General Tso's Chicken vs. Sesame Chicken

The name “General Tso” is a bit of a mystery, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this delicious dish. Do you love Chinese food? Well, maybe you haven’t heard of General Tso’s chicken, but you REALLY should try it. Let us compare this tasty dish to another “must-try” Chinese dish: sesame chicken. What are the similarities between these two great tastes?

What Is General Tso’s Chicken?

General Tso’s Chicken is a spicy, sweet and savory Chinese dish that consists of large pieces of white meat chicken lightly battered and fried before being smothered in a sticky sweet sauce. This dish is served with steamed broccoli or carrots as a side.

General Tso's Chicken
General Tso’s Chicken

The history of General Tso’s Chicken is not clear. Some believe it originated in the Hunan province of China and was named after a general by the name of Zuo Zongtang (Tso Tsung-t’ang). Others believe that it came from Taiwan and was named after Zuo Zongtang’s son, Tso Kai-ming, who was exiled to Taiwan. But regardless of its origins, there are many recipes for this dish.

Most of the ingredients used in General Tso’s chicken are similar to other recipes used in various other Chinese dishes. Its sauce contains more sugar and less vinegar than most other sauces, along with being thicker than most sauces found in other dishes, which makes it stand out from all others.

What Does General Tso Chicken Taste Like

General Tso’s chicken is tangy, spicy, and sweet. The dish also has vegetables like peppers and onions to make it extra flavorful. It is usually served with rice.

What Is Sesame Chicken?

Sesame Chicken
Sesame Chicken

The dish called Sesame Chicken is something that will instantly remind you of Chinese cuisine. However, it is not exactly a native Chinese dish. Instead, it is something that has been adapted from Chinese cuisine in the USA.

Sesame chicken is a fried chicken dish. It has a sweet taste to it with sesame seeds sprinkled all over for added flavor. The meat of the chicken used in making this dish needs to be cut into small pieces and then marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil for about an hour before frying. It should be served with broccoli and carrots, which add more color and flavor to the dish. Some restaurants even offer this dish as takeout food, so you can have it at home too.

As mentioned earlier, this recipe was brought to the USA from China but then customized by Americans who made certain changes to suit their tastes and preferences.

In most cases, people tend to prefer dishes that are sweeter rather than savory or spicy ones. That explains why they made that change in the recipe and created a sweet version of the Sesame Chicken dish. However, if you really want to enjoy the real deal, then you need to head out for a Chinese restaurant to order the authentic version of this dish. It is really good!

What Does Sesame Chicken Taste Like

A sweet and savory dish, Sesame chicken consists of bite-sized pieces of white meat chicken that are coated in a sauce made from both brown sugar and honey. The sauce is usually tossed with some sesame seeds for texture and flavor, and steamed broccoli is served alongside the dish.

The Difference Between General Tso’s Chicken and Sesame Chicken


The flavor of General Tso’s Chicken is not just sweet and spicy, but also incorporates other flavors like sour, salt, and acid. Sesame Chicken has a more complex flavor with multiple layers of taste.

Sauce Texture

General Tso’s sauce is thin because it contains cornstarch to thicken the sauce while Sesame Sauce is thicker than General Tsos sauce.

General Tso’s chicken contains large pieces of red peppers, green onions, and garlic which gives it a grainy texture while the pieces in Sesame chicken are smaller with a smoother texture.


General Tsos contains ground chicken, while Sesame chicken contains ground sesame seeds. General Tso’s chicken has more optional ingredients such as red peppers and green onions while Sesame Chicken has none of that except for ginger and garlic.

If a recipe calls for green onions, use them; if it calls for red pepper flakes, add it in; if it calls for water chestnuts, add them in; if it calls for corn starch, add it in; or if it calls for oyster sauce or hoisin sauce, you can use soy sauce instead. Do not change the recipe without having that ingredient.


General Tso’s is served with white rice or brown rice if you want to make it healthier. You may also eat it with French fries or fried shrimp and vegetables.

Sesame chicken can be served on a bed of lettuce if you do not want to use rice, with white rice, brown rice or fried rice (If you try to fit the calories count down for the meal). You can also make Sesame chicken skewers.

On the other hand, General Tso’s Chicken is more popular than sesame chicken. Sesame chicken is a type of Chinese American food rather than Chinese because in China they usually make peanut sauce while the Chinese American made sesame sauce and they are totally different.


Why is General Tso’s chicken so good?

General Tso’s chicken is good because it tastes delicious and the crispy golden brown crust of this dish is amazing. It will tantalize your taste buds to no end. What’s more, you can enjoy your Chinese food restaurant during any time of the day, breakfast, lunch or dinner. This dish also makes an excellent meal for everyday at home. If you are looking for a meal that is rich in flavor, but won’t cost too much money, General Tso’s chicken may be just what you’re looking for!

Do Chinese people eat General Tso’s chicken?

Chinese people, who are not vegans, love General Tso’s chicken. This iconic dish is the perfect example of a Chinese cuisine, which is known for its sauces. There are many different versions of this dish, but General Tso’s chicken has all the flavors for many people: soy sauce and rice vinegar provide a crunchy and sweet kick to an otherwise boring meal. Lime juice gives it a tangy zing that balances out the deep sweetness that soy sauce provides. The complexity of flavors keeps General Tso’s chicken interesting. The combination of all these ingredients creates a flavor explosion in your mouth.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. I hope this answers some of what you have always wondered about General Tso’s Chicken as well as Sesame Chicken. I enjoy eating this dish and i’m always looking for ways to recreate it at home. If any of you do try this recipe out, please report back with your findings! If you enjoyed this article and want to see more like it, let me know in the comments or share with your friends!

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