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 170 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. keersty says:

    oh nooo lol.

  2. Keersty says:

    Wayyy too much work. I don’t know why you call it “simple sesame chicken”. the title is very misleading and I for one, don’t have that much time on my hands. It looks delicious but I think I’ll stick to ordering in.

  3. Alli says:

    This was FAB! I have made it several times. I change it up almost every time by adding different veggie combos, but the sauce (a perfect balance of sweet, salty and tangy) is the bomb and it’s always a hit. Thanks!

  4. Miriam says:

    I just made this recipe tonight for my beau and I and it was a smash hit! I really enjoyed the flavor from the ‘breading’ on the chicken. I 1.5x’d the sauce because we’re both sauce fiends. My only comment would be to possibly lower the amount of ginger if you’re not a ginger fan as the flavor seemed strong (I’m not, my beau is).

    I calculated the nutrition for anyone interested– I used a pound of boneless, skinless tenders since they were on sale (480 cals for tenders vs 440 cals for breasts). This nutrition also is calculated with 2 cups cooked brown rice (subtract 433 cals if you aren’t eating this with rice).

    For three servings, per serving:

    Cals: 555
    Carbs: 43
    Fat: 24 gms
    Protein: 41
    Sodium: 613

    Total Cals: 1,665
    Total Fat: 72 gms

    Not bad, especially since take out Sesame Chicken is so much more calorie-rich!

  5. Anthony says:

    I don’t like how it says it costs 5 and change to make 1 egg 17 cents…where do you buy a single egg? 2 Tbps corn starch 8 cents where ? Where can I buy just two table spoons? It’s very misleading there are a ton of recipes for this kind of chicken this one was intriguing because you can make it for 5 and change…but you can’t . Might still be delicious still want to make it but don’t like being lied to

    • I think it’s mean to be a division of the total cost of the product versus what fraction of the product you’re using. If you calculate it that way, it works out. You do not buy a single egg. You buy a carton. You buy a bag of corn starch. The price of the carton/bag is broken down to reflect what the price of 1 egg in the carton is. Same with 2tbsps of corn starch.

  6. Sydney says:

    I also always have sesame oil, rice vinegar and ginger. Fresh ginger is easily stored in aluminum foil in the freezer for months! I have every single item except the chicken in my kitchen grouchy people who make snide comments! Also, chicken thighs (try bone in and getting skin on and trim it yourself, it’s always cheaper) and eggs are EASILY $2/dozen or pound. Man, some people must live an awful existence. PS– can’t wait to try this! Love love love the idea of coating the chicken prior to frying it!

  7. Ashley says:

    Maybe I’m missing it somewhere, but do you have the nutritional information for this recipe?

  8. Marcia Morrison says:

    Actually, I’m one of those people who does have a bottle of toasted sesame oil in the pantry. But I’d probably have to buy some ginger root.

  9. Meeps says:

    This looks/sounds delish and I look forward to making it but I don’t have any idea where you could possibly find $2/lb chicken or $2/dz eggs that were still edible.

    It might be a good idea to update the pricing (from 2013) to something current and reasonable to be fair to your “budget” name.

  10. Kerry says:

    This is a great recipe. The first time I tried it I messed it up completely (I’m still a beginner). It came out a bit bland and I accidentally burnt some of the sauce. The second time I decided to double the sauce amounts and put the burner closer to the medium side. If you have extra hot burners, I recommend doing this or at least when you are adding the sauce. It made a big difference for me. So, it took some experimenting, but in the end it was delicious!

  11. Michael says:

    Beth, thank you so much for this site. I’m a single man trying to eat healthier, but often feel like I don’t know where to start. And takeout is just so easy…

    Especially since you’re connected to Big Oven, this is going to be my new weekly pre-shop website, starting with this simple recipe right here!

  12. Cherry says:

    Your prices are way off because they assume you have everything in your pantry already. I mean who really buys sesame oil, rice vinegar and fresh ginger by the teaspoon?????

    • No one does, but they also don’t buy a brand new bottle of each of those every time they make a recipe. Neither method is perfect.

    • If you’ve been keeping up with this website and reading it through, you’ll know that most people have a well-stocked cupboard and already have these ingredients so the author divides that to get a price per serving. Like how can you not have sesame oil and ginger?

  13. Cindy says:

    Yes yes THIS omg this. I definitely ate half of it. We destroyed it.

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