Easy Sesame Chicken

Crispy Sesame Chicken is easy to make with super crispy batter and delicious sesame sauce you’ll skip the takeout and done in just 30 minutes!

One of our favorite take out options when we aren’t looking for a recipe that is sweeter like Panda Express Orange Chicken (Copycat) or Sweet and Sour Chicken and something not quite as spicy as General Tso’s Chicken.

 Chinese Sesame Chicken
Sesame Chicken Recipe

There’s a number of recipes you’ll come across. Some are healthier versions without breading while some are stir fries. This is the classic mall food Chinese takeout version. Because there’s so many different versions lets go over some of the other options. This version is the best one though, especially if you’re reliving your mall food court childhood.


Baked Sesame Chicken: You can dredge the chicken in flour, egg and finally in panko. Spray the pieces of chicken with some canola oil spray and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Toss with sesame sauce then continue baking for an additional ten minutes.

Honey Sesame Chicken: Replace the brown sugar in the recipe with honey for a more pronounced honey sesame chicken recipe. I also love making Chinese Honey Chicken too without any of the sesame flavors.

Sesame Chicken Stir Fry: Don’t bread the chicken – just cook it in the skillet with  a bit of sesame oil and canola oil. Add fresh garlic and vegetables (bell pepper, onion and zucchini)  to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then pout the sauce in and cook until reduced (you may need to add a bit of cornstarch and water).

What to serve with Sesame Chicken?

We love to serve Chinese Steamed Rice, Lo Mein, steamed broccoli and easy recipes like Crab Rangoon and Egg Rolls for appetizers dipped in Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Crispy Sesame Chicken


There are a couple of ways to make sesame sauce. This recipe includes soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar and cornstarch where more in depth recipes include dark soy sauce and shaoxing rice wine.

How do you make sesame chicken? A quick and easy tempura fried chicken in bite size pieces is tossed with an easy sauce made with rice wine and soy sauce sweet and spicy mixture. Garnish with sesame seeds or even green onions.


  • Is Sesame Chicken Fried? Yes, in it’s traditional form it is dredged in batter and deep fried.
  • Is Sesame Chicken Sweet? Yes, with the addition of brown sugar it is slightly less sweet than orange chicken.
  • Can you reheat Sesame Chicken? Once you serve the chicken the sauce starts soaking up in to the crispy chicken. Because of this reheating won’t result in crispy chicken, but it will still be tasty.
  • White Meat Sesame Chicken: Use skinless chicken breasts in this Sesame Chicken in place of chicken thighs. There’s no other recipe adjustment, you will fry for one less minute.

Tools used in the making of this Sesame Chicken:
Wok: The best way to cook quickly and over high heat for Asian dishes, this wok is the perfect stir fry pan.
Rice Vinegar: Readily available in almost all grocers these days, this is a great vinegar to keep on hand. It does have a hint of sweetness to it, so don’t replace with any other vinegar except perhaps a red wine vinegar if you absolutely need to.
Sesame Oil: The flavor of sesame oil in this dish is unmistakeable and not really able to be substituted. Some Asian grocery stores will try and sell less expensive options that aren’t actually sesame oil, so just be sure the one you’re buying is authentic sesame oil.

Easy Sesame Chicken

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Chinese Sesame Chicken
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Crispy Sesame Chicken

Crispy Sesame Chicken is easy to make with super crispy batter and delicious sesame sauce you’ll skip the takeout!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Crispiest Chinese Sesame Chicken, Sesame Chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 361 kcal
Author Sabrina Snyder


Sesame Chicken Sauce Ingredients:

Tempura Batter:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup cold seltzer water


  • 1 lb chicken thighs boneless and skinless cut into 1? chunks
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • vegetable oil for deep frying


  1. To make the sauce mix all the ingredients together and to prepare the batter, add the ingredients together until just combined.

  2. Add the chicken pieces to the batter and coat while heating 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees and add the chicken to the oil in batches frying until golden brown.

  3. In a large wok or skillet add the sesame oil to the frying pan and add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.

  4. Add in the sauce and the chicken and coat quickly and serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds.

Nutrition Facts
Crispy Sesame Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 361 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 623mg27%
Potassium 227mg6%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Crispy Chinese Sesame Chicken

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I love this recipe, but it is just too much rice vinegar. That is all we could taste. I will cut it in half next time. The chicken was perfect. This is a fairly easy recipe.

  2. Not sure what happened. I made it verbatim from the recipe and the sauce was very watery. It didn’t stick to the chicken at all. The chicken itself was good. There was just no flavor. The end result was chicken soaking in Watery liquid.

