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!

Crispy sesame chicken in a pan, coated in a sweet and savory sauce and sesame seeds.

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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.

Coated chicken breast pieces on a sheet pan, ready to be fried.

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.

Fried chicken breast pieces on a sheet pan.

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.

Crispy chicken in a pan with sesame sauce.

I typically serve my finished chicken over steamed rice. Other great options are quinoa, chow mein noodles, or zucchini noodles.

Crispy sesame chicken served over steamed rice.

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

4.98 from 240 votes

Sesame Chicken

AuthorSara Welch
Crispy sesame chicken in a pan, coated in a sweet and savory sauce and sesame seeds.
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!
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Serves 6 servings

Ingredients 

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
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

The sauce can be made up to two days before you plan to serve it.

Nutrition

Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 1648mg | Potassium: 518mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 2.8mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1.9mg

This post was originally published on April 14, 2015 and was updated on September 26, 2018 with new content.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My favorite meal and it’s super easy to make. Coming from a 16 year old. I did season my chicken with ginger powder as well as I added som fresh grated ginger to the sauce.

  2. 5 stars
    This is a fantastic recipe. Many sesame chicken recipes are too vinegary, but this one is fantastic.

    I do find that 1.5 lbs of chicken yields 3-4 servings, not 6 like the recipe says. Maybe that’s intended for children.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. We made it for dinner with leftovers and before the night ended, there were no more leftovers. 😁

  4. 5 stars
    W recipe. Poppop said it was “excellent” and he can’t be paid to give compliments.

    I didn’t have any sesame oil in the house and the recipe was sprung on me quite suddenly by my brother, so I omitted it (key ingredient, I know). I also used minced onion instead of the fresh stuff.

    Definitely recommend a huge pan for frying (I used a Wok and could only fry like 8/time for a double recipe). Also prepare sauce mixture ahead of time.

    Thanks.

  5. 5 stars
    I make this dish at least twice a month. My kids love this dish. I’ve shared it with several people and everyone loves it! Depict and easy!

  6. I first made this in 2020 when most restaurants were closed where I lived at the time. It was so good, one country move, then three house moves later it’s still on my regular meal rotation.

  7. If I was going to make this ahead of time to bring to a family with a new baby, how would you suggest preparing it / reheating?

    1. You’d want to keep the chicken separate from the sauce. They can reheat the chicken in the oven until crispy then toss it in the sauce.

    1. I found this on Google…
      Red wine vinegar comes from fermenting red wine down further while rice vinegar is made by fermenting rice down. Red wine vinegar is a great substitute for rice vinegar but tends to alter the color of your final dish and needs a bit of sugar added to get the same level of sweetness. Use this in a 1 to 1 ratio

  8. 5 stars
    Made it. Was a HUGE hit with my family. I missed the spice I get when I order it at a restaurant – not sure what type of spice they add, but it always seems to have a kick. I added Sriracha sauce and kimchee with mine, which gave it a kick. I loved the batter and how the chicken fries up – I will definitely try that batter on shrimp.

  9. 5 stars
    Phenomenal Recipe all ready made it once cant wait to make it for guests when they come over.😋

  10. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! Cannot wait ti try tonight! I hope you’ll see this bec I have a question! Can I use a fry daddy to fry the chicken pieces instead of doing it on a pot?

  11. Going to try this tonight – but can I airfry the chicken instead? Would you suggest prepping the chicken any differently? Thanks!

    1. This recipe has not been tested in the air fryer. I think it could work, you’d just want to make sure to spray the coated chicken pieces with a little oil before putting them in the air fryer.