Easy Sesame Chicken

6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

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

This is a perfect Chinese Food option when you 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

There are a number of recipes you’ll come across for Sesame Chicken. Some are healthier versions without breading while some are stir fries. This is the classic mall food Chinese takeout version. It’s 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.

Because there are so many different versions, let’s go over some of the other options. This version is the best one though, especially if you’re reliving your mall food court childhood.

Easy Sesame Chicken Recipes:

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. You’ll 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 pour the sauce in and cook until reduced (you may need to add a bit of cornstarch and water).

Serve Sesame Chicken with 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

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make Sesame Chicken Sauce

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.

Is Sesame Chicken fried?

Yes, in its traditional form it is dredged in batter and deep fried.

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.

Can I use white meat for 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.

How to Store Sesame Chicken

  • Serve: Do not leave cooked chicken at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Sealed in an airtight container, Sesame Chicken will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze: Sesame Chicken can be kept in a plastic freezer bag up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a single layer on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.
Easy Sesame Chicken

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Crispy Sesame Chicken

Crispy Sesame Chicken is easy to make with super crispy batter and delicious sesame sauce, skip the takeout and be done in just 30 minutes!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder


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 inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • vegetable oil for deep frying


  • To make the sauce mix all the ingredients together and to prepare the batter, add the ingredients together until just combined.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add in the sauce and the chicken and coat quickly and serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds.



Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 623mg | Potassium: 227mg | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Keyword: Crispiest Chinese Sesame Chicken, Sesame Chicken
Crispy Sesame Chicken Collage

Photo used in a previous version of this post.

Crispy Chinese Sesame Chicken

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This was super yummy! I had a hard time getting my sauce to thicken up but it’s been a while since I’ve made any kind of sauce like this so probably my own fault, tempura was delicious I used a beer instead of seltzer water & it worked just fine 🙂

  2. The batter is perfect. The sauce however, was a bit sour for me. In the future I think I’ll use half as much vinegar. But otherwise, it is a great recipe.

  3. Switching the cornstarch to 3/4 cup and the flour to 1/4 c for the coating and thickening the sauce a bit more solved the problem of the batter getting mushy for me.
    Super yummy.

  4. This dish was delicious me and my finance really liked it. The crispness was definitely there, and the flavor was amazing. I didn’t have the seltzer water or sesame seeds but it still came out good. It’s a very good meal with a simple sesame taste which I love I paired it with Thai rice but you can do noodle too I was just lazy lol

  5. Hello! This was fantastic.. has anyone tried freezing it after frying it and making the sauce another night? I’d love this to be a fast, less mess wk night meal

  6. Made this for the family tonight and it is incredible. I used some leftover grilled chicken that we had instead of frying the chicken. I did double the sauce so that there was some leftover for our fried rice. I will recommend That the sauce be cooked separately and then the chicken tossed in that at the very end so that the chicken doesn’t become over cooked.

  7. The flavor is great. I’m doing something wrong as each time I make it when I add the sauce chicken becomes mush. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Melodie
      The chicken being mushy happened to me too! The problem that I noticed was with the batter for the chicken meaning I did not like it being tempura. I decided that I wanted my chicken crispy so I only coat it with cornstarch only and that solved the problem. LOVE IT

  8. Hi, Question for you. In the recipe under the heading “Chicken” you have listed:
    – 2 teaspoons sesame oil
    – 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    – 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    But these are never mentioned in the instructions. Are these supposed to go into the sauce? There’s already sesame oil listed as a sauce ingredient, so not clear.
    Could you please clarify this?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Doug
      I’ve made this several times!! And to answer your question, I put 2 tsp of sesame oil in the skillet only then add 1T garlic. When I smell garlic I put the sauce mixture in on med-low until the sauce thickens! When it reaches the thickness that I like I then add the chicken to coat and red pepper flakes. Hope this helps!!

    2. It tells you in step 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.

    1. 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.

    1. I tried to double it. I think it has too much of a soy sauce flavor. So I’d add a little less soy sauce if you double it. And let the sauce thicken before you add the chicken or it will loose it’s crispy-ness a bit. But it’s still good!

