can vary based on whether you prefer a more sweet or a more citrus-based sauce. The amount of chili you add will depend on how spicy you enjoy your food!

The sauce is citrusy and sweet, with only an ounce of heat to balance it. When mixed with your chicken dish, this smoky orange chicken is served on steamed rice with some vegetables.

Sweet And Sour Chicken

Sweet and sweet and sour chicken is a well-known Chinese food that’s been popular for many years. It’s now a hugely loved dish across the globe because of its rich flavor and balanced flavors and the simple fact that it’s simply delicious!

The chicken breasts or thighs of chicken meat are removed from the skin before breaking into small pieces.

The pieces are then fried and deep-fried until crisp and golden. The dish can also be prepared using chicken pieces that have not been coated and deep-fried.

The chicken pieces cooked are then mixed together with sweet and spicy sauce prior to serving. It is recommended to allow the chicken within the dish for a couple of minutes to let it soak up the taste of the sauce completely.

Sweet and sour sauces can be different depending on the recipe you’re using and the flavor you prefer; however, it should be an even balance of flavors that come from sweet and sour components.

The most well-known ingredients include lemon juice, ketchup sugar, soy sauce as well as Apple cider vinegar. Garlic and salt, and occasionally ginger, are added to enhance the flavor.

There are sweet and sour recipes that contain pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, onions cut into slices, bell peppers, and onions that give the dish more richness and flavor.

Sweet and sour chicken may be enjoyed just as it is served from a takeaway container on the go or transformed into a delicious dish served with some steaming white rice with some vegetables to serve with it.

A sweet and sour-flavored chicken is served alongside the chicken battered and deep-fried, and the sauce is served as a side dish for a dip.

The Difference Between Orange Chicken & Sweet and Sour Chicken

There are a few resemblances between the sweet and spicy and orange chicken. However, they’re two completely different meals, and to distinguish them, it is to understand how the two meals differ.


Orange chicken is prepared using chicken pieces without skin, whether in the form of thighs or breasts, that can be fried, breaded, or deep-fried. This sauce is prepared with the juice of orange, soy sauce, ginger, garlic chili flakes, vinegar, and citrus zest.

Sweet and sour chicken is prepared using skinless chicken, breast or thigh meat, then breaded, deep-fried, or not.

The sauce used to cook the sweet and sour chicken might be different, but generally, it is made of sugar, soy sauce, vinegar as well as lemon juice, salt, ketchup as well as garlic. Sometimes, it is also made with fruit or even peppers.


The flavor of Sweet and Sour Chicken comes from an even flavor due to sweetness and acidity. Components employed. Sweet and sour sauces do generally not have any spices or heat.

The ingredients that create this sweet and sour sauce must contain a sweet ingredient, like sugar, and an ingredient that is sour, such as vinegar.

Orange chicken is more of a citrus-like flavor that is centered on the juice of an orange and the zest of orange that is included in the sauce. The sauce is finished with a bit of spice.

Spice Level

Orange chicken is a bit spicy. It has more spice than sweet and sweet chicken because it calls for chili powder to be added. The amount you add will depend on the amount you prefer to heat to your meals.

Sweet and sour Chicken does not have to include chili flakes and can be prepared without any. If, however, you enjoy a little flavor in the food you eat, you could add chili flakes to the sweet and spicy sauce that you make.

The Similarities between Orange Chicken And Sweet And Sour Chicken

Apart from the distinct differences between the orange chicken and sweet and sour There are quite a couple of similarities in addition.

The Same Source

The orange chicken, as well as the sweet and sour chicken, originate from China. Both were introduced into America. In the United States where the recipes have been modified slightly; however, both have become popular dishes enjoyed by many.

Sweet and sour Chicken and orange chickens both begin by skinning and de-boning chicken breasts or thighs.

They are then chopped into bite-sized pieces, then battered, deep-fried, and then deep-fried. Chicken can be left unbaked and simply fried.

The sauce is made separately from the chicken and cooked for a while to integrate the flavors. After the chicken is cooked and the sauce is then added to it and allowed to sit for the flavors to come through.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Orange chicken are two popular dishes served with white rice that has been steamed and often come with fresh vegetables too.

Sweet and sour chicken may be served along with the chicken that has been cooked and drizzled with the sweet and sour sauce, which is served with the chicken.

Other Questions Asked

After we’ve discussed the distinctions between orange and sweet and sour chickens and sweet and sour chicken, let’s look at a few questions about the topic!

Is General Tso and Sweet and Sour Similar?

General Tso and sweet and sour are like each other, but General Tso contains more ginger in its sauce and more red chili peppers, which is different from what sweet and sour chicken typically has.

The sauce is a bit sweeter, as well, as having less of a sour note.

Does General Tso chicken similar to orange chicken?

General Tso chicken is like orange chicken due to the fact that both contain chicken that is fried and breaded; however, while orange chicken has a more citrus-based flavor, General Tso is a chili-based dish.

What’s the difference between orange Chicken and Sesame Chicken?

Sesame chicken and orange chicken are remarkably alike, but the sauces are distinct. The orange chicken is not typically included sesame seeds and is cooked using orange juice and occasionally orange zest.

Sesame chicken’s sauce is also sweet. However, it is not a source of orange at all.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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