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Sesame Chicken

Forget about take-out because this finger lickin’ Sesame Chicken takes less time to make than running to your favorite restaurant – and it’s healthier and tastes even better! The crispy, juicy chicken is tossed in an outrageously delicious sticky, tangy, sweet, savory sauce that’s a little bit spicy and a whole lot of YUM punctuated by zesty ginger, punchy garlic and chili sauce.  Although Sesame Chicken is often deep fried to make it crispy, this recipe is cooked in minimal oil in a nonstick skillet but is still unbelievable crispy – winning!  You can stick with just the Sesame Chicken or add a medley of stir-fried veggies and homemade egg rolls to round out the meal.
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 6 servings



  • 1 ½ lbs. chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp EAGH ginger powder, garlic powder, onion powder. paprika, salt, pepper
  • canola or vegetable oil for pan frying




  • MAKE SAUCE: Whisk the Sesame Sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl until the cornstarch is completely dissolved; set aside.
  • BREAD CHICKEN: Combine chicken and eggs in a freezer bag and turn to coat. In a separate large freezer bag, combine flour, cornstarch, and seasonings. Remove chicken and dab off excess egg with paper towels and add to flour bag. (To quickly remove excess egg, I plop the chicken on a wad of paper towels using a slotted spoon.) Shake chicken until well coated, pressing coating into chicken from outside of the bag.
  • COOK: Heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a NONSTICK skillet (you may use less oil but it will be less crispy or more oil for more crispy). Working in two batches, shake off excess breading from chicken and add to the skillet in a single layer. Cook for about 4-6 minutes, or until cooked through, flipping halfway. Remove chicken to a paper towel lined plate. Add another drizzle of oil to the skillet if needed and repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken and wipe out skillet.
  • ADD SAUCE. Whisk the sauce again to recombine. Add to the skillet and bring to a simmer, stirring often until thickened, about 1 minute.
  • COMBINE: Add the chicken and toss to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve immediately.


ingredient notes

  • Oyster sauce:  I experimented with and without oyster sauce and this sticky chicken is 10X better with! You can find oyster sauce in the Asian aisle of any supermarket for only a few dollars.  Please use QUALITY oyster sauce such as Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman.  You truly can taste the difference and will be sorely disappointed with less quality brands.
  • What if I’m allergic to shellfish?  If you're allergic to shellfish, use LEE KUM KEE Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce instead.
  • Asian sweet chili sauceIs a secret ingredient I like to use instead of just adding additional sugar AKA it's sugar with flavor.  It can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store.  It is sometimes labeled “Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.” 
  • Rice wine:  Adds a sweetness and depth of flavor.  I use “Kikkoman Aji-Mirin: Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning” which is commonly found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or you can Amazon it. I highly suggest you google image before you head off to the grocery store so you know exactly what you are looking for.  The best substitute for rice wine is pale dry sherry. Do NOT substitute rice wine with rice vinegar, they are NOT the same.  Rice vinegar will add an acidic flavor without the sweetness.


  • How to store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • How to freeze:   Cook chicken according to directions then let cool to room temperature.  Space chicken apart on a baking sheet then transfer to the freezer.  Flash freeze for 1-2 hours or until the chicken is solid. This prevents the chicken from clumping together.  Add chicken to a freezer size bag, squeeze out excess air and label. Add the sesame sauce ingredients (don’t simmer) to a separate freezer safe, airtight container.   Freeze for up to 3 months.  When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating in microwave:  Take care not to overcook the chicken or it can become rubbery in the microwave.  Microwave for one minute then at 20 second intervals until warmed through.  
  • How to reheat on the stove:  Leftovers are best reheated on the stove, even if they are small portions.  To reheat, heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat.  Once hot, add the chicken, stirring occasionally until warmed through.