Honey Sesame Chicken is one of my favorite homemade takeout recipes. A copycat Sesame Chicken recipe, like you enjoy at Panda Express or PF Changs. Crispy chicken pieces tossed in a savory and sweet sesame sauce, dinner done in 40 minutes!
What's Honey Sesame Chicken?
This Honey Sesame Chicken recipe is one of my favorite American-Chinese restaurant meals. Popular in food courts and restaurants like Panda Express and even in Chinese buffets.
Crispy battered chicken pieces that are tossed in a sweet and savory honey sesame sauce, garnished with sesame seeds. This is one of my favorite Chinese take-out recipes, and homemade is always healthier.
How to make Crispy Batter
The secret to Honey Sesame Chicken is the crispy battered chicken. Some people bake or air fry the chicken pieces, but it doesn't taste the same. To make the crispy batter, you need to add corn starch. The flour and cornstarch ratio is 2:1. You can also substitute cornflour with potato flour.
Chicken Breast or Chicken Thighs?
I know the default for many is to use chicken breast fillets. They're lower in fat and are easily found in supermarkets. However, when making Sesame Chicken, you should try chicken thighs. Why? Because thighs are more flavorful and juicier when fried compared to chicken breast. You can use either, but I'm on team chicken thighs!
How to make Sesame Chicken
This is a classic Chinese-American fast food recipe. Battered and fried in a wok, tossed in an easy sauce. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to make Sesame Chicken for dinner, but allow 45 minutes if it's your first time. The longest part of making this recipe is frying the battered chicken in small batches. You'll be tempted to throw it all in, but the batter will stick together into one hot mess.
- Cut chicken pieces into ¾" cubes
- Prepare the crispy batter, and place the chicken pieces in batter until coated
- Fry the chicken in small batches until cooked
- Make the Honey Sesame sauce in a wok or saucepan
- Toss the crispy chicken pieces in the honey sauce
- Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately
What to Serve with Honey Sesame Chicken
- White Rice, Brown Rice or Wild Rice
- Snow Peas with Pine Nuts
- Roasted Garlic Broccoli with Soy
- Chow Mein Noodles
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
Healthier Sesame Chicken
If you're wanting a healthier version of this recipe, here are my suggestions. Skip the batter and bake the chicken in the oven or air fryer. You can also sauté the chicken in a frying pan. Follow the recipe to make the Honey Sesame Sauce, toss and serve!
- Pre-cook the rice so it's ready to serve when your chicken is tossed in the honey sesame sauce
- The longer the chicken sits in the sauce, the soggier it gets. Quickly toss to coat and serve immediately
- Substitute Shaoxing Cooking Wine with Sake, or even a Dry Sherry
- Instead of using a wok or frying pan, try a deep fryer
Asian Recipes You'll Love
- Crispy Sweet and Sour Pork
- Asian Roast Potatoes
- Salt and Pepper Shrimp
- Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Chinese Roast Duck in Master Stock
A Honey Sesame Chicken recipe that's easy to make and everyone will love. No need for Chinese takeout, this homemade copycat recipe is healthier and msg free! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 pound /500g chicken thighs cut into ¾-inch cubes
- oil for frying
Crispy Chicken Batter
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup corn starch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cups water
Honey Sesame Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine Shaoxing Wine
- 1 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
- green onion to garnish
Corn Starch Slurry
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
Making Crispy Batter
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, egg, and salt. Add water and whisk until smooth.
- Add the chicken pieces to the batter, mixing together so all the pieces are coated. Leave the chicken in the batter until you are ready to fry.
Frying Sesame Chicken
- In a wok or saucepan, add enough oil to fry. Should be at least 2 to 3 inches deep. Heat oil until hot, around 350°F.
- Slowly add the battered chicken, one piece at a time, and fry in small batches. Fry for about 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Don't allow the pieces to stick together while frying, constantly turning the chicken.
- Remove from wok onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat the process until the chicken is cooked.
Honey Sesame Sauce
- Mix together the honey, Chinese Cooking Wine, Rice Wine Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil and water. Set aside.
- In a glass, mix together the cornstarch and water and make a slurry. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok and quickly fry the chopped garlic, no more than 30 seconds. Add the honey sauce and heat until it bubbles. Add the cornstarch slurry and cook it for about 1-2 minutes, until sauce thickens.
Making Sesame Chicken
- Toss the crispy chicken pieces in the hot honey sesame sauce until fully coated. Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions.