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 129 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. roshni says:

    hey this looks delicious!Having guests for dinner tomorrow and this will do perfectly. Can i fry the chicken in advance,make the sauce too and put it together tomorrow before serving? Will the breading become gluggy? If not, how do you suggest i reheat the chicken?

    • No, this one would probably not do well made in advance. The breading will definitely get soft. The dish comes together very quickly, though!

  2. Jess P says:

    When I saw this recipe I begged my hubby to make it. ( I am not the cook in the family.) He read the reviews first and made sure he doubled the sauce and took it off the heat before adding the sauce. It was amazing! I have been GF for 4 years and haven’t had sesame chicken since I was diagnosed with celiac. This filled my void and was so delicious. He also added some hot honey to it. Yum!

  3. Matt says:

    Made this tonight for diner and the results were spectacular! Best sesame chicken I’ve ever had.

  4. Jessica says:

    I made this tonight for dinner along with your coconut rice recipe, and it was delicious! I will definitely make this again.

  5. Andre says:

    great recipe, but short on sauce, I would add 1 cup chicken broth and more cornstarch to the sauce.

  6. Abbie N says:

    I agree with Jake P. Pretty good recipe but the temp should be turned way down before adding sauce. Mine just clumped into gummy pieces as soon as it hit the hot skillet and didn’t adhere to the chicken. I should have known better – I make other Asian sauces at lower temp. But recipe should mention to lower heat for rushed (like me) or novices. Next time I’ll lower heat and also add another Tbsp. of Soy sauce and another Tbsp. of water to sauce mixture. I used 2 large chicken breasts cut in 2″ pieces and the egg mixture worked well but took about 13 minutes to golden brown on high temp. The chicken was tender and flavorful. The sauce tasted good but was clumpy goo. Will definitely make again with the above changes. Beats the take-out – less salt & sugar and honestly is just as fast as going to pick up dinner. Made exactly 4 servings with frozen Asian Veggies & TJ’s frozen Brown Rice. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Mimi says:

    Pretty good but next time I will make double the sauce-there wasn’t enough to really coat the rice,

  8. Amy Stack says:

    Very easy to make and so flavorful! Delicious dish, I will be making all the time now!

  9. Very good recipe, better than take out. Too sweet for my tastes, but admittedly so is take out sesame chicken – I will use a little less brown sugar next time.

    Adding a tablespoon of Sambel oelek to the sauce gave it a mild kick.

  10. Jessica says:

    This was amazing. Even my kids liked it (which is rare!). I will definitely be making this again.

  11. Kimberly says:

    I just made this tonight and I never comment on anything, but this was soo delicious. . I followed everything exactly but added peppers and onions and a little bit of honey.. I’ve tried other recipes but this 1 is the best.. my husband and my son love it too.

  12. Will I be able to substitute brown sugar with white sugar, rice vinegar with white balsamic, and cornstarch with flour?

  13. LaTrice says:

    I LOVE sesame chicken, and honestly, this recipe is VERY simple to make. Even though the chicken thighs were small, I had to use seven pieces to stretch it out. I couldn’t find toasted sesame oil, so I had to use regular sesame oil, and the chicken tasted just like sesame! I served the sesame chicken over a bed of regular rice-since jasmine rice comes in a five pound bag, and it wasn’t cheap. My sister and I LOVE your blog. Thank you for this recipe, Beth! :-)

  14. Love this recipe. So simple and absolutely as good (if not better) than take out. I double the sauce and I tend to use chicken breast because that’s what I have.

  15. Jake P says:

    Hey Beth,

    Gave this recipe a crack tonight. Results were quite good! The girlfriend loved it with the jasmine rice.

    Just some observations:
    -The egg batter calls for 1 tbsp of cornstarch in the ingredients section, but the instructions section for that step say 2 tbsp. It threw me for a loop, but 1 egg and 1 tbsp seemed to be a decent ratio.
    -I don’t think it was quite listed, but perhaps turning off the heat to the skillet and using the residual heat to thicken the sesame sauce would work. I think my skillet was too hot and instantly carmallized some of the sauce. The sweet crunchy bits were still good though, but it meant I couldn’t toss the chicken easily.

    All in all, love the recipe. 5/5 for taste, 3/5 for budget (because getting a bunch of Asian food oils and sauces isn’t part of my bulk purchases), and 4/5 for being relatively easy to make.

    Thanks Beth!

    • Hmm, are you looking at the 1 Tbsp cornstarch listed for the sauce? The ingredient list has 2 Tbsp listed for the batter and another 1 Tbsp listed under sauce. Oh well, as long as the 1 Tbsp still worked out well for you, I guess it’s all good! :D

  16. LaTrice says:

    I’m looking forward to making the sesame chicken next week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find toasted sesame oil, so is it possible that I can use regular sesame oil? My sister and I LOVE your blog!! Thanks!

    • Regular sesame oil is much more mild than toasted, so it probably won’t lend the same strong sesame flavor to the sauce. It will be more like a teriyaki sauce. :)

  17. rbad94 says:

    Used chicken breast and extra batter and sauce; used toasted almond slivers since I didn’t have sesame seed. Delicious, will definitely do it again.

  18. Sarah says:

    This was really, really good. I made it with chicken breasts. The only thing I messed up was the egg batter. I should have patted the chicken with a paper towel before mixing it into the batter because it sloughed off midway through cooking. I also will make a little bit more sauce as well. Thanks for the recipe, Beth!

  19. Shayla says:

    Probably the best recipe I’ve tried thus far! Definitely making this a regular dish.

  20. Sammy says:

    It was pretty good! I’m not sure if I used too much chicken, but I found there wasn’t enough sauce. However, it turned out okay and my boyfriend enjoyed it. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks!

  21. Sminni3 says:

    I’m still in the process of cooking it but I double the egg batter because I had more chicken pieces. It looks as though I’m making egg foo young. I must have done something wrong.

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