  9. I have mixed feelings about this recipe. I love the tempura batter and the light crispiness it gave to the chicken and the flavor of the sauce turned out delicious! However, I should have gone with my gut, rather than the recipe’s instructions, and reduced/thickened the sauce before I added the chicken into it. It was so heartbreaking to spend all that time getting deliciously crispy chicken just to watch the batter get soggy and gummy and some of it even fell off once I added it to the sauce ?.
    Ultimately I, and all of my kids, still ate it because it had good flavor but learn from my mistake. The next time I’m going to make it I’ll thicken the sauce really good before tossing the chicken in or else I will thicken it and leave it on the side to dip or pour on top so my chicken stays crispy.

  10. I made this tonight. It was okay. My sauce was NOT the same Color as the picture for some reason lol it was almost black? I don’t know why.. I’m guessing because of the soy sauce. It did thicken up nice though

  11. I made this for dinner 2 nights ago. It was so simple to make and it was a huge hit with my husband and son, I also loved it!!! I was fortunate enough to have a wok to give it that little something…. I used chicken strips and cut them into 2″pcs (per the recipe). I also added Ginger & Garlic Paste to the recipe. And made some simple white Rice. This is my new “Go to” quick meal. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. ? No more ordering out whenever we want sesame chicken!!!?????

  12. Can I use small pieces of chicken
    On the bone with skin on in the sesame friend chicken recipe ?

  13. Made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic; definitely going to be making this more often and skipping take out!

  14. Delicious! Only tip I have is when making the sauce, let it thicken for just a minute or two before adding the chicken so the chicken stays a little crispy!

  15. Amazing sauce. Delicious recipe. I will only use this one from now on. Better than any restaurant. Thank you.

  16. I tried this recipe today 2-27-22 and this recipe is better than take out . I put my finished chicken over brown rice noodles and It was great. I did add a teaspoon or 2 of ginger powder and onion powder and it was awesome. I also used apple cider vinegar and you couldn’t tell the difference. Great recipe 5 stars.

    1. The sesame oil should be put into the sauce recipe. You should never cook with sesame oil. Use peanut oil to cook with instead of sesame oil it will burn. Also there should be ginger in this recipe that goes with the garlic when you start to cook.

  17. First off I wanted to say I’m shocked by negative comments on here as far as what people say but I respect how you respond! I made this recipe tonight and saw no one has said how it went in the air fryer and that you asked if someone tried it to let you know how it went!
    The chicken turned out great I cooked it at 400 for 10 minutes and then flipped the chicken and cooked another 10. I was able to fit all the chicken in there and lay it out flat. I did put the sauce in the pan to simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken up and then added the chicken!
    My 3 year old lives off of macaroni and cheese and uncrustables and ate all his chicken tonight and asked for more!
    Thanks again for an awesome recipe

  18. A number of people comment that their sauce is too runny.
    You don’t give any instructions to cook the sauce so I am sure that is the problem. You just say “mix all ingredients “.

    1. Hi, the cornstarch is what thickens the sauce, and mixing it all together is how its made. You can add a bit ore cornstarch to get the consistency you would like. Hope that helps.

    2. You’re absolutely right, the sauce should be added to the wok first, and heated in order to thicken, then add the chicken once that’s done. The instructions are a little ambiguous, but it’s a great recipe.

  19. Best EVER Crispy Chicken. My family looooooves it and me, even more, when I make it.

    No take-out can ever match this!

  20. I have never cooked any oriental dishes. This recipe was simple to follow and came out delicious!!! My family loved it and I will definitely make it again.

  21. Sabrina did you intend to write 2lbs of chicken for the recipe? Because this indicates 6 servings, but in your Panda Express Orange Chicken you wrote 2lbs of chicken, also yielded 6 servings. The Orange Chicken recipe called for 10 tablespoons of sugar which would make it slightly sweeter than the Sesame Chicken recipe.

    The Sesame Chicken recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar, which is 8 tablespoons of sugar; but because the sesame chicken recipe called for 1 pound of chicken i need to double it to 2lbs, therefore i’d need to double the sauce as well, but that would make the Sesame Chicken recipe 16 tablespoons of sugar, which make it sweeter than the Orange Chicken recipe. This is an incongruency between the recipes, which leads me to suspect that you meant for the Sesame Chicken recipe to call for 2lbs of chicken.

  22. As with other commenters, I found the directions lacking. So, I cooked the sauce first, prepared the chicken pieces, and something that I always do now… I put my sauce in a bowl and, either dip my chicken in the sauce, or I drizzle a small amount on a few pieces at a time. I don’t like how fast these kinds of meals suck up sauce and become mushy.