  3. I have tried to make Chinese dishes at home and the results have always been less than satisfying, but the very first time I made this, it tasted as good as any Sesame Chicken I have ever gotten for takeout. This is now my go-to recipe for Sesame Chicken, so good. The only thing I found was that frying the tempura battered chicken took way longer than I expected. I also used chicken breast instead of thighs and the chicken was still moist and delicious.

  4. I recommend this recipe but the last step is not self-explanatory for a beginner. You are supposed to “simmer” the sauce until it gets thick or it has a caramelized texture (around 2-3 min), and then you can add the chicken and coat it quickly.
    Good luck to everyone and enjoy!

    1. This info would have been great to know an hour ago. I had chicken soaking in some watery liquid. I’ll never get that half hour of my life back.

  5. We loved this recipe! The 2nd time around I added a few tbsp of honey and like it even better. This will be a staple in our house from now on. ?

  6. I’m Sita, the one who wrote all ready. I just wanted to say; I have celiac desiseas, so I made it gluten free, and it works so well!!

  7. Hi! My and my parents LOOOOOOVE this recipe! Tomorrow’s my birthday and I’ve requested it for dinner! It’s PERFECT, comforting, sweet, spicy, tangy, salty, sesame-e, crispy, saucy, and wonderful!!! One question: It’s pretty crispy, but how do you make it crispier, and in the shape you want it, if you know what I mean?
    All in all, I would recommend this recipe to anyone (already have), so thank you so so much!

  8. I’m so glad I found this recipe. I didn’t have sesame seeds but it didn’t matter, it was absolutely delicious. I will definitely make this again! Next I want to try your General Tso’s chicken. Thanks!

  9. My daughter and I made this last night for dinner…followed the recipe exactly, except we doubled the recipe and used 1lb chicken thighs and 1 lb breasts. The chicken was very crispy and the sauce was sweet with just enough zing form the red pepper flakes. We tossed in some cooked broccoli when we got to the wok step. We were high-fiving each other as we took our first bites. Waaaay better than take-out!
    When making the sauce..it seems at first like it may be too runny, but when we added it to the wok when we did the stir fry step it thickened up really quickly.
    This recipe is a keeper and we will be making it again for sure.

  10. The tempura batter was vertY light
    This was the best attempt I’ve made at sesame chicken My family loved it. I hope it works the second time as well as the first.


      1. I made your recipe for sesame chicken and it was good but I used to go to a Chinese restaurant and get the best sesame chicken I have ever had. I’ve not found a restaurant or recipe that is close to it. The restaurant has closed and I don’t know how they made it. The sauce was pink and it was sweet but not too sweet. I didn’t taste the rice vinegar or much soy sauce in it. Do you have any idea what they could have done to make it so different from all the other places? I’m not trying to insult you. Your receipe was good, like I said, I’m just trying to find a recipe like the one they used. If you have any suggestions, I would welcome and appreciate them. Thanks

        1. Hi sorry just saw this comment. Do you have a name for the restaurant? I could look at old yelp photos if they have any and see what it looked like. Without more detail it would be hard to help. Happy Thanksgiving!

        2. Hi, I don’t know the exact ingredients that your fav restaurant might have used however since it’s a Chinese restaurant, they probably experimented with other asian ingredients that are usually used for sauces. The pink color was probably food coloring, I can’t think of an ingredient that could give it that pink color naturally. If the pink color was detected then it means that they didn’t use dark ingredients like oyster sauce or soy sauce in heavy amounts otherwise the sauce would have a browner color. If you didn’t taste the rice vinegar then maybe they didn’t use it. They might have used sugar, cornsyrup or honey for the sweetness.

          Can you give more details? Was the sauce clear looking? What was the complete flavour profile? They could have used Msg to give it more flavour. They might have experienced with umami flavours like mushroom, oyster sauce, dashi broth, tahini maybe or even Chinese wine. If it had sourness but no vinegar taste and smell then they might have used Chinese wine for the sour profile instead. Hard to tell without more details, you’ll probably have to experiment different sauces before you figure it out.

  11. Wow So good!!! Both my husband and I said it tasted 10x better than take out. The batter is crispy, light, and delicious. Will definitely be making this again !!

  12. OMG!
    I have never, ever posted on a recipe…. but, this was the best sesame chicken EVER! And I made it gluten free! Tapioca flour and corn starch. I also dipped them in some GF Panko before I cooked them. Hubby and I were both speechless!!!

  13. This was outstanding. Better than takeout. Did the recipe exactly how it’s written except subbed shrimp for the chicken and cooked the sauce to thicken it up before I added the shrimp. Excellent! Will definitely be making again!

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