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Crispy Honey Sesame Chicken

This homemade Crispy Sesame Chicken is just as good as what you usually get from your favorite Chinese takeout place! Fried chicken is covered in a sweet and spicy sesame sauce to create a dinner that the whole family will adore.

Love homemade tae out? Try my Orange Chicken recipe! SO good!

Easy Honey Sesame Chicken

Chinese takeout makes for an easy dinner and, most of the time, it’s great-tasting comfort food. That said, my mission today is to convince you to give this Honey Sesame Chicken recipe a try in your very own kitchen! It might not sound like it, but this fried chicken is actually really easy to make. Like, really easy. I’m talking 30 minutes in the kitchen and you’re out of there, easy. Needless to say, I love to make this dinner when our schedule gets crazy, because it’s super quick, and I know everybody will eat it without making a fuss.

Not convinced yet? Let’s dive into the specifics, then! Sliced chicken thighs are breaded and then fried until they’re crispy and golden-brown. After that, they’re dunked in a savory sauce, made with honey, soy sauce, chili sauce, and a touch of brown sugar.

What You’ll Need

In order to make your sesame chicken, you’ll need to round up ingredients for the breading, the sauce, and the chicken itself. Here’s the complete list:

  • Chicken: I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into chunks.
  • Eggs: These will bind your breading/batter to the chicken.
  • Batter Mixture: Combine cornstarch, all purpose flour, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Cornstarch helps with crispiness and beautiful golden-brown color.
  • Vegetable Oil: For frying the chicken.
  • Soy Sauce: You can use low sodium soy sauce if you like.
  • Brown Sugar: I like to use light brown sugar rather than dark brown sugar.
  • Ketchup: For tangy, savory flavor.
  • Sweet Chili Sauce: You can also use a spicier chili sauce if you want more heat.
  • Honey: To add some sweet to the spicy!
  • Vinegar: I like to use rice vinegar in this sauce.
  • Garlic: Minced.
  • Sesame Oil: For another touch of savory flavor.

How to Make Sesame Chicken

Making sesame chicken breaks down into three basic steps: breading the chicken, frying the chicken, and whisking together the sauce. Nothing too complicated here – as I mentioned above, all of this can be done in just about half and hour. Maybe less if you’re an expert at breading. (Or is it battering? Pick your favorite!)

These are the steps to making the best sesame chicken:

  1. Make the Sauce: In a medium bowl whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the Chicken and Breading: Pat the chicken dry and set aside, then place the eggs in a medium bowl and whisk. In a large bowl whisk together the cornstarch, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Heat the Oil: Fill a large skillet about 1/2-inch deep with oil. Bring the oil to 350°F over medium heat.
  4. Bread and Fry the Chicken: Working in batches, dip the chicken into the egg, and then dredge into the flour mixture, coating completely. Fry the chicken in the oil until well browned on all sides, 5 – 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  5. Cook the Chicken in the Sauce: When all the chicken is fried, drain the grease from the skillet. Place the skillet back onto the burner on medium heat and add in the prepared sauce. Cook until the sauce just starts to bubble and then add the chicken back into the skillet and toss to coat.

Tips for Success

And that’s that! Before you get started though, I’ll leave you with a couple more tips on how to get the best results with your honey sesame chicken:

  • Can I Use Chicken Breasts? Sure! Chicken thighs are my preferred cut of meat, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts work just fine.
  • Serve the Chicken Immediately: The sauce tends to soften the chicken’s coating a little, taking away some of the crispiness. So, with that in mind, I recommend serving the chicken as soon as you’ve added it to the sesame sauce.
  • Can I Bake the Chicken? If you want to take a healthier route, you can definitely bake your battered chicken instead of frying it. It won’t be as crispy, but it will still be flavorful and delicious!
  • Can I Make the Sauce Ahead? Sure! You can make the sauce a day ahead of time, if you like, so save time later. It stores well in the fridge.

Serving Suggestions

Need ideas on what to serve with your homemade sesame chicken? No problem. Here are some of my go-to options:

  • Rice: My favorite way to serve sesame chicken is over a bed of rice. You can use white rice, brown rice, quinoa, etc.
  • Noodles: If you’re not so big on rice, feel free to make rice noodles or chow mein noodles instead – both make a great addition to this meal!
  • Vegetables: I like to keep it simple with something like steamed or roasted broccoli. Feel free to do other veggies, too.
Sesame chicken on a plate with rice

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

The best way to store sesame chicken is in an airtight container, in the fridge, for 4-5 days. It will probably lose crispiness when you go to reheat it, but you can do so over low heat in a pan/skillet on your stovetop.

Make sure to save any extra sauce you might have in the fridge, too!

Can I Freeze Homemade Sesame Chicken?

Definitely! Feel free to save your sesame chicken in the freezer instead of the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container for 2-3 months, and thaw it overnight in the fridge when you want to eat it again.

Print
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Sesame chicken in a bowl coated with sauce

Crispy Honey Sesame Chicken

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

This homemade Crispy Sesame Chicken is just as good as what you usually get from your favorite Chinese takeout place! Fried chicken is covered in a sweet and spicy sesame sauce to create a dinner that the whole family will adore.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

For the Chicken:

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil to fry

Instructions

  1. For the Sauce: In a medium bowl whisk together all the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, chili sauce, honey, vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil). Set aside.
  2. For the Chicken: Pat the chicken dry and set aside.
  3. Place the eggs in a medium bowl and whisk.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together the cornstarch, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
  5. Fill a large skillet about 1/2- inch deep with oil. Bring the oil to 350°F over medium heat.
  6. Working in batches, dip the chicken into the egg, and then dredge into the flour mixture, coating completely.
  7. Fry the chicken in the oil until well browned on all sides, 5 – 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  8. When all the chicken is fried, drain the grease from the skillet. Place the skillet back onto the burner on medium heat and add in the prepared sauce. Cook until the sauce just starts to bubble and then add the chicken back into the skillet and toss to coat.

Notes

  • Can I Use Chicken Breasts? Sure! Chicken thighs are my preferred cut of meat, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts work just fine.
  • Serve the Chicken Immediately: The sauce tends to soften the chicken’s coating a little, taking away some of the crispiness. So, with that in mind, I recommend serving the chicken as soon as you’ve added it to the sesame sauce.
  • Can I Bake the Chicken? If you want to take a healthier route, you can definitely bake your battered chicken instead of frying it. It won’t be as crispy, but it will still be flavorful and delicious!
  • Can I Make the Sauce Ahead? Sure! You can make the sauce a day ahead of time, if you like, so save time later. It stores well in the fridge.

Storage: Store this chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Freeze the same way for 2-3 months.

Keywords: honey sesame chicken, sesame chicken

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