Crispy Sesame Chicken with Asian Sauce

Love Chinese takeout? With this honey sesame chicken recipe, you can have all the tangy, sticky, sweet, crispy deliciousness of your favorite Friday night splurge without getting in the car or waiting for delivery.

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Along with orange chicken, cashew chicken, Kung Pao chicken, and General Tso’s chicken, sesame chicken is one of the most popular Asian chicken recipes. What’s really special about this sesame chicken is the savory sweet sauce that will make you want to lick the bowl clean. Crispy sesame chicken with Asian sauce is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Better still, this recipe is just as delicious the next day, so your leftovers will become a lunch that’s going to be the envy of the office.

sesame chicken recipe

Equipment

You don’t need any special equipment to make delicious sticky sesame chicken that will rival your favorite take-out spot, but there are a few items that will make the process go a bit more smoothly.

Wok: Traditionally, Asian chicken recipes are prepared in a wok, but if you don’t have one, there’s no need to fret. Just use a deep pot or dutch oven suitable for frying.

Tongs: Tongs are essential for deep frying. Use them to place the chicken into the oil without splashing. The oil will be very hot, so using tongs will help you avoid a burn.

Spider: A spider is typically used to retrieve the fried meat from the hot oil. It looks something like a small strainer attached to a long bamboo handle. It allows you to skim the pan to fish out the meat and leave the oil behind. If you don’t have a spider,  you can use tongs instead. It will just take a bit more effort to remove the pieces one by one.

Chopsticks: You don’t have to have chopsticks to eat sesame chicken, but it’s a lot more fun if you do. Also, you can test your oil to see if it’s ready for frying by inserting a chopstick into the pan. If bubbles gather around the chopstick, it’s ready for action.

Ingredients

The ingredients for this dish are straightforward and readily available in most grocery stores, so there’s no need to seek out a specialty shop.

Chicken: Sesame chicken from take-out restaurants is usually made from skinless chicken thighs. Chicken breasts are a bit more expensive, but they are leaner and work just as well. Use the type of chicken you like best.

Sugar: Brown sugar gives this dish a richer flavor, but you can use white granulated sugar if it’s all you have.

Spice: If you like your sesame chicken a little spicy, try adding a couple of tablespoons of sweet chili sauce or a squeeze or two of sriracha to the sauce mixture.

Sesame Oil: The sesame oil gives this sauce its signature nutty, earthy flavor, but if you don’t have any around, you can still make this chicken recipe. Just be generous with the sesame seeds before serving.

Rice wine vinegar: If you can’t find rice vinegar, white wine vinegar will work just as well.

chinese chicken recipes

How to Make Sesame Chicken

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl. Add in the salt, pepper, garlic salt, paprika, and cornstarch and stir until smooth.
  3. Toss in the chicken and stir to coat. Then leave the chicken to stand for a few minutes.
  4. Pour at least three inches of vegetable oil into a wok or large pot that is suitable for deep frying. Place it over a medium-high flame to heat. Insert a chopstick into the oil to test the temperature. When bubbles gather around the stick, it’s ready for cooking.
  5. Put the flour in a shallow dish. One piece at a time, coat the chicken with the flour, then place the pieces on a plate or cookie sheet until the oil is ready.
  6. Add the chicken to the oil in small batches and cook for six or seven minutes, or until the pieces are golden brown.
  7. Remove the crispy chicken and place it on a paper towel-lined dish. Then cook the remaining chicken. Remove the oil from the heat.
  8. In a large skillet, mix all the sauce ingredients and bring to a bubble. Allow the sauce to cook for 2-3 minutes or until it reduces by about a third.
  9. Add the fried chicken to the sauce, and toss to coat, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

For a healthier alternative to deep frying, you can cook your chicken in an air fryer. Place the chicken into the basket in small batches. Brush with a little oil and air fry at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes. Turn the chicken, brush with more oil and air fry for an additional 7 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Then, add the fried chicken to the sauce as directed in the original recipe.

sesame chicken

How to Serve Sesame Chicken

Spoon a generous helping of chicken and sauce over steamed white rice, or fried rice, and top with some chopped fresh green onions.

Steamed broccoli, eggrolls, or crispy wontons are perfect accompaniments to sesame chicken.

Storing and Reheating

Sesame chicken will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

If frozen, allow the chicken to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can reheat sesame chicken in the microwave but pop it in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes for the best results.

asian chicken recipe

sesame chicken recipe

Crispy Sesame Chicken with Asian Sauce

Love Chinese takeout? With this easy sesame chicken recipe, you can have all the tangy, sticky, sweet, crispy deliciousness of your favorite Friday night splurge without getting in the car or waiting for delivery.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 427 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 2 eggs - lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 10 tbsp all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 ½ pounds of chicken breast or chicken thigh meat

Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce

For serving:

  • Steamed white rice or fried rice
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Chopped green onion

Instructions
 

  • Cut the chicken breast or chicken thigh meat into bite-sized pieces.
  • Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl. Add in the salt, pepper, garlic salt, paprika, and cornstarch, and stir until smooth.
  • Toss in the chicken and stir to coat. Then leave the chicken to stand for a few minutes.
  • Pour at least three inches of vegetable oil into a wok or large pot that is suitable for deep frying. Place it over a medium-high flame to heat. Insert a chopstick into the oil to test the temperature. When bubbles gather around the stick, it’s ready for cooking.
  • Put the flour in a shallow dish. One piece at a time, coat the chicken with the flour, then place the pieces on a plate or cookie sheet until the oil is ready.
  • Add the chicken to the oil in small batches and cook for six or seven minutes, or until the pieces are golden brown.
  • Remove the chicken and place it on a paper towel-lined dish. Then cook the remaining chicken. Remove the oil from the heat.
  • In a large skillet, mix all the sauce ingredients and bring to a bubble. Allow the sauce to cook for 2-3 minutes or until it reduces by about a third.
  • Add the fried chicken to the sauce, and toss to coat, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Nutrition

Calories: 427kcalCarbohydrates: 39.2gProtein: 42gFat: 10g
Keyword baked chicken recipes, Chinese chicken recipe, sesame chicken
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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