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Is The Only Difference Between General Tso’s Chicken And Sesame Chicken That General Tso’s Is Spicier?

Is The Only Difference Between General Tso’s Chicken And Sesame Chicken That General Tso’s Is Spicier?

It is difficult to avoid noticing any chicken enthusiasts nearby, mainly because chicken has been altered in novel ways, enhanced with flavors, and made to resist a firm no.

A common Chinese meal that is served in many Chinese restaurants around the world is General Tso. Another well-known meal that many people adore is sesame chicken.

Though there are a few minor differences, General Tso’s and sesame chicken are essentially the same kinds of dishes. While sesame chicken is sweeter without the spice, General Tso’s is a mixture of sweet and spicy.

Since both of these dishes belong to the chicken family, they might be considered similar by some, yet restaurants have a tendency to add their individuality to these dishes in terms of personalized flavoring and much more.

Keep reading to learn more about these dishes and their relative differences. Let’s begin!

What Is A General Tso’s Chicken?

The name General Tso’s Chicken is distinctive and was given to the restaurant by a Chinese general with the same name, General Tso Tsung-tang.

He commanded effective military battles against several rebel organizations, but his most famous achievement was retaking the vast western desert province of Xinjiang from insurgent Uyghur Muslims.

General TSO Chicken
Can’t get enough of Tso’s spiciness?

The original General Tso’s chicken had a Hunanese flavor and was produced without sugar, but there are now modifications that make it a little bit different.

Fortunately, a complete documentary about this chicken exists and discusses the history of this delectable dish as well as Chinese-American cooking in North America.

Taste Of General Tso’s Chicken

Simply put, this General Tso’s chicken could be the best you’ve ever had. Beware of imitations; the real thing is easy to make and includes crispy, twice-fried chicken with a mouthwateringly hot and sticky sauce.

Your chopsticks could fall off from the delicious blend of Asian flavors in this dish. Typically, it is topped with chopped green onions and served over white rice and steamed broccoli.

The dish’s foundations may have undergone a few changes to accommodate the unique dining experiences that each restaurant offers, but they are often perceived as fiery.

What Is A Sesame Chicken?

Sesame Chicken
A delicious dish with a mix of tangy and sweet flavors

Once again of Chinese descent from the Canton area, Sesame Chicken. After being introduced to North America by immigrants who opened restaurants serving the cuisine of their home country, the dish rose to fame.

The sesame seeds used in the preparation gave it its name. Sesame oil and sesame seeds were combined to make a dish at Hong Kong’s now-defunct Red Chamber Restaurant in the 1980s, according to legend.

Chicken pieces or strips are stir-fried in oyster sauce, ginger, and garlic until well cooked. Sliced green onions are also used to round off this delectable meal.

If your goal is to reduce or maintain weight, it is advised to consume sesame chicken in moderation due to its nutritional value.

Taste Of Sesame Chicken

Sesame chicken is typically served at well-known Chinese restaurants like P.F. Changs as a battered, crispy chicken piece mixed in a sweet and sour sauce.

Sesame seeds are used in the breading of the chicken to give it a sophisticated flavor. It is served with vibrant vegetables on the side. You can order it mild, moderately spicy, or spicy, depending on your heat tolerance.

This recipe calls for diced white flesh chicken, water, cornflour, soy sauce, ginger paste, garlic paste, sesame oil, and rice wine.

Sesame chicken comes in a variety of forms, but they share the same fundamental qualities, such as being fried and then dusted with sesame seeds before being served.

This an easy sesame chicken recipe to try at home.

Which Is Spicier: General Tso’s Chicken Or Sesame Chicken?

The main difference between both dishes lies in their taste. General Tso’s Chicken is a bit spicier than Sesame’s which maintains a good balance between sweetness and spice.

Although many would complain that the dishes are similar due to their Chinese origin and the same category, there are some other minor differences too.

The traditional soy sauce and brown sugar concoction give Sesame Chicken a richer flavor and nutty undertones from the sesame seeds.

General Tso’s lacks the nuttiness of Sesame Chicken but instead has a hotter flavor from the chili components.

In the batter for sesame chicken, there is either chicken breast or boneless thigh. Soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, and sesame seeds are combined to make the sauce.

General Tso employs boneless thigh chicken meat that has been marinated in a sauce made out of fresh garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and chili peppers.

Distinguishing Characteristics of General Tso’s and Sesame Chicken

Below is a table mentioned to better summarize the difference between Sesame and General Tso’s chicken.

