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Sesame Chicken

What do we want for dinner? A mountain of fluffy rice in a bowl topped with a heap of sesame chicken. Sprinkle that with some sliced green onions, and dry the tears of joy from your eyes.

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a bowl of homemade sesame chicken on top of white rice surrounded by bowl of green onions, sesame seeds for garnishing
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Crispy Sesame Chicken

It’s amazing that we can order a dish a million times, but it’s not until we make it ourselves that we understand just how good it is. Sesame chicken is one of those recipes we always order for takeout, but had never tried to make at home. The easy part of making sesame chicken is that the ingredient list features many items you might already have in your pantry. The fun part of making sesame chicken is that you get to deep fry chicken to crispy perfection. Were you looking for a new favorite recipe? Something to make again and again? Our homemade sesame chicken is way better than delivery!

ingredients to make homemade sesame chicken in prep bowls: vegetable oil, chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil & chili paste

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Sesame Chicken Ingredients

In addition to the chicken (breast or thighs are best) and the batter ingredients (egg, flour, cornstarch, and salt), you’ll need to gather the following items to prepare the sauce:

  • Rice vinegar

  • Vegetable oil

  • Sesame oil

  • Honey

  • Brown sugar

  • Chili paste, (we like Sambal Oelek)

  • Fresh garlic

  • Fresh ginger

raw chicken breast bites being dipped into a bowl of beaten egg and then rolled in a bowl flour and cornstarch
chicken bites breaded in egg, flour and corn starch being deep fried in a pot of vegetable oil
soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, brown sugar, and Sambal oelek being mixed together in a glass bowl
sesame oil sauce being added to a skillet with garlic and ginger

How To Make Sesame Chicken

  1. Prepare the chicken by seasoning it with salt.

  2. Make the dipping bowls–one for the egg bath and one for the flour and cornstarch mixture–and batter the chicken. A dip in the egg and then in the dry mixture.

  3. Heat the oil and fry the chicken until golden brown. Keep an eye on the oil temperature. If it cools too much, wait a moment before adding more meat. This will ensure that the chicken cooks efficiently and perfectly.

  4. Make the sauce, adding the fried chicken until the sauce coats every nook and cranny.

  5. Serve with rice, topping the chicken and any remaining sauce. Sprinkle with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

deep fried chicken bites being tossed in homemade sesame sauce in a skillet
a bowl of homemade sesame chicken on top of white rice surrounded by bowl of green onions, sesame seeds for garnishing

What To Serve With Sesame Chicken

The classic restaurant pairing would be vegetables like broccoli or corn. Our Thai Zoodle Salad is a little less traditional, but would make a great accompaniment. A fresh crunchy salad like Cucumber Salad or Caesar Salad would complement the sweet and sour richness of sesame chicken nicely.

homemade sesame chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds and green onions

Tools You’ll Need

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Homemade By The Modern Proper

We love discovering that we can make something at home that’s as good (and even better!) than what we’ve been ordering from a restaurant all this time. Here’s a few more restaurant imitation recipes to make at home:

a bowl of homemade sesame chicken on top of white rice surrounded by bowl of green onions, sesame seeds for garnishing

Open Sesame (Chicken)

Did you make this better-than-takeout homemade sesame chicken recipe? Snap a photo of your bountiful bowls and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed them to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Sesame Chicken

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 749

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying

Sauce

  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste, (we like Sambal Oelek)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch

For serving

  • Cooked rice
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (see Note)

Method

  1. Season the chicken all over with the salt.

  2. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the cornstarch and flour. Working with one piece at a time, dip the chicken into the egg and turn to coat. Allow the excess egg to drip off, then dip the chicken into the flour mixture, gently pressing to adhere.

  3. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of a large, heavy pot. Add the vegetable oil to the pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil reaches 325°F, carefully add the chicken to the hot oil, 8 to 10 pieces at a time, and cook until golden brown and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, brown sugar, and Sambal.

  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer.

  6. In a second small bowl, combine the cornstarch with ½ cup cold water and mix until smooth. Add the slurry to the sauce and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes more.

  7. Add the fried chicken to the sauce and cook, stirring, until coated with sauce and warmed through, about 2 minutes.

  8. Divide the rice between bowls. Top with the chicken and any remaining sauce. Garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.


Note: Toasted sesame seeds can usually be found in the International aisle of most grocery stores. You can also toast white sesame seeds in a dry skillet set over medium-high heat (you can use the large skillet before adding the oil to it!), then transfer to a bowl.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories749
  • Protein42 g
  • Carbohydrates55 g
  • Total Fat42 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol191 mg
  • sodium2131 mg
  • Total Sugars22 g

Sesame Chicken

Questions & Reviews

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  • Keenan

    Hi! Just wanted to say that this recipe can easily be made gluten free if you simply sub the soy sauce for "braggs liquid aminos." It literally tastes just like soy sauce but without the gluten and with added vitamins/minerals! Check it out for yourself!

    Thanks Keenan! Great tip for those who want to make it gluten free.

  • Matt

    Another hit. As long as you don't mind doing the extra work deep frying your chicken, this is an excellent dish. It comes out just cleaner and better-quality than the take-out chicken.
    I followed the note and toasted my sesame seeds before preparing the sauce which was a nice touch.
    I also used a gluten-free flour mix. It came out just fine but AP flour gets a little more golden when frying.

    Thanks Matt, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Camden Moore

    10/10 amazing I am going to do this again

    YAY! That is great to hear, thanks Camden!

  • Kay

    My family went crazy for this! So delicious, simpler than I thought, much more affordable than takeout for the whole family. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    YAY! So glad everyone loved it Kay!