This sesame chicken is crispy chicken pieces tossed in a sweet and savory honey sesame sauce. This version is even better than what you would get at a restaurant!
We have Asian food at least once a week, some of our favorites include lemon chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and lettuce wraps. Sesame chicken is another one I make regularly, that delicious sauce just can’t be beat!
This is one of those copycat recipes for honey sesame chicken – you know, the battered crispy chicken tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce that’s found at places like P.F. Changs and Panda Express? I have to say, I think this homemade version is even better than what I’ve had in restaurants. My kids most definitely agree.
How do you make sesame chicken?
This recipe starts with pieces of chicken breast that are coated in eggs, flour and cornstarch. The chicken is fried to golden brown crispy perfection, then tossed in a delectable sesame sauce.
What is sesame chicken made out of?
While I typically use chicken breasts for this recipe, I’ve also made it with chicken thighs which also works well. The sauce is a combination of honey, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil and takes just minutes to put together. Sometimes I even make the sauce a day or two in advance, then store it in the fridge until we’re ready to eat.
This chicken is fried in a few inches of oil which makes for a crispy outer crust. It’s best to use a thermometer to makes sure that your frying oil is around 350 degrees F. If the oil is too hot, the outside may get overly browned before the chicken is cooked through. If the temperature is to cool, the chicken will absorb more oil and be overly greasy.
If you’re looking for a healthier version of sesame chicken, you can skip the coating and frying and simply saute chicken breast pieces in a bit of oil, then proceed with the sauce as directed.
After your chicken is done, the last step is to toss it in the sauce. You’ll want to serve your sesame chicken immediately as the crispy coating will start to soften when it hits the sauce.
I typically serve my finished chicken over steamed rice. Other great options are quinoa, chow mein noodles, or zucchini noodles.
Can I just tell you how good this crispy chicken is? My kids request it all the time. No need to call for take out when you can make your own at home!
More Asian food recipes
Sesame Chicken Video
For the chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 eggs beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- oil for frying
For the sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium if possible)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
- Place the eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine
- Place the flour and 1/2 cup of cornstarch in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Stir to combine.
- Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then into the flour. Repeat the process with all of the chicken.
- Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pan to 350 degrees F
- Add 7-8 pieces of chicken to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken
- Drain the chicken on paper towels
- While the chicken is cooking, combine the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in a bowl.
- Heat the teaspoon of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the honey sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until just thickened.
- Add the crispy chicken to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions, then serve.
This post was originally published on April 14, 2015 and was updated on September 26, 2018 with new content.
I’ve made this recipe a few times and it is always a knock out. The sauce is to die for!!! This recipe over take out every day of the week!
Could you freeze this meal and reheat??
I’d be concerned that the coating on the chicken would absorb the sauce and get soggy! You could try storing the cooked chicken and the sauce separately, then add the sauce after the chicken is reheated and crispy.
One of the VERY best. My family’s favorite go to meal. It’s going to be the meal the kids once they are grown and have moved out of the house. It’s delicious!!!
Wow! I’ve been searching for a good sesame chicken for the longest time & this recipe really blew me away! Its so close to the takeout taste but better! I will definitely be making again!
I love this recipe! My boyfriend’s favorite now! I’m curious if anyone has tried the frying part with an air fryer yet??
O.M.G.!! 🤤 Just finished making this, took 90 minutes start to finish (including rice side dish & clean-up). I substituted rice vinegar with apple cidar vinegar. This is THE BEST Sesame Chicken I’ve ever had in all my 58 years, and it’s so easy!!
Thank you for this kick a$$ recipe, I’m sharing it & I’ll definitely be making this again!! WOOT!! 🙌🏻
Cheri , your review was so enthusiastic, I just have to try it tonight!
Ive tried a lot of sesame chicken recipes and this is by far my favorite. Just as good as takeout if not better. One of the only things my kids will eat so I’ve been making it weekly for a few months. Can’t get enough.
First time making it and i think i liked it more than take out! It definitely felt healthier this way. Leave yourself an hour to cook for the first time you make it.
Phenomenal recipe! I have made many recipes from different online sites and this is by far the BEST THING I HAVE EVER MADE. Mind blowing how delicious this chicken is. Thank you so much for sharing.
Soooooo good loved by the whole fam and will be a new staple in our home
Can you make the chicken in an Air Fryer?
I haven’t tested this recipe in the air fryer so I can’t say for sure!
Do you cook the sauce if you make it in advance like a day or two before or are you just combining the ingredients and cook it later when making the chicken?
You would just combine the ingredients in advance!
So I made this and my husband and toddler who are the pickiest eaters actually loved it and came back for seconds. I’m still shocked! It was so good and even better than the restaurant stuff. I doubled the sauce and put it all on rice 👍 delicious!!
Thank you! Will be making this more often 🙂
There are a lot of great things about this recipe like how well the frying turned out, but my husband and I both thought the sauce had way too much vinegar. I will try again with 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and hopefully that makes it great.
Could this be made he without vinegar? I dont have any.
The recipe really needs vinegar to balance the other flavors, you could use a different type of vinegar such as apple cider vinegar.
Made for an open house and we couldn’t keep up with the crowd as they all came back for seconds!
This turned out great! My wife who doesn’t like chicken or Chinese food went back for seconds. I will definitely be making this again. I used apple cider vinegar since I didn’t realize I was out of rice vinegar before I started. I’ll try that next time.
This is an amazing and delicious recipe but takes way more than 40 minutes!
I loved it. I doubled the sauce. I could drink it. Will definitely make this again.