Sesame Chicken Vs Sweet & Sour Chicken: What’s The Difference?

sesame chicken vs sweet and sour chicken

If you are a fan of Chinese food, especially chicken dishes, then you cannot ignore sesame chicken and sweet and sour chicken.

These two delicacies are not preferred in China but also well-known in the United States.

Do you prefer one or the other when going out for dinner? Let’s see what they really are and how these two chicken dishes differ from each other before deciding.

What is sesame chicken?

Lean Cuisine Bowls Savory Sesame Chicken Vegetables Frozen Meal, 11 oz

Sesame chicken is a dish that originated in the Chinese province of Guangzhou.

It has been brought to North American by immigrants a long time ago, and not sesame chicken is one of the staple take-out dishes in this region.

The dish got its name from the two main ingredients, which are chicken and sesame oil and seeds.

Chicken breast or chicken thighs are cut into small chunks and coated in egg, flour, and cornstarch, then deep-fried until they reach a golden brown and crispy outer.

The fried chicken cubes are tossed in a sesame sauce which is made of sesame oil, wine, vinegar, chicken broth, sugar, and cornstarch to thicken.

The resulting dish is sprinkled with sesame seeds to decorate.

Sesame chicken recipes can vary between regions, but basically, the dish looks and tastes the same way.

It can be served with steamed white rice, noodles, broccoli, or cabbage on the side.

Sesame chicken can be spicy or sweet depending on the ratio of condiments used in the recipe.

What is sweet and sour chicken?

Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet and sour chicken is another popular chicken dish from China.

It has been around for centuries and is a favorite among the Chinese and Americans.

Sweet and sour chicken is made by deep-frying chicken battered bite-sized pieces of chicken until crispy and golden, then tossing these chunks into a sweet and sour sauce, hence the name of the dish.

Sweet and sour chicken also contains pineapple chunks and bell pepper to add flavor and color to the dish.

There are different recipes to make the sauce, but all ensure to result in a sweet and sour taste from contrasting condiments, such as sugar, lemon juice or pineapple juice, salt, chili sauce for a kick of spiciness.

What are the differences between sesame chicken vs sweet and sour chicken?

It seems that sesame chicken and sweet and sour chicken are two similar dishes from China that can make a foreigner confused about how to differentiate them.

The comparison table below will point out some of the most typical differences between sesame chicken dish and sweet and sour chicken:

 Sesame chickenSweet and sour chicken
IngredientsDeep-fried chicken chunks, sesame sauceDeep-fried chicken chunks, pineapple, bell pepper, sweet and sour sauce
AppearanceUsually darker in color because of the use of sesame oilLighter in color
TasteCan be sweeter or spicier with a nutty flavor from sesame-based ingredientsSweet and sour

What are the similarities between sesame chicken vs sweet and sour chicken?

There are also numerous similarities between these two Chinese dishes:

1. Sesame chicken and sweet and sour chicken originated in China and now are both popular in America

So, these two dishes have long been known as two classics of Chinese cuisine.

They both originated in China, but sesame chicken is believed to first be created in Guangzhou, while sweet and sour chicken comes from Heilongjiang.

These chicken dishes were brought to America long ago, mostly served in American Chinese restaurants.

2. Sesame chicken and sweet and sour chicken have the same cooking method

Another similarity between sesame chicken and sweet and sour chicken is that these two dishes are cooked the same way.

First, you need the best chicken cut which can be either white meat or dark meat.

Chicken is then sliced into bite-sized pieces, battered, and deep-fried until the outer turns golden brown and crispy.

After that, these chicken chunks are tossed in the sauce, which should be made during frying the chicken.

3. Both dishes are mainly served as a take-out option and eaten with chopsticks

Sesame chicken and sweet and sour chicken are usually sold as a take-out dish rather than the main course that is eaten inside the restaurant.

They are contained in a paper box or plastic package from an American Chinese restaurant, a street food stall, or a food truck, with a pair of chopsticks to pick up the chicken.

Which one is better?

Product ComparisonLean Cuisine Bowls Savory Sesame Chicken Vegetables Frozen Meal, 11 ozTai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken
Product ImageLean Cuisine Bowls Savory Sesame Chicken Vegetables Frozen Meal, 11 ozTai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken
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In the end, it’s up to you whether sesame chicken or sweet and sour is your go-to dish.

But in general, they have a similar look and taste, and if you are already a fan of chicken, we believe that both dishes are worth trying and will satisfy your taste buds.

Giving both sesame chicken and sweet and sour chicken a try so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.