Easy Sesame Chicken

$5.15 recipe / $1.29 serving

I didn’t know sesame chicken was so easy to make. Did you know sesame chicken was so easy to make? Well, now we both know, and have no excuse not to make it on the regular.

I mean, seriously, this is plate lickin’ good stuff here and you can probably make it in about the same amount of time that it takes for the take out guy to get to your door. Serve this up with something veggi-licious on the side, like steamed broccoli or Crunchy Asian Salad, for a well rounded meal and you will have dinner owned.

I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs here because that was the best buy at the store this week, but you could certainly use chicken breast if you’d like. I got four portions out of this recipe, but be aware that these are no take-out sized portions (because those huge, ammiright?). The portions are exactly as pictured here. One cup of cooked rice and 1/4th of the cooked sesame chicken. It’s not huge, but it will fill you up and if you’ve got a side too, you’re good to go.

Easy Sesame Chicken

Easy Sesame Chicken

4.7 from 154 reviews
Easy Sesame Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $5.15
Cost Per Serving: $1.29
Serves: 4
  • 1 large egg $0.17
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch $0.08
  • 1 pinch each salt & pepper $0.05
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs $2.14
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for frying) $0.04
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp water $0.00
  • ½ Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.85
  • 1½ Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1½ Tbsp rice vinegar $0.17
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated $0.11
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds $0.29
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.04
For Serving
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice $0.69
  • 2 whole green onions $0.22
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, 2 Tbsp cornstarch, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs, then cut them into small 1 inch pieces. Toss the chicken in the egg and cornstarch mixture.
  2. Heat a large skillet with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot (it should look wavy on the surface), add the chicken and all of the egg mixture. Cook the chicken, stirring only occasionally, until it is golden brown and cooked through (about 7-10 minutes). Drain off the excess oil, if desired.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl stir together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, minced garlic, cornstarch, and sesame seeds. (You can grate the ginger with a small-holed cheese grater).
  4. Once the chicken is cooked through and golden brown, pour the sauce over top. Toss the chicken to coat in the sauce. The sauce will begin to thicken as soon as it hits the hot skillet. Once the chicken is coated and the sauce thickened, turn off the heat.
  5. Serve the chicken over a bed of rice and sprinkle the sliced green onions over top.


Easy Sesame Chicken

Step by Step Photos

Egg and CornstarchTo make the faux breading, whisk together the egg, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt and pepper. It may seem thick at first, but keep whisking and it will thin out a bit.

BatterThis batter will coat the chicken and kind of give it a fried texture, even though we’re only “shallow frying” instead of “deep frying.”

Chicken ThighsI used half of this pack and froze the rest. you could use chicken breasts if you’d like.

Chicken ChunksTrim off any large pieces of fat (don’t kill yourself trying to get every last bit, just the big pieces) and then cut it into small one inch or so pieces. Remember, the smaller the pieces, the more surface area there will be to get coated in sauce. Yummm.

Coat ChickenToss the chicken in the batter.

Fry ChickenAdd 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Wait until the oil gets very hot and then add the chicken. You can test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping a little bit (just one drop) of the batter into the oil. It should puff up and sizzle a lot. 

Browned ChickenCook the chicken until the outside is golden brown. Don’t stir too often, or it won’t have a chance to brown and the “breading” may come off. Just stir every few minutes or so. At this point I drained off the extra oil (I used a lid to hold back the chicken while I poured it into a bowl).

Sesame SauceWhile the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Stir together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, and cornstarch.

Sesame ChickenPour the sauce into the hot skillet and toss the chicken to coat in the sauce. As soon as the sauce hits the hot skillet, it will begin to thicken into this nice, glossy sauce. Once it’s all coated and thick, turn the heat off.

Sesame ChickenOh. My. Serve with sliced green onions sprinkled on top and over a bed of warm jasmine rice.

Easy Sesame Chicken


  1. Susan says:

    I make this at least every other Friday night. It’s our special treat meal. Yeah, I can never get my chicken to get brown and it does have the “scrambled egg” thing going on as others have mentioned, but I still like it a lot. It reminds me of Japanese Oyakodon, which I also make sometimes.

  2. Jasmine Gallant says:

    I have a problem with this recipe, I’ve tried it twice and both times the same thing happens – when I fry the chicken with cornstarch & egg mixture one side turns into almost a omelette and the other side of the chicken gets no coating at all. What am I doing wrong!

    • That usually means the skillet is not hot enough. So, if you decide to try it again, try turning up the heat a little and make sure the skillet is fully preheated before adding the chicken. Hopefully that will do the trick!

  3. Gluten free sesame chicken I could stop there but my non gf husband who is constantly wanting chinese looved this…so easy to make I substituted balsamic for rice vinegar…delicious! Can’t wait to try other recipes here!

