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A dinner plate filled with a bed of white rice with sesame chicken on top of it and a pair of chop sticks nearby.

Sesame Chicken

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Chinese / American
Keyword: easy sesame chicken, how to make sesame chicken, how to stir-fry
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 736kcal
Sesame Chicken is not hard to make at home, at all. If you don't want to deep-fry the chicken, simply stir-fry it in the oil after you have stir-fried the garlic and ginger. Serve over a bed of rice and you'll seriously consider never ordering take out again (well, that's unlikely...but you are going to love this dish).
Print Recipe


  • Wok, or large sturdy skillet


For the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine Shaoxing
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brown sugar light
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tsp corn starch

For the Chicken

  • lbs chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese cooking wine Shaoxing
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • cup corn starch
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • peanut oil for frying, about 4 cups

For Stir-Frying

  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ginger fresh, chopped

For Serving

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 scallions chopped
  • Steamed rice


Make the Sauce

  • Place all of the sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until the corn starch has dissolved. Set aside.

Fry the Chicken

  • Heat the peanut oil in the wok to 365°F. A candy thermometer works well.
  • Meanwhile, place the chicken pieces into a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, add the 2 egg yolks, soy sauce, wine, salt, and pepper. Whisk until fully combined.
  • Add the corn starch, flour, and egg yolk mixture to the chicken. Use a large wooden spoon to stir and fully coat the chicken. There may still be some flour and corn starch at the bottom of the bowl, this is okay.
  • Working in a couple of batches, carefully add the chicken to the hot oil, shaking off excess flour before dropping it in. Use a spider, or metal tongs to move the chicken around in the oil, to prevent the pieces from sticking to each other. Fry until golden and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oil and place on a platter lined with paper towels.

Finish Off the Dish

  • After the oil has cooled somewhat, safely discard. Wipe the wok out with a paper towel.
  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, careful to not burn the garlic.
  • Pour in the sauce and stir frequently until slightly thickened, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the fried chicken and stir to coat and heat through, about 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 tbsp more of sesame oil.
  • Serve at once with steamed rice and garnished with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.


NOTE: See the video towards the top of the post to see us making this amazing dish. 
If you don't have a wok, no worries, you can easily make this in a nice large sturdy skillet.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts can be used in place of the chicken thighs, if desired. 
Sherry is a good substitute for the Chinese cooking wine.  Shaoxing can be found in the Asian section of many well-stocked supermarkets, or at Asian food markets, or online (see body of post for link). 
Because this dish comes together very quickly, it's really important to have all of the ingredients prepped and measure out before you get started.
If you don't want to fry the chicken, just prepared as written, but instead of deep-frying, simply stir-fry it after you've quickly sautéed the garlic and ginger.  Cook, stirring frequently, until golden and cooked through.  No need to remove the cooked chicken, just add the sauce in and cook until slightly thickened. 
The finished dish will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container with a lid for up to 5 days.  It can be frozen for up to a month.  Completely defrost before heating on the stove. 


Calories: 736kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 264mg | Sodium: 1335mg | Potassium: 567mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 506IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 3mg