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.

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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.