CharacteristicsGeneral Tso’s ChickenSesame Chicken
FlavorSpicy Sweet, Sour, and Nutty
SauceUmami Tangy
TypeBoneless Thigh ChickenChicken Breasts, and Boneless Thigh
AppearancePlain Chicken-LikeVisible Sesame Seeds
Frying ProcessSingle FriedDouble Fried
Spice LevelMedium HighLow
Difference Between General Tso’s and Sesame Chicken

Can You Substitute Sesame for General Tso’s Chicken?

Although these two dishes appear to be extremely similar at first glance, as soon as you taste them, it becomes clear that they are not the same.

Sesame chicken should not be used in place of regular Tso chicken due to the substantial variation in spice level.

These recipes cannot be immediately substituted for one another because of the varying levels of spiciness. Dried red peppers are added to General Tso’s chicken to give it a bite. They are not used in sesame chicken, nor is anything substituted that might increase the spice level of the meal.

The fact that General Tso’s chicken is a much heavier dish is another reason why both dishes are challenging to switch out for one another. Compared to sesame chicken, it has more calories and is considered a “comfort food.”

Is Sesame Chicken Healthy?

Sesame chicken may not be the healthiest option, especially if you’re attempting to maintain your weight or level of fitness.

Such recipes contain lean meats like fresh fish, beans, eggs, and a range of vegetables and fruits, but that alone won’t make the dish healthy.

If your goal is to reduce or maintain weight, it is advised to consume sesame chicken in moderation due to its nutritional value.

The majority of foods are fried in oil, which adds extra calories even when not consumed, so the same is true with eating out frequently and ordering takeout.

Compared to General Tso’s Chicken, which is double fried, I’d say it has double the calories, which should be avoided. A high-calorie intake leads to weight gain, which further disrupts the internal health of a being.

Alternatives To General Tso’s And Sesame Chicken

Chicken Stir Fry

Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken Stir Fry is always made with loads of vegetables.

The four essential ingredients of a fantastic chicken stir-fry are normally protein, vegetables, aromatics, and sauce.

One pound of protein, two pounds of vegetables, and a basic stir-fry sauce are the ingredients for a typical stir-fry. To alter your dish’s flavor character, add herbs or aromatics.

This is a fantastic healthy alternative because it’s made with ground chicken, shiitake mushrooms, and different Asian flavors.

Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay
Chicken Satay is rich in spices.

Chicken is marinated in a mixture of coriander, turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, fresh ginger, salt, and pepper, together with an Indonesian sweet soy sauce, to make satay, a dish that originated in that country.

Chicken satay that is juicy and tender, marinated in exquisite spices, and served with the best peanut dipping sauce.

A tasty, healthful, sugar-free, and low-carb treat that can be quickly and easily made in the air fryer.

Japenese Chicken And Egg Bowl

Japanese Chicken Bowl
Karaage is deep-fried, which makes it crispier and crunchy.

Chicken with a little seasoning cooked in umami-rich dashi broth is combined with beaten eggs and served over rice. Japanese chicken bowl recipe that is full, tasty, and low in carbs.

Commonly known as “karaage,” this dish employs potato starch or powder to give you the impression that you’re eating chicken and fries simultaneously.

Chicken thigh portions that have been marinated, coated in cornflour or flour, and then deep-fried. The Japanese word for the procedure of deep-frying small bits of beef is “karaage.”


  • General Tso and Sesame Chicken are comparable. They are similar in their components and have a small amount of Chinese heritage. They mix rice vinegar, soy sauce, and boneless chicken.
  • There are a few, even though they differ. They mainly have different tastes. There are many different kinds of sesame, but they have the same sweet-and-sour sauce that fans of Chinese food around the world adore.
  • What makes this dish famous is the blend of acidic and sweet undertones with the spicy character of General Tso.
  • These recipes will suit your taste preferences thanks to their distinctive flavors. General Tso’s is the best option if you like your chicken spicy, but keep in mind that it has a lot of calories. Sesame, on the other hand, is for people who enjoy a balanced flavor of hot and sweet with significantly fewer calories.
  • The primary distinction lies in the level of spiciness and the use of sesame seeds in Sesame Chicken.
  • Despite their similarities, substituting one dish for the other may not yield the desired flavor due to their unique taste profiles.
  • Healthier alternatives to these dishes include chicken stir-fry, chicken satay with peanut sauce, and Japanese chicken and egg bowl.

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