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.
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).
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Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Yes, in its traditional form it is dredged in batter and deep fried.
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.
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.
Sesame Chicken Sauce Ingredients:
- 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.
Photo used in a previous version of this post.