How to Make Sesame Chicken Just Like Your Favorite Take-Out Order
Plated with rice and crunchy, stir-fried vegetables, this sesame chicken recipe makes homemade Chinese dishes taste just like they do in the restaurants.
Making a sesame chicken recipe at home is an easy way to bring a somewhat boring cut of chicken to life. The ingredients are relatively simple and will make for juicy, flavorful chicken you can pair with all your other take-out must-haves. Start with an appetizer of crispy baked wontons or potstickers, prep sushi rice or lo mein noodles to serve with the chicken and pair with a refreshing side of spinach almond salad.
What is sesame chicken?
Sesame chicken is a simple chicken dish made of cubed chicken breasts cooked in a sweet sauce and topped with sesame seeds. It’s most similar to General Tso’s chicken. The difference is that General Tso’s has a bit more heat from hoisin sauce and red pepper flakes, and it’s often made with chicken thighs rather than chicken breast.
How to Make Sesame Chicken
This recipe from Taste of Home Community Cook Cori Cooper makes four servings.
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- Hot cooked rice
- Thinly sliced green onions, optional
Step 1: Create the sauce
In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients until blended. Set aside.
Step 2: Coat the chicken
Place the eggs and cornstarch in separate, shallow bowls. Dip the chicken in the eggs, a few pieces at a time. Then dredge through the cornstarch. Toss to coat, and shake off the excess.
Step 3: Stir fry
In a wok (or a large skillet), heat two tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken; stir-fry until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan. Repeat with the remaining two tablespoons oil and final batch of chicken.
Step 4: Mix in the sauce
Stir the sauce mixture and add it to the pan. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and heat through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice and garnish with green onions, if desired.
Tips for Making Sesame Chicken
How to tell when the chicken is done
Because cubed chicken is much smaller than whole chicken breasts, it will not take as long to cook. After cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, you can cut into one of the cubes to see if it is no longer pink inside. The juices should run clear rather than red or pink. If there is still a pink tint or pink juices, continue cooking.
How do you make sesame chicken spicier?
Chili oil or chili sauce are two Asian sauces that will add heat to your sesame chicken recipe. You can add the oil as you cook the chicken or top the sesame chicken with chili sauce after plating over a bed of rice.
Can you make sesame chicken without a wok?
You can absolutely make sesame chicken without a wok. The rounded bowl-shape of a wok makes stir-frying a bit easier because you can toss meat or veggies without fear that they’ll land all over the stovetop. If you don’t have a wok, use a large skillet with a high lip, if possible. Cook as normal.
How to store sesame chicken
Store sesame chicken in an airtight container for up to four days. To reheat, place back in a skillet and heat through. If needed, make a little extra sauce to toss with the chicken while it reheats.