Easy Sesame Chicken

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Crispy Sesame Chicken is easy to make with super crispy batter and delicious sesame sauce you’ll skip the takeout and done in just 30 minutes!

One of our favorite take out options when we aren’t looking for a recipe that is sweeter like Panda Express Orange Chicken (Copycat) or Sweet and Sour Chicken and something not quite as spicy as General Tso’s Chicken.

 Chinese Sesame Chicken
Sesame Chicken Recipe

There’s a number of recipes you’ll come across. Some are healthier versions without breading while some are stir fries. This is the classic mall food Chinese takeout version. Because there’s so many different versions lets go over some of the other options. This version is the best one though, especially if you’re reliving your mall food court childhood.


Baked Sesame Chicken: You can dredge the chicken in flour, egg and finally in panko. Spray the pieces of chicken with some canola oil spray and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Toss with sesame sauce then continue baking for an additional ten minutes.

Honey Sesame Chicken: Replace the brown sugar in the recipe with honey for a more pronounced honey sesame chicken recipe. I also love making Chinese Honey Chicken too without any of the sesame flavors.

Sesame Chicken Stir Fry: Don’t bread the chicken – just cook it in the skillet with  a bit of sesame oil and canola oil. Add fresh garlic and vegetables (bell pepper, onion and zucchini)  to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then pout the sauce in and cook until reduced (you may need to add a bit of cornstarch and water).

What to serve with Sesame Chicken?

We love to serve Chinese Steamed Rice, Lo Mein, steamed broccoli and easy recipes like Crab Rangoon and Egg Rolls for appetizers dipped in Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Crispy Sesame Chicken

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There are a couple of ways to make sesame sauce. This recipe includes soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar and cornstarch where more in depth recipes include dark soy sauce and shaoxing rice wine.

How do you make sesame chicken? A quick and easy tempura fried chicken in bite size pieces is tossed with an easy sauce made with rice wine and soy sauce sweet and spicy mixture. Garnish with sesame seeds or even green onions.


  • Is Sesame Chicken Fried? Yes, in it’s traditional form it is dredged in batter and deep fried.
  • Is Sesame Chicken Sweet? Yes, with the addition of brown sugar it is slightly less sweet than orange chicken.
  • Can you reheat Sesame Chicken? Once you serve the chicken the sauce starts soaking up in to the crispy chicken. Because of this reheating won’t result in crispy chicken, but it will still be tasty.
  • White Meat Sesame Chicken: Use skinless chicken breasts in this Sesame Chicken in place of chicken thighs. There’s no other recipe adjustment, you will fry for one less minute.

Tools used in the making of this Sesame Chicken:
Wok: The best way to cook quickly and over high heat for Asian dishes, this wok is the perfect stir fry pan.
Rice Vinegar: Readily available in almost all grocers these days, this is a great vinegar to keep on hand. It does have a hint of sweetness to it, so don’t replace with any other vinegar except perhaps a red wine vinegar if you absolutely need to.
Sesame Oil: The flavor of sesame oil in this dish is unmistakeable and not really able to be substituted. Some Asian grocery stores will try and sell less expensive options that aren’t actually sesame oil, so just be sure the one you’re buying is authentic sesame oil.

Easy Sesame Chicken

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Crispy Sesame Chicken

4.79 from 23 votes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Crispy Sesame Chicken is easy to make with super crispy batter and delicious sesame sauce you’ll skip the takeout!


Sesame Chicken Sauce Ingredients:

Tempura Batter:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup cold seltzer water


  • 1 lb chicken thighs boneless and skinless cut into 1? chunks
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • vegetable oil for deep frying


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. To make the sauce mix all the ingredients together and to prepare the batter, add the ingredients together until just combined.

  2. Add the chicken pieces to the batter and coat while heating 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees and add the chicken to the oil in batches frying until golden brown.

  3. In a large wok or skillet add the sesame oil to the frying pan and add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.

  4. Add in the sauce and the chicken and coat quickly and serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Amount per serving: 361 calories, Calories: 361g, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 623mg, Potassium: 227mg, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 85g, Vitamin C: 0.4g, Calcium: 32g, Iron: 1.5g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: Crispiest Chinese Sesame Chicken, Sesame Chicken
Crispy Chinese Sesame Chicken

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  1. Hi Sabrina!

    Just found this lovely website of yours! Read the thumbnail bio of yourself and I’m just plain excited about exploring more of your corner of the Internet! I’m a professional chef, pastry and kitchen and can truly say that you sure know your stuff!

    Made this super sesame chicken tonight and cannot wait to try more of your food! My daughter loves honey chicken, so I’m going to surprise her with that sometime later this week.

    So happy to “meet” you! Hope his is the beginning of a long friendship!! 🙂


  2. Wow! I thought this recipe was amazing, but my husband thought it was absolutely out of this world! He said it was the best Chinese food-style chicken he has had from anywhere. I’ve made it a few times now, always following the recipe exactly except adding a diced jalapeño to the sauce this most recent time because I had some fresh ones in the garden. It definitely kicked up the spiciness (which we love), so tonight I think I’m going to add 2. I always pair it with just some white Jasmine rice and veggies. I also love to top it with some sliced green onions. Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. So glad you liked it and thank you for this review. It made my day! I love the idea of adding jalapeños! I might just have to reserve a bit of sauce and chicken separate to try that out (I’m the only real spicy fan in the house haha)

  3. Made this for dinner tonight. Easy recipe that I will be using again and again. I substituted the garlic and chili peppers with chili garlic paste to make it easier and it turned out delicious. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be checking out your other ones as well.

  4. This recipe is so good! Almost tastes better than the real thing. The only issue I had was the sauce didn’t feel thick enough for me, but that was an easy fix with some reducing and some dissolved cornstarch. I made a few substitutions as well, I used white meat because I personally am not a fan of chicken thighs (I know.. sue me) , I also for the life of me could not find sesame oil at any grocery store! (Kroger, Walmart or HEB) so I just used a little olive oil and It still was super tasty! Although next time I’m going to use the sesame oil because i believe it makes a world of a difference. Overall, I’ll be making this again. Happy happy happy 🙂

  5. For the batter, do you combine all ingredients together or is it an egg wash than dry batter steps? Currently in the process of making this!!

  6. Just made this. I substituted diced Serrano’s for the crushed red pepper flakes (cause I didn’t have them , but it really didn’t make a difference) IT WAS Delicious!!!!! I served it with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. C’est magnifique!

  7. I’m trying your Sesame Chicken tonight and just sent the hubby to get the seltzer water. Can’t wait; already the kitchen smells wonderful.

  8. Used the recipe for the sauce. Omitted the sesame seed oil (hubby doesn’t like the taste), and the seeds. Soooo good. I had to use red wine vinegar, so cut it shy of 1/2 a cup, and used brown sugar. I used regular grilled chicken cut into bites. If I had fried the chicken I would definitely heat up the sauce, and wait for it to thicken prior to covering the fried chicken pieces. Saved. So many good recipes on this site!!!

  9. I found that the batter did not hold up when placed in the pan. It did not brown as expected and did not have a crunch.
    The flavor of the sauce was good, however.

  10. This recipe was okay. Not great, but okay. It’s very much a fast food/Panda Express like recipe. If that’s what you’re craving I would recommend it… otherwise I would say to pass on this one.

    1. I haven’t tested either with this recipe but generally tonic water or lemon-lime soda are adequate substitutes. I hope you enjoy it!

    2. This was a fantastic recipe! We paired it with a simple fried rice. The chicken texture is crispy and so flavorful. I will look for other sauces to toss this same chicken in. Huge fan!

    1. You can try Worcestershire sauce but it will change the flavor. I’ve seen other substitutions making your own by boiling beef bouillon, balsamic vinegar, molasses, ginger, white pepper, garlic powder and water for 15 minutes. Good luck!

      1. A substitute for soy sauce would be coconut aminos, it is very similar. It is often used by people who can not eat soy products.

  11. It’s rare that a recipe doesn’t have garlic in it and especially so for an Asian dish. Maybe Im just drawn to those recipes, though. ?Innnnnyhooooo, next time, garlic, and adding it to the leftovers for tomorrow. I did not bread mine and added a cornstarch/ water slurry to thicken it so it clung to the chicken. I’m not sure clung is a word.

  12. Delicious! The quantities of sauce and batter ingredients were just right.
    Seltzer water isn’t sold here so I substituted ice cold tap water and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice.

  13. I made the stir fry version tonight since I had a breast thawed out. It was great! Can’t wait to try the traditional version. Forget ordering out, we will have sesame chicken whenever we want it. Thanks!

  14. This was… Eh. Can’t say I loved it. But didn’t hate it either. Won’t make it again. Maybe I’m just not a fan of sesame chicken anymore or maybe I can’t cook it right. Still worth a try and glad I did it.

  15. This recipe was awesome! I was craving Chinese food and this hit the spot. I followed the recipe exactly except I had to use apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar because I was out. It still tasted great but I will try the rice vinegar next time and a little more brown sugar because I like mine sweet. Thank you for sharing and I will definitely make this again .

  16. My children asked if we could rate this because it was so good! My husband, who was craving Panda tonight, said it was delicious! Thank you for a fantastic recipe!

  17. I rarely have seltzer water on hand. Do u think Sprite would work?

    I found your blog today when looking for a homemade enchilada sauce. It was delicious. I’ve got a bunch of recipes lined up for my menu over the next couple of weeks. Thanks so much.

    1. I haven’t tested it but I would think it would be a good substitution in a pinch. I’d love to know how it turns out if you decide to try, thanks!

      So glad you’re enjoying the recipes. 🙂

    1. You can always tag me on instagram @dinnerthendessert or use the hashtag #dinnerthendessert

      I love to see photos!! So glad you enjoyed it!

  18. This is the first recipe I have made from your site, but certainly not the last!
    Easy to follow and my family loved it.

  19. This was a really nice chicken dish. I didn’t have seltzer but I used 7 Up and it was very good. I did a combination of browning the chicken in the batter and transferring to a 9×13 pan to finish off in the oven as you mentioned in the recipe notes. Thank you!

  20. I don’t know what it was about this recipe but the chicken just wouldn’t fry right. I heated three inches of oil and tested it with a little slice of butter and it seemed ready, but the batter just would not turn golden brown and the chicken took forever to look in any way done. Maybe I did something wrong. Any advice for troubleshooting?

    1. It just sounds like the oil wasn’t hot enough. I’m not sure using a slice of butter is giving you an accurate reading of how hot the oil is. I would suggest using a thermometer and seeing if that resolves the issue. Hope this helps!

  21. Sesame chicken is my go to takeout order and this looks just like the stuff from my favorite place! I cant wait to make it!

  22. Omg!! Made this tonight..exactly as written..you have a money recipe..the best I have ever made..better than at a restaurant. Thank you!!

  23. This is our favorite recipe ever! We make it all of the time. It’s what I WISH take-out tasted like. But no need for take-out when we can make this instead 🙂 

  24. Now I know where to use the extra egg whites next time. I love easy and simple recipes like this. Maybe i’ll add mango or orange jam to the sauce after I try your original recipe, yum!