    1. Every chinese food restaurant has the exact same problem. There are ways to try and minimize the softening of the fried batter, but they all become soggy when moisture is introduced.
      Leave something crispy out for a while and the moisture inside it will soggy it up for you without even adding a sauce.
      Not sure how thats this specific recipe’s fault.

  23. Best Chinese scope I ever cooked. Partner and son were very impressed. Served with egg fried rice and grilled courgette, yuuuum

  24. Delicious and very worth it great recipe I never have any leftovers when I cook for my dad mom and sisters and grandma I’ve even quadrupled it hoping I can bring some to school but never works

  25. My daughter found this recipe and we LOVE it! I just have a question though. When I drop my battered chicken in to the oil, it sinks to the bottom and sticks. Is my oil not hot enough or maybe too hot???

  26. This was excellent! Like others, I found that the sauce needed thickening a little before putting it on chicken.

    1. Wow this was amazing I added more brown sugar and left the scauce on for a few minutes to thicken up before adding the chicken soo bomb

  27. Absolutely FANTASTIC! I hate the meals that I cook. This one is MONEY!! The only thing I didn’t like was the chicken didn’t get as brown as I would have liked. Once in that sauce, it didn’t matter. This was a 15 on a scale of 1-10.

  28. This was so gross. The look of it was so off putting. I followed your instructions exactly as you wrote them. It looks nothing like yours. The pictures you show look as if the sauce you have over the chicken is sticky and caramelized. It looks delicious, which is what drew me in. Mine.. not so much ?????

    1. Hello Lindsey, Im so sorry this recipe didn’t go as planned, hopefully I have another recipe that would work out better for you.

    2. I haven’t made this yet but I plan to make it tomorrow night. I agree there are some questionable steps in the instructions, I’ve read and re-read them. Just not really clear, especially step one.

      No disrespect, to the cook/author…you’ve probably made this over and over so you know what you’re doing but I think you should take a closer look at the instructions, I think they need to be edited. Possibly misspelling of things are throwing folks off.

      Luckily my friend made this for me a few weeks ago so I’ll just reach out to her for clarification. I’ll let you know how mine comes out.

    3. I cooked this 2 times the 1st time I hated it too! I changed the recipe instead of the batter listed I tossed the chicken pieces in cornstarch only and that made it look just like the pictures. Hope this helps!

  29. Delicious! I subbed honey for the brown sugar. I did simmer the sauce to thicken it prior to coating the chicken. My only issue was the coating seemed to quickly lose it’s crisp – that’s probably a me issue that I’ll need to fix. Buuuuut the chicken came out so tender and moist. I’ll def be making it again regardless though.

  30. I was nervous at first when I poured the sauce on. It took a fee minutes to thicken up. But once it did, it was just like the pics! Perfectly yummy too!!

  31. Really wanted to like this but the sauce is super bland and adding last to serve immediately was a mistake. It had a granular cornstarch-y texture, the sauce should have been reduced a bit to thicken and cook the cornstarch. It was runny and very powdery, like eating raw cornstarch. Other recipes show that you reduce the sauce and get it super sticky before adding. I also had to add minced raw garlic and more soy sauce since it was super bland. Not like the Chinese restaurants I’m used to. The chicken soaked up the sauce instead of costing it like a candied syrup which I love. Unfortunately wasn’t too happy with it 🙁

    1. Hi Matticol, I’m not sure why it turned out grainy for you, in recipe testing it was a smooth sauce that coated the chicken well.

  32. This was amazing! I deep fried my chicken in a little Fry Daddy outside to avoid my kitchen smelling like fried food (I need a new range hood!) Plus, I added some green onions and broccoli. My husband said that it was better than a Chinese restaurant. I’ll make this again for sure!

  33. Instead of sesame chicken I made sesame shrimp. I couldn’t get a hold of rice vinegar so I substituted it for ACV which next time I’ll probably use a little less than what the recipe calls for. It came out sooooo good. I served with farro instead of rice. I would definitely make again.

      1. It smells really good and The chicken tastes good as well. Unfortunately my sauce didn’t thicken at all, it was liquid and cause it to be soggy

    1. My boyfriend friend and I love how our chicken turns out when we use this recipe. I’m actually going to make it tonight (cooking the chicken as I type this) but we don’t have brown sugar. I read that someone else used honey. I’m thinking I might use white sugar. If I had molasses I’d use that with the white sugar. Main point, this tastes amazing when you have all the right ingredients.