  4. Roxanne says:

    Tried this for dinner tonight.
    The boys LOVED it!
    Will surely cook it once a week.
    Thanks Beth M!

  5. Just made this for tonight’s dinner and it looks really good. For the person that commented it looked like chicken and scrambled eggs, did u just dump the whole mixture in the hot oil? I drained the mixture and fried the pieces in two batches so about 1 TBL of the mixture was left to be discarded. Other tweaks were as follows: used white sugar since I didn’t have brown sugar, double/tripled the sauce recipe, didn’t use rice vinegar or sesame seeds in the sauce since my son doesn’t like them, and used a pinch of sesame oil for flavoring. Also used steamed broccoli instead of green onions as the veggie factor.

  6. cely says:

    Turned out great. Was missing fresh ginger. Will make sure I have for next time.

  7. Belle says:

    I am just learning how to cook, and my previous attempts usually went to waste. My husband would eat what I’d cook, but would never take the leftovers for lunch the next day. Since finding your website, I’ve made about 6-7 meals and he and I have both LOVED everything we’ve tried to so far. I made this last night and he commented how he wished there were more for his lunch the next day! The recipes are super easy to follow, the ingredients are easy to find, and best of all: they’re budget friendly!

  8. Amazing!!! And so easy. Had trouble browning the meat and with too much oil. Next time I will use less oil and give the chicken a longer cook time. Otherwise, fantastic!

  9. Very good! Makes a mess but smells delicious and is just as good days later for lunch. Not healthy but very authentic.

    • Hmmm, not seeing anything particularly unhealthy about this recipe? Am I missing something? Want to make this regularly but not if it’s unhealthy

      • Jordan says:

        I don’t think this is necessarily unhealthy. If you’re scared of fats or trying to stay away from them, then chicken thighs are probably not your best bet — better off using chicken breasts. Also, instead of using white rice, you could use brown rice of just mix it with some broccoli or other veggies. :)

  10. Ashli says:

    I’m wondering if I could bake the chicken first, then add chicken and the sauce in a pan to simmer.. Trying it tonight!

  11. Robin says:

    I made this recipe yesterday and it is DELICIOUS!! I made twice the amount of sauce and then I made a vegetable stir fry with it (of course, using the rest of the broccoli slaw I bought on sale last week).

    I didn’t have rice vinegar so I used white vinegar; next time I’ll use lime juice.

    I’ve been trying to spend less money on groceries and this website has been very helpful, thank you.

  12. Crystal says:

    Sesame chicken is my boyfriend’s favorite Chinese food dish from our go-to Chinese place, and we’ve never been able to find a comparable recipe… until now! This was delicious and super easy. We served it with fried rice and had a little leftover chicken, so the next day I cut up the chicken and made chicken fried rice with it! Yum! My only issue was the breading didn’t quite stick to the chicken… Next time I’m going to try dredging the chicken with flour first.

  13. Kiera says:

    I absolutely love this recipe. I can’t find boneless chicken thighs, I’ve never seen them in the store, even though I check every time. I just end up using chicken breasts. I also triple the sauce, because it’s so good!

  14. Lexie says:

    I’d like to know where the hell I can buy a pound of chicken for less than $3.

    • My local grocery store has sales on boneless, skinless chicken breasts on a fairly regular basis. I catch those sales (usually around $1.99/lb.) and save the meat in the freezer for when I need it. If you do a bit of shopping around and keep an eye on sales flyers, you might be able to get a similar deal.

    • chill says:

      I was really looking forward to trying this recipe but it was a big flop. First of, I doubled everything because it was meant for four people. I really love the sesame chicken we get at our Chinese restaurant but it’s very different from this. My first problem was when pouring the chicken and egg mixture into the hot oil, I frickin got scrambled eggs and chicken. This egg mixture in no way coated the chicken, it was all separate. I was annoyed. Then the next thing that went wrong was that it all stuck to the frickin bottom of the pan so it smelled like burned egg. The last thing was the fiber strands of the ginger were very noticeable when eating the chicken. Very disappointed!!!!! Needless to say I’ll be trying a different recipe! Just upset I spend all the money I did on this dinner!

    • Sams club, $1.88 a pound

  15. Sharon says:

    I had a request from a little boy on his birthday for his favorite dish, but his mom couldn’t afford it for a big crowd from a food place. I spoke up and took up the task to make this dish, one I have never done before. This recipe I found,followed and the Birthday Boy was all smiles. Its easy and absolutely delicious. It became a crowd pleaser.

  16. Loey says:

    This is one of my favorite recipes, I make it at least once a week.

Speak Your Mind


Rate this recipe: