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

4.99 from 262 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!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Serves 6 servings


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


  • 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.


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


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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Recipe Rating


  1. Great recipe! Add a half teaspoon of grated ginger and a 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes to make this right on the money.

  2. 5 stars
    I can’t stop making this recipe!!! I am a huge lover of sesame chicken and can be picky with the sauce! But this is better than takeout for sure! The only adjustment I make is cooking the chicken in an air fryer and it turns out so crispy!

    1. Hi Samantha, do you mind sharing how you made it work in the air fryer? I would love to try it that way.

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious. Added a bit of sambal because we like a little heat ! Will definitely add this to our rotation!