  34. I really wanted to try your recipe for the sesame chicken today. I had all the ingredients per your recipe. When i was ready to proceed with it i could not fine the instructions or steps to follow on how to use all the ingredients and when to use them. If you would be so kind and let me know where to find the instructions and steps so i can attempt this again.

    Thank you

    1. Hmmm, there’s a recipe card at the bottom of the page with all the ingredients and instructions. Just scroll or you can click on the button at the top of the page that states ‘jump to recipe’. Hope this helps!

  35. Disappointed that the batter on the chicken became very thick and chewy after adding the sauce. It didn’t brown well either. Sauce is very good.

    If you’re like me and not the most familiar with tempura batter, use wayyyy less oil and work in small batches. Learn from my mistakes.

  37. Was sooooo good, I pulled back some vinegar and added honey and use chicken breast and it turned out delicious! Everyone loved it!

  38. I made the crispiest Chinese sesame chicken and it was delicious. I love Chinese food and all her Chinese receipts are amazing. Thanks for the great receipts!

  39. Made this tonight, I didn’t have rice vinegar I substituted with lime juice and I tripled the chili flakes, it was awesome!! Will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe’

  40. Is there a step missing? Says to add sauce back in? Back in from where? Doesn’t say how to cook the sauce?

  41. I love this recipe, but it is just too much rice vinegar. That is all we could taste. I will cut it in half next time. The chicken was perfect. This is a fairly easy recipe.

  42. Not sure what happened. I made it verbatim from the recipe and the sauce was very watery. It didn’t stick to the chicken at all. The chicken itself was good. There was just no flavor. The end result was chicken soaking in Watery liquid.

  43. I have tried to make Chinese dishes at home and the results have always been less than satisfying, but the very first time I made this, it tasted as good as any Sesame Chicken I have ever gotten for takeout. This is now my go-to recipe for Sesame Chicken, so good. The only thing I found was that frying the tempura battered chicken took way longer than I expected. I also used chicken breast instead of thighs and the chicken was still moist and delicious.

  44. I recommend this recipe but the last step is not self-explanatory for a beginner. You are supposed to “simmer” the sauce until it gets thick or it has a caramelized texture (around 2-3 min), and then you can add the chicken and coat it quickly.
    Good luck to everyone and enjoy!

    1. This info would have been great to know an hour ago. I had chicken soaking in some watery liquid. I’ll never get that half hour of my life back.

  45. We loved this recipe! The 2nd time around I added a few tbsp of honey and like it even better. This will be a staple in our house from now on. ?

  46. I’m Sita, the one who wrote all ready. I just wanted to say; I have celiac desiseas, so I made it gluten free, and it works so well!!

  47. Hi! My and my parents LOOOOOOVE this recipe! Tomorrow’s my birthday and I’ve requested it for dinner! It’s PERFECT, comforting, sweet, spicy, tangy, salty, sesame-e, crispy, saucy, and wonderful!!! One question: It’s pretty crispy, but how do you make it crispier, and in the shape you want it, if you know what I mean?
    All in all, I would recommend this recipe to anyone (already have), so thank you so so much!

  48. I’m so glad I found this recipe. I didn’t have sesame seeds but it didn’t matter, it was absolutely delicious. I will definitely make this again! Next I want to try your General Tso’s chicken. Thanks!

  49. My daughter and I made this last night for dinner…followed the recipe exactly, except we doubled the recipe and used 1lb chicken thighs and 1 lb breasts. The chicken was very crispy and the sauce was sweet with just enough zing form the red pepper flakes. We tossed in some cooked broccoli when we got to the wok step. We were high-fiving each other as we took our first bites. Waaaay better than take-out!
    When making the sauce..it seems at first like it may be too runny, but when we added it to the wok when we did the stir fry step it thickened up really quickly.
    This recipe is a keeper and we will be making it again for sure.

  50. The tempura batter was vertY light
    This was the best attempt I’ve made at sesame chicken My family loved it. I hope it works the second time as well as the first.


      1. I made your recipe for sesame chicken and it was good but I used to go to a Chinese restaurant and get the best sesame chicken I have ever had. I’ve not found a restaurant or recipe that is close to it. The restaurant has closed and I don’t know how they made it. The sauce was pink and it was sweet but not too sweet. I didn’t taste the rice vinegar or much soy sauce in it. Do you have any idea what they could have done to make it so different from all the other places? I’m not trying to insult you. Your receipe was good, like I said, I’m just trying to find a recipe like the one they used. If you have any suggestions, I would welcome and appreciate them. Thanks

        1. Hi sorry just saw this comment. Do you have a name for the restaurant? I could look at old yelp photos if they have any and see what it looked like. Without more detail it would be hard to help. Happy Thanksgiving!

        2. Hi, I don’t know the exact ingredients that your fav restaurant might have used however since it’s a Chinese restaurant, they probably experimented with other asian ingredients that are usually used for sauces. The pink color was probably food coloring, I can’t think of an ingredient that could give it that pink color naturally. If the pink color was detected then it means that they didn’t use dark ingredients like oyster sauce or soy sauce in heavy amounts otherwise the sauce would have a browner color. If you didn’t taste the rice vinegar then maybe they didn’t use it. They might have used sugar, cornsyrup or honey for the sweetness.

          Can you give more details? Was the sauce clear looking? What was the complete flavour profile? They could have used Msg to give it more flavour. They might have experienced with umami flavours like mushroom, oyster sauce, dashi broth, tahini maybe or even Chinese wine. If it had sourness but no vinegar taste and smell then they might have used Chinese wine for the sour profile instead. Hard to tell without more details, you’ll probably have to experiment different sauces before you figure it out.

  51. Wow So good!!! Both my husband and I said it tasted 10x better than take out. The batter is crispy, light, and delicious. Will definitely be making this again !!

  52. OMG!
    I have never, ever posted on a recipe…. but, this was the best sesame chicken EVER! And I made it gluten free! Tapioca flour and corn starch. I also dipped them in some GF Panko before I cooked them. Hubby and I were both speechless!!!

  53. This was outstanding. Better than takeout. Did the recipe exactly how it’s written except subbed shrimp for the chicken and cooked the sauce to thicken it up before I added the shrimp. Excellent! Will definitely be making again!

  54. Great batter, but the sauce has way too much vinegar and sugar for my taste. For reference this is from someone who isn’t a fan of vinegar and vinegar like things so I reduced it to one tablespoon (as I had to remake the sauce) and cut the sugar down to 1/3 cup. I used this recipe as a starting point for Sesame chicken and it helped me get a feel for what i do and do not want in a recipe, so for that thank you

  55. Flawless recipe, tastes absolutely nothing like any sesame chicken I’ve ever had, it’s dramatically better. I’ve tried over a dozen recipes from this site and while they’ve all been fantastic, this is solidly on top for me, especially with how easy it is to make.

    1. Honestly all I wanted was sesame chicken but didnt wanna go out…this is better than ANY restaurant sesame chicken thank u..perfect ratios of flavor….on another positive note tempura batter with seasonings makes best fried chicken…priceless recipe

  56. Thanks so much for this recipe! We have been craving sesame chicken for a while and haven’t had it since Covid shut everything down. My only complaint was the batter stuck to the wire basket in my deep fryer. But I transferred the oil to a nonstick pot and finished frying in it, and they came out perfect! For those saying the batter is too dry, mix it well with a whisk, then set it aside for a few minutes. After sitting, mine had thinned and was silky smooth. For the sauce, I just mixed it and set to the side, and cooked the garlic and pepper and set aside until the chicken was done. As soon as the last batch of chicken fried, I threw it in the skillet with the garlic and poured in the sauce. Next time, I will thicken the sauce before adding the chicken, but it did thicken with just a few minutes at mediu6 high heat after adding it to the chicken. Great treat for us, and I’ll be making it again!

  57. I made this, and it was delicious. I don’t really like sweet food, so I reduced the amount of brown sugar. Perfect. I loved the smell and taste of the sesame oil. A question, doesn’t the sauce need to be cooked a little because of the cornstarch? I cooked mine a couple of minutes, and it was just right.
    Also, I’ve seen other similar recipes using whole eggs, instead of just whites. Do you know what difference that makes in the crispness of the chicken ? My chicken wasn’t super crispy out of the fryer. Not crispy at all, once sauced. Still, it was delicious. And, I just had leftovers from last night and it was just as good as when it was cooked. I used a fry daddy, which is the bomb, for perfect temperature. I also used breast instead of thighs. Topped with sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Thank you for this great recipe!

  58. Sabrina, just to say I made this dish for the second time and it is simply amazing a delicious!!! All credit for writing an amazing recipe.

