This Sesame Chicken recipe rivals your favorite Chinese takeout or restaurant version. Deliciously crispy breaded chicken is tossed in an exquisitely sweet-savory sauce that will “wow” your taste buds and have you coming back for seconds!
Sesame Chicken Recipe
Chinese food is something I rarely get tired of. Whether it’s a healthy stir-fry piled high with vegetables or a sweet-and-spicy Mongolian Beef or Orange Chicken, I’m game. This Sesame Chicken is another delicious Chinese takeout classic that is easy to make at home and rivals your favorite restaurant version.
For the best flavor we use a combination of both brown sugar and honey. We place a little more emphasis on the honey because well, honey is just amazing in this.
Whether it’s baked up in a sweet-a-licious cake or swirled in a savory-sweet sticky sauce like this Honey Sesame Chicken, honey is simply a wonderful thing.
As Lenny once crooned:
“Winds may blow over the icy sea.
I’ll take with me the warmth of thee.
A taste of honey,
A taste much sweeter than wine.”
Or you may prefer the Beatles’ version. Or Andy Williams. (Of course anything sung by Andy Williams is sweet as honey.)
But enough about jazz standards. Let’s get back to FOOD. Specifically this Sesame Chicken.
Can I Make Sesame Chicken in Advance?
This is a relatively quick dish to make anyway, but as a time-saver you can cut up and marinate the chicken and make the sauce in advance and then reheat it. Then all you have left to do is fry the chicken, toss it in the sauce and there it is – a sweet and sticky delicious Chinese take-out classic that will cause you to think twice about ever ordering take-out again!
How to Make Sesame Chicken
Let’s get started!
Cut up the fresh chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine the marinade ingredients, whisking with a fork, and pour it over the chicken pieces. Stir the chicken to thoroughly coat with the marinade. Set aside while you’re preparing the sauce.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients, except for the garlic, ginger and sesame oil, in a bowl and stir until the cornstarch, honey and sugar are dissolved.
Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and fry the garlic and ginger for 1 minute.
Add the sauce and bring to a boil for 1 minute until thickened. Set aside until ready to use.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the cornstarch/salt mixture and shake off the excess cornstarch.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F (NOTE: You can also fry the chicken in a frying pan with an inch or two of oil, turning the pieces. Just be careful, it’s hot! Use a thermometer to check the temperature.)
Working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the deep fryer, fry the chicken until golden brown and crispy.
Place the chicken pieces on paper towels to drain while you fry the remaining chicken.
Add the chicken pieces to the sauce, stirring to thoroughly coat each piece of chicken, and bring the mixture to a simmer for a couple of minutes to allow the coating to absorb the sauce.
Serve immediately with steamed rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
For more great Chinese food be sure to try our:
- Orange Chicken
- Beef and Broccoli
- Hot and Sour Soup
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Mongolian Beef
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Orange Beef
- Wonton Soup
- Shanghai Noodles
- Mongolian Chicken
- Honey Sesame Chicken
- Shanghai Burgers
- Chicken Chow Mein
- Chicken Teriyaki Noodles
- Szechuan Chicken and Cashew Noodles
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup cornstarch , combined with 1 teaspoon salt
- Oil for deep-frying
- For the Marinade:
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (can substitute sherry)
- For the Sauce:
- 3 cloves garlic , peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- OR brown sugar alternative (for low sugar option)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice vinegar
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Whisk the marinade ingredients together with a fork and pour over the chicken in a bowl. Stir to coat the chicken and set aside while preparing the sauce.
- To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients, except for the garlic, ginger and sesame oil, until the cornstarch, honey and sugar are dissolved.In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, fry the garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Pour in the sauce and bring it to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Alternatively heat about an inch of oil in a heavy frying pan. Dredge the chicken pieces in the cornstarch/salt mixture, shake off the excess cornstarch deep fry the chicken in batches until golden brown and crispy. (Note: Chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 170 degrees for boneless products and 180 degrees for bone in chicken products.) Be careful not to over-crowd the deep fryer. Place the chicken pieces on paper towels to drain while frying the next batch.
- Add the fried chicken to the sauce, stirring to thoroughly coat each piece and let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes until the chicken has absorbed the sauce.Serve immediately with steamed rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Dolores Hansen Nelson says
Haven’t tried this yet; wondering if I can use my air fryer?
Do you have a recommendation for how long and at what temperature the chicken can be baked instead of fried as a healthier alternative?
Tony Green says
I made this recipe tonight and it tasted exactly like it does in a Traditional Chinese Restaurant, absolutely fab!
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
I’m thrilled you enjoyed it, Tony, thank you!
Family friendly and so delicious. Great flavors without being too sweet
Sarah Skaggs says
So delicious! Can’t wait to make it again.
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Sarah, thank you!
Krissy Allori says
This is a great recipe. Really yummy and a big hit with my family.
Carrie Robinson says
This looks so much better than takeout! Definitely adding this to my weekly dinner plan soon. :)
This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it.