Sesame Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
Plated with rice and crunchy, stir-fried vegetables, this sesame chicken recipe makes homemade Chinese dishes taste just like they do in restaurants.

Updated: Mar. 19, 2024

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 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.

Sesame Chicken Ingredients

sesame chicken ingredientsTMB studio

  • Rice vinegar
  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic clove
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Cornstarch
  • Eggs
  • Canola oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cooked rice


Step 1: Make the sauce

making sauce for sesame chickenTMB studio

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients until blended. Set aside.

Step 2: Coat the chicken

breading chicken in egg and flourTMB studio

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

chicken frying in blue panTMB studio

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 of oil and final batch of chicken.

Step 4: Mix in the sauce

chicken coated in sesame chicken sauce in a blue panTMB studio

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.

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.

Sesame Chicken Tips

sesame chickenTMB studio

How do you tell when the chicken is done?

Because cubed chicken is much smaller than whole chicken breasts, it won’t take as long to cook. After cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, cut into one of the cubes to see if it’s no longer pink inside. The juices should run clear rather than red or pink. If there’s 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 add heat to a sesame chicken recipe. 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.

Watch how to Make Sesame Chicken

Sesame Chicken

Prep Time 30 min
Yield 4 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
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in. cubes
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • Hot cooked rice
  • thinly sliced green onions, optional


  1. In a small bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients until blended; set aside.
  2. Place eggs and cornstarch in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken, a few pieces at a time in eggs, then in cornstarch. Toss to coat; shake off excess.
  3. In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken; stir-fry until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining chicken.
  4. Stir ketchup mixture and add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Return chicken to pan; heat through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice and garnish with green onions, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 499 calories, 21g fat (3g saturated fat), 109mg cholesterol, 978mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 0 fiber), 25g protein.