  59. this looks amazing and the comments were great.
    i would rather bake the chicken would that be ok. and follow your receipe Sesame Chicken Sauce do i take the chicken out of the oven and pour the sauce over it and place it back in the oven again.

    1. Loved this recipe!! It was so much better than any of the others I’ve tried. No leftovers!

      Only issue- when frying the chicken- the grease splattered a lot more than normal. I was frying at 350. Any suggestions as to why this happened?

      We will definitely have this again!!

      1. You can always use a splatter guard when making it too so it doesn’t make a mess or get on you. So glad you love it!

      1. Is there a reason it would have to be seltzer water? I dont have that or club soda or sparkling water but I have everything else so I’m just curious what it does?

  60. Your description hit the nail on the head! I was craving mall food after being in this social distancing world, and my whole family (even the picky 9 yr. old who asked what the sesame seeds were) devoured it. I took the suggestion several people made of heating the sauce and reducing a bit before adding the chicken (I knew bringing it to a boil would let that cornstarch activate). I fried the chicken in batches, and kept a cooling-rack on top of an oven set at 325 to keep the chicken after frying, so everything remained hot and crispy!

  61. Everything was delicious and came out exactly like the picture!! My only concern (and somebody pointed out already) was that the chicken didn’t stay crispy until I added the sauce… maybe I didn’t cook the chicken enough? I am curious… other than that, perfect recipe!!!

  62. I made this tonight for my daughter who has been craving Chinese food for the longest time and this is what she always orders. She was very pleased, to say the least. It turned out delicious! I did simmer the sauce a while before adding the chicken to thicken it up. I will definitely be making this again!

  63. No leftovers tonight!!! Whole family of 5 ate it and loved it!! Takes a little bit of extra time but totally worth it and it was actually fun since the ingredients were so simple!! Will definitely do this again!

    1. I’ve not tested it using an air fryer yet. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!

  64. I just made this last night…, it was AMAZING! SO good! The only thing I changed was to allow the sauce to simmer for a bit to thicken before I added the chicken, but I used all the right amounts of the right ingredients and followed all the other directions. I honestly had concerns if it would turn out like the pictures, but it did. I’ll definitely be making this often! Thank you – it was delicious!

  65. My whole family loved it! I cooked the chicken in the sauce a lot longer- like 8 minutes so the sauce really thickened up which was perfect ! I would try to dust off the chicken when you pull it out of the batter otherwise you can get a lot of batter- still good just takes longer to cook – My family can’t wait for me to make again !

  66. All in all, it was a decent dish. I probably won’t make it again without some major tweaking though. I think my biggest disappointment is the batter. The chicken comes out of the oil nice and crispy, but by the time the second batch comes out, the first batch is no longer crispy. It’s possible I made a mistake, but I don’t believe I did. The sauce was tasty, but it doesn’t taste like any sesame chicken I’ve ever had. I used brown sugar this time because it’s what I had on hand, but I will definitely use honey next time. Thank you for the recipe, I look forward to trying more of your dishes.

    1. Hi there….
      I’ve made this recipe and I found that preheating my oven to 200degs C with a baking tray in there too is a good place to put the freshly cooked chicken pieces whilst everything else is happening. When the sauce is ready just pull the chicken pieces out of the oven and toss in the sauce. The hot oven should keep the chicken nice and crispy for you Hope this helps.

    2. I thought as you do, so I added a 1/4 cup more of brown sugar, and a bit more cornstarch and cooked the sauce a bit longer to cook out the sauces. It might not hurt to lightly brown the sesame seeds.

  67. No instructions given on how to prepare chicken? There are a list of ingredients for the chicken – but no explanation. Instructions only say to prepare the batter. What about the crushed red pepper and the sesame oil?

    1. Yes, the instructions could have been better situated, but it’s all there. Read it through and through before starting.

  68. This came out great!!! Fantastic tase and not difficult. The next time I would put less sugar in the sauce, as my kids found it a little too sweet. Other than that, it needs no changes – thanks so much!!

  69. This recipe is so good and easy to follow. I substituted apple cider vinegar for seltzer water..Delicious! Thanks for sharing!?????

    1. Hi Lynn, How did the apple cider vinegar work out for the substitution?

      Did it change the flavor?

      I don’t have seltzer, sparkling water or club soda in my house.. TYIA!

  70. I followed the recipe exactly. The chicken did not turn out anything like the pictures. The sauce was soup the whole way through. Would not make again.

