Fried Chicken > Orange chicken vs teriyaki chicken

Orange Chicken vs Teriyaki Chicken: Which is Better?

Chinese takeout favorites orange chicken and teriyaki chicken are two sweet, saucy chicken dishes that have become menu staples across North America. But what’s the difference between these two sticky, finger-lickin’ good chicken entrees? And which one reigns supreme? Let’s break it down.

What is Orange Chicken?

Orange chicken consists of chopped, boneless chicken pieces that are battered, fried, and coated in a sweet, sticky orange sauce. The sauce is the hallmark of this dish – it’s made from orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers. This gives it a sweet yet slightly tangy flavor profile.

Orange chicken is believed to have been invented in the late 1980s by chef Andy Kao at Panda Express. It was inspired by General Tso’s chicken but tweaked to appeal to American tastes with a sweeter, orange-flavored sauce. Since then, it has become one of the most beloved Chinese-American dishes.

What is Teriyaki Chicken?

Teriyaki chicken features chicken thighs or breast pieces that are marinated then grilled or broiled with a sweet soy glaze called teriyaki sauce. The teriyaki sauce is a Japanese preparation containing soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, ginger, and sometimes garlic and sesame oil. It creates a lovely caramelized coating on the chicken.

Teriyaki chicken can be made with various cuts of chicken – boneless skinless thighs and breasts are common. The chicken pieces are threaded onto skewers before grilling to get those iconic grill marks. The teriyaki glaze bastes the chicken, making it glisten.

Teriyaki chicken is lighter and less saucy compared to sticky orange chicken. It focuses more on enhancing the natural flavor of the chicken and letting the teriyaki glaze shine.

Orange Chicken vs Teriyaki Chicken: Main Differences

Here the key differences:

    • Cooking method: Orange chicken is battered and fried while teriyaki chicken is grilled or broiled.
    • Sauce: Orange chicken uses a sweet orange sauce that completely coats the chicken. Teriyaki chicken has a light teriyaki glaze that adds flavor without overpowering.
    • Origins: Orange chicken is Chinese-American while teriyaki chicken is Japanese.
    • Cuts of chicken used: Orange chicken uses chopped boneless chicken pieces. Teriyaki chicken uses larger cuts like breasts and thighs.
    • Flavor profile: Orange chicken is very sweet and tangy. Teriyaki chicken is more savory, salty, and slightly sweet.

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Which is Better? Orange Chicken vs Teriyaki Chicken

This depends on personal preference! Here are some factors to consider:

    • Orange chicken is more indulgent with its crispy fried batter and sticky sweet citrus sauce. Folks that love bold, sugary flavors will enjoy it.
    • Teriyaki chicken is lighter and healthier with a more nuanced glazed flavor. It’s great if you prefer grilled over fried.
    • Orange chicken travels and reheats well for takeout. The sauce keeps it moist. Teriyaki chicken can dry out.
    • Teriyaki chicken lets the natural chicken flavor shine through. Orange chicken dominates with its sauce.
    • Orange chicken is a quintessential Chinese-American dish. Teriyaki chicken has its roots in Japanese cuisine.

Both are excellent options for Chinese takeout or making at home. In terms of chains, Panda Express orange chicken is a fan favorite for its crispy, sauce-laden take on this classic. Yoshinoya does tasty ready-to-eat teriyaki bowls.

The differences ultimately come down to frying vs grilling and sweet vs savory. So try both and see which you prefer! It’s hard to go wrong with saucy chicken dishes like these.

FAQs
What is the difference between teriyaki chicken and chicken teriyaki?

There is no difference between teriyaki chicken and chicken teriyaki – they refer to the same dish. Teriyaki chicken is made by marinating pieces of chicken in a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce, then cooking the chicken until the teriyaki glaze caramelizes.

The terms “teriyaki chicken” and “chicken teriyaki” are interchangeable and both refer to chicken that has been prepared in a teriyaki style sauce. The name order doesn’t change the dish itself. In short, teriyaki chicken and chicken teriyaki are two names for the same recipe.

What’s the difference between General Tso chicken and orange chicken?

General Tso chicken and orange chicken are two popular Chinese-American chicken dishes that differ in their ingredients and flavor profiles:

    • Cooking method: General Tso chicken uses chicken chunks that are fried in a light batter, while orange chicken is fried without batter and then sauced.
    • Sauce: General Tso chicken has a savory, spicy brown sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar, chili peppers and garlic. Orange chicken is coated in a thicker, sweeter orange-flavored sauce made with orange juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and spices.
    • Taste: General Tso chicken has a hot, salty, umami flavor from its sauce. Orange chicken is very sweet, mildly tangy, and even a bit citrusy.
    • Texture: General Tso chicken stays crispy from the light batter fry. Orange chicken develops a sticky, glazed texture from the heavy sauce coating.
    • Origins: General Tso chicken was invented in America as a fusion of Chinese cooking styles. Orange chicken was created by Chinese immigrant chef Andy Kao in the 1980s.

So in summary, General Tso chicken is a hot and savory fried chicken while orange chicken is a sweet, citrus-accented sauced chicken. The sauces and cooking methods give these dishes distinct flavors.

Is teriyaki chicken from Panda Express good?

Yes, Panda Express makes delicious teriyaki chicken. They marinate chicken thighs in a sweet soy sauce blend before grilling them until caramelized with their signature teriyaki glaze. The chicken comes out juicy, flavorful and lightly charred.

The teriyaki sauce provides a nice balance of savory and sweet. It’s one of the lighter and healthier options at Panda Express. The teriyaki chicken is consistently cooked, sauced and grilled well at all locations. Many customers specifically visit Panda Express just to enjoy their take on this classic Japanese-style chicken.

What’s the difference between sesame chicken and teriyaki chicken?

The main differences between sesame chicken and teriyaki chicken are:

    • Cooking method: Sesame chicken is made by frying chicken pieces and tossing them in sauce, while teriyaki chicken is grilled or broiled with a glaze.
    • Sauce: Sesame chicken uses a thick, sweet sauce made with corn starch, chicken stock, hoisin, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Teriyaki chicken has a thinner glaze based on soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and ginger.
    • Flavor: Sesame chicken is very sweet with a nutty sesame taste. Teriyaki chicken has more savory umami flavor and only mild sweetness.
    • Texture: Sesame chicken gets crispy from frying and sticky from the thick sauce. Teriyaki chicken develops a nice char from grilling with a light glaze.
    • Appearance: Sesame chicken is often covered completely in sauce and garnished heavily with toasted sesame seeds. Teriyaki chicken shows more of the grilled meat with just a sheen of glaze.

In summary, sesame chicken is a heavier, sweeter fried and sauced dish compared to the lighter grilled teriyaki chicken.

 

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