Sesame chicken is a beloved dish that represents the diverse and intricate flavor profiles of Chinese cuisine. While its flavor is undeniably delicious, traditional versions of this dish, often found on takeout menus, can come packed with calories, sodium, and fat. However, with the right technique, you can create a homemade version that's not only healthier but also an outstanding reflection of the original beloved flavor. In this instructional post, we'll guide you through the process of making sesame chicken at home, ensuring you end up with a meal that satisfies your cravings for Chinese takeout while being kinder to your health.

Sesame Chicken

Ingredients You'll Need

Before you begin, ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients at hand. For one serving, you'll need the following:

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Green onions for garnish

Note that if you can't find certain ingredients in your local grocery store, consider visiting an Asian supermarket. Also, if you're aiming for an authentic flavor, look for toasted sesame oil and dark soy sauce.

The Preparation Process

Before you start cooking, the chicken must be marinated, and cornstarch and flour mixed for coating. Here's how to do it:

Marinate the Chicken

  • In a bowl, mix the chicken pieces, soy sauce, a pinch of salt, and pepper.
  • Set the bowl aside and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 20 minutes, or better overnight in the refrigerator.

Toast the Sesame Seeds

  • Put a small, dry skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the sesame seeds and stir occasionally until they turn a golden brown, usually about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the seeds from the skillet immediately to avoid further cooking or burning.

Toasted sesame seeds have a deep, nutty flavor that adds richness to your dish. Be careful not to over-toast them, as they can become bitter.

Cooking the Sesame Chicken

Now that you've prepared the key ingredients, it's time to put everything together. Here's how to cook the sesame chicken to perfection:

Cooking the Chicken

  • In a bowl, beat the egg and set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the 1/4 cup of cornstarch and the flour.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or a deep pan over medium-high heat.
  • Dip each chicken piece into the beaten egg, then the flour-cornstarch mixture, and immediately transfer to the hot oil.
  • Cook the chicken for about 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally until it's golden and crispy.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the oil and transfer it to a paper towel to drain excess oil.

Making the Sesame Sauce

  • In a small bowl, mix together the honey, rice vinegar, soy sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch.
  • In a separate pan, heat the sesame oil.
  • Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté for about a minute until fragrant.
  • Pour the sauce mixture into the pan and cook until it thickens, stirring constantly.

Combining the Sauce and Chicken

  • Once the sauce has thickened, add the cooked chicken to the pan.
  • Toss the chicken in the sauce until each piece is fully coated.
  • Turn off the heat and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the chicken.

Serving Your Sesame Chicken

Sesame chicken is traditionally served with a side of white rice or noodles. To keep your meal healthier, consider serving it with brown rice or quinoa. Additionally, steamed broccoli or a light cucumber salad can complement the dish, adding color and freshness to your plate.

Presenting Your Dish

For an elegant presentation, consider arranging the chicken on a platter and garnishing it with sliced green onions. The vibrant green color and sharp taste of the onions are the perfect final touch to the ensemble.


Homemade sesame chicken is not just a healthier alternative to takeout, it's also a rewarding culinary venture that allows you to have total control over the quality of your ingredients. By following these steps, you can enjoy the familiar flavors of Chinese cuisine without the guilt. We encourage you to try this recipe and share your experiences with friends and family. Remember, cooking is about experimentation, so don't be afraid to tailor the flavor to your liking. Give it a try, and savor the satisfaction of creating a delicious, healthier version of a classic Chinese dish in your very own kitchen.

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