    1. The batter was too dry and didn’t stick to the chicken. Is there a step missing to dip the chicken in something before putting in the batter?

  71. I love this recipe. It really is better than takeout. Ok well not better than that one place that’s an hour away but it does give it a run for its money.

    When mixing for the sauce I also add honey help thicken it up. Someone in the comments said add ketchup and I did and who know what it does but it does favor the sauce. I eyeball when I pour these but I’m going to guess about a tbs of each of these.

    The batter recipe leaves it a bit too hard for me but I just added more mineral water until it looked like pancake mix consistency.

    Then in batches I dump chicken into the batter. Then I use a pasta strainer so that it doesn’t have a really thick batter coat.

    The part that sucks is placing each chicken individually. They will stick if you just dump.

    The sauce I just boil it until it’s sticky enough so idk 10ish minutes. But not to much or else it gets hard.

  72. Eek! This did not turn out well for me! I followed recipe to a T and it did not taste anything like sesame chicken! I’m not a newbie cook either, so I’d appreciate better instructions so my food can taste like it should

  73. I tried this tonight and completely flopped! My chicken would stick together, I tried a lower temp then the breading wouldn’t stay on. My husband is now out for pizza.

      1. I did it in small batches, that’s why I’m so baffled as to why it failed. I cook four nights a week for family so I’m not new to cooking. I was so hoping this worked, pics look amazing.

  74. Very good from the first bite to the last. Family of 5 and all loved it. Will make again and again. Thanks!

  75. Great recipe! I’ve tried it twice, the second time was the best. The second time around, I added in the sauce and let it thicken a bit and then added the chicken. It worked well.

  76. How long do you deep fry the chicken? I tried clicking on the times as suggested but it didn’t do anything.

  77. Ms Sabrina,
    This recipe is divine!!! Easy, concise and delicious! I have made several of your recipes and they are all 5 star!! I should have commented before to let you know how much my family and I have enjoyed them. When I am searching on Pinterest for new recipes and I see you site pop up I know it is going to be delicious!! Thank you for your expertise!!!!!!!!

  78. Can I use breaded chicken already in my freezer and toss it in the sauce after cooked and continue to bake for a bit?

    1. I would use apple cider vinegar if you have it. If you only have white vinegar, add 1/4 teaspoon of sugar to it before adding. Good luck!

  79. Great meal! Only recommendations I’d give are to go a little lighter on the rice vinegar – stroooooooong flavor- and to, as other comments have said, really thicken the sauce. Not necessarily your traditional sesame chicken, but still really yummy!

  80. So I made this for the family today, I added honey to it so my kids might like it a bit more. Wasn’t too hard for a guy who has never even separated eggs from their whites so I’d recommend it for anyone to try. I’ll certainly do it again

    1. My whole family enjoyed this recipe. It’s the closest thing to restaurant sesame chicken I’ve ever made. I will be making it again soon. The only thing I did wrong was to let the chicken sit in the sauce too long. It made the chicken less crispy and I do love the crispiness of the chicken. So next time, I will be sure to serve this as soon as I mix the chicken into the thickened sauce.

  81. Thanks so much for this recipe!! Only change I would suggest is letting that sauce thicken up a bit. I am no chef by any means. When I cook anything other than basics like spaghetti (using Ragu lol) I use a recipe and have to follow it to a tee. A recipe could take a step off a cliff, and in the next second, I’d be airborne too. So if a recipe is “off”, I never have any clue how to make it better. I just have to find another recipe. With this, I made 1 batch following your exact instructions. Sauce was extremely thin & I tasted too much of the soy sauce. The sauce’s ingredients didn’t seem as if they’d come together right & the sauce just immediately soaked right into the chicken. And while it was good, it did not taste like sesame chicken. While studying the recipe to see if I’d missed something, I noticed a suggestion in comments to let the sauce simmer. I decided to take another go at it. Using the same thin sauce, I turned the heat back on & let it simmer for a long while, while I got more chicken dipped and fried. Like I said, Idk much about cooking but I know flour’s a thickening agent so I even sprinkled a little of that in there. Necessary? Who knows. But I’m impatient haha. It thickened up nicely & finally turned familiar in color. I tossed in my chicken, plated it, sprinkled sesame seeds and BAM! It looked JUST like the kind I get at my favorite Chinese restaurant. And the taste knocked me off my feet, it was so similar. Biiiiiig difference from the first batch! I wish I could post my before and after pics. It was all YOU on the recipe. Never would have been able to compile all of that on my own, so thank you. But to make that sauce come together like it should, people, Let. It. Simmer.

