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

4.6 from 116 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. Marielle says:

    Hi Beth!
    I’ve been a fan of your recipes for a really long time, and I’ve always pleased a crowd with them :)

    How long should I cook the chicken? I have this weird phobia about under cooking meat. Thanks!

    • It’s really going to depend on a few things (type of skillet, size of chicken, heat of skillet), so I can only give you an estimate (7-10 minutes), but here are some tips. Make sure the chunks of chicken are not huge. Keep them to about 1 inch pieces. Make sure the skillet is nice and hot before adding the chicken and make sure you have a skillet big enough to hold all the chicken without over crowding (the chicken pieces should fit in one layer on the bottom of the skillet with a little room to move around). You will know the chicken is done when the pieces are firm and the breading is golden brown. :) The more you cook chicken, the more comfortable you’ll get with telling when it’s “done”. The texture tells you a lot!

      • Marielle says:

        I tried this tonight for my family and they loved it! Thank you so much for the chicken tip you gave me :) I had to ask my mother if it was cooked