What is Sesame Chicken
Sesame chicken is a popular Chinese dish consisting of chicken pieces coated with cornstarch and eggs, and then deep-fried till crispy. The chicken is then covered with a sweet and sour sauce made of brown sugar, raw honey, vinegar, and soy sauce. Its name is derived from the sesame seeds mixed with the sauce and coated over the chicken. You can serve this classic with steamed rice to soak up the sauce.
It's so easy to make sesame chicken at home, you'll wonder why you ever ordered it! The key is just a few simple ingredients and a little free time on your hands.
Sesame Chicken vs General Tso's Chicken
Sesame chicken and General Tso’s chicken are both popular menu items in Chinese restaurants, but which is better? Both are crispy chicken entrees, with General Tso's featuring a sweet and spicy glaze, and sesame chicken having a savory sesame-flavored sauce. One thing is for certain, both dishes are finger-licking good!
This recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken breast, which I prefer. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand. You can substitute with chicken thighs, or even tofu if you want to make this dish vegetarian friendly.
Sesame Chicken Sauce
The sauce is usually made with a combination of soy sauce, cornstarch, a dash of rice vinegar or lemon juice, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, ketchup, and honey. Adding cornstarch to the sauce will help thicken it up so it doesn't get too runny. The main idea behind making sesame chicken, which applies to almost all Asian deep-fried preparations, is that of a "velveting" process. This means inserting the food item into a mixture of eggs and cornstarch to form a thick coating. This allows the food to retain moisture while keeping its crunchiness.
Some versions out there that don’t add roasted sesame seeds into the sauce but use them for garnishing only. I prefer to add extra sesame seeds into the sauce also, so the sauce has the rich flavor and fragrance of the sesame seeds!
This sauce is absolutely DELICIOUS!!! We use sesame chicken sauce on many things, like beef, pork, and chicken.
How do you make Sesame Chicken
The most common way to prepare sesame chicken is by frying the chicken breasts or thighs and then coating them in a sesame sauce. Start by cutting the chicken breast into bite-size pieces. Secondly, soak them in the premade batter. The premade batter is a mixture of eggs, cornstarch, and a little bit of salt and black pepper.
Then deep fry the chicken breast until its turns golden brown. Don’t forget to push the chicken breast pieces around during the deep fry process, so they don’t stick together. Set the deep-fried pieces on a rack with some paper towels underneath to drain the excess oil. Set aside to cool. Deep frying the chicken breast before adding them to the sauce helps develop more flavor in the dish.
Next, in the same wok, dump out the oil and leave a little bit of oil, and heat through. Stir-fry the fresh minced garlic until fragrant. Slowly pour the premade sauce mixture into the wok. Keep stirring around in a circle until the mixture turns thicker and bubbled. Lastly, coat the chicken pieces with the sauce.
This chicken recipe is not only a one-pot dish, but it's also flexible! Instead of deep frying the chicken pieces in oil, sauté in a nonstick pan to keep the calories down.
Storing and Reheating
You can store leftover sesame chicken in the fridge for up to 3 days. In a plastic freezer bag, sesame chicken can be stored for 3 months. Turn your oven on to 350°F (180°C). Cover your chicken pieces with foil and spread them out on a baking tray. The sesame chicken should be heated for 10-15 minutes, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes of cooking to crisp up the batter. Serve immediately after removing from the oven.
This dish makes for a wholesome dinner that is tasty and easy to prepare. I hope you enjoyed the post. I would love to hear from you, leave your comments below.
- 1 pound chicken breast boneless and skinless, cut into small bite-size pieces
- cooking oil for deep frying
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
- ½ cup raw honey
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- green onion for garnish
- 3 tablespoons roasted white sesame seeds leave half goes into the sauce, half for garnish, adjust recording your taste
- Cut the chicken breast into small bite-size pieces. Add all the sauce ingredients together in a measuring cup and mix up until everything is combined.
- In a large deep bowl, mix the chicken breast pieces, cornstarch, and eggs. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper over the batter.
- Heat cooking oil in a wok over high-medium heat and deep-fry the chicken pieces until they turn golden brown.
- Set the deep-fried pieces on a rack with some paper towels underneath to drain the excess oil. Set aside to cool.
- In the same wok, dump out the oil, leave a little oil, and heat through. Add in the minced fresh garlic and stir fry a little bit or until fragrant. Slowly pour the premade sauce mixture into the wok. Keep stirring around in a circle until the mixture turns thicker and bubbled.
- Toss the deep-fried chicken pieces with the sauce, making sure to coat the chicken pieces with the sauce evenly.
- Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and green onions.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!