  82. Just made this dinner tonight for my husband and I tonight. We must have said “this is SO good” 100 times while eating it. One of the best meals I have ever made.

  83. Just lovely! I cut the sesame oil in half and added ginger after tasting the sauce base (which does need to be simmered until uniform and thick, as others have noted). I overcooked my chicken a bit due to adding it in too large batches— it took too long to brown. But this is a real keeper! Pretty easy too. I threw it in after frying some spring rolls and had some very happy kids.

  84. I’m not sure what I missing, but the sauce was very thin. The recipe just says to mix ingredients. Should they be simmered? Boiled? Reduced? For how long?

    Also 2 tsp of sesame oil were included in the sauce and in the chicken list of ingredients. Was that right? That was very overwhelming.

    1. The sauce gets mixed in at the end with the chicken. Feel free to adjust the sesame oil to fit more to your liking.

  85. Another win! This is my go-to website for dinner ideas, everyone always loves them! I added broccoli and red pepper just to get some extra veggies and the sauce over them was fantastic!

    1. Sorry but I haven’t tested it as a GF recipe. If you decide to try, I’d love to know what worked for you. Good luck!

  86. Sounds like it will be great! My question is about the Tempura batter. Do we mix all the ingredients together and then dip the chicken pieces in? Or do we do the traditional step by step dipping process? if so, can you describe the steps? And why seltzer water? Can that be substituted?

    Thank you!!

    1. For the tempura batter, mix all the ingredients together and then the chicken will be dipped into that and then fried. The seltzer water adds a crispness to the batter. You can substitute with club soda in a pinch. Hope this helps!

  87. So tasty and easy! I made my first batch. My only question would be: how do I endure crudpiness when deep frying? I was hesitant to put 3inches of oil (I use olive oil which is pricey). Also, does overstuffing if the tempura batter affect the texture when frying? Definitely going to make again!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I would recommend using canola or peanut oil to fry. They’ll be more budget friendly.

  88. This was very easy to make, and it was delicious!!! I’ll be making my own take out for now on! My family loved it. We made egg rolls and white rice to go with it. It tastes even better the next day after all of the flavors have soaked through the chicken. This was awesome!! Thanks for sharing.

  89. I followed your exact recipe and it turned out sooo good! I’m a bit skeptical at first since I’ve never had anything like this before. The chinese food here (Indonesia) is so different than chinese food in the US. The only thing that came close to this (sweet-savory-sour combination) is Ayam Asam Manis (sweet and sour chicken), where you usually use the combination of ketchup and sugar for the sauce. But I’m glad I gave this recipe a try. Thank you!

  90. 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!! 🙂


    1. Nice to meet you too and so happy to hear you are enjoying the site! Let me know how your daughter likes this recipe 🙂

  91. 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)

    1. I haven’t used it personally, but I know that people do use one – feel free to try it and let me know how it goes.

    2. How do I keep the chicken crispy? Bite sized pieces cook super fast in the hot oil. If I waited for Them to be completely browned on the outside then they would be way overdone inside.

      1. So this is always a tricky thing. It’s all about making sure there is enough air getting to it that it doesn’t get soggy. I recommend placing it on a wire rack on a baking sheet and keeping it the oven at 250 degrees. Don’t put it on paper towels or allow it to steam by covering it. Hope this helps!

  92. 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.

    1. So happy to hear that it came out well and you liked it! Let me know what other recipes you try and how they turn out!

  93. 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 🙂

    1. Glad to hear you liked it! Sesame oil will definitely kick it up a notch, but it is good to have a back up with EVOO. 🙂

  94. 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!!

    1. So sorry I’m just now seeing this. You’ll want to combine all the ingredients together. I hope you enjoyed it.

  95. 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!

  96. 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.

  97. 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!!!

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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!

  103. 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.

  104. 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 .

  105. 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!

  106. 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!

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

  108. 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!

  109. 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!

  110. 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!

  111. 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!!

  112. 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 🙂 

  113. 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!

  114. This looks so delicious! It’s so easy to make at home too! No need for take-out when I can make this instead!

  115. This dish looks fabulous! So crispy and coated in that sauce! Thank you for all the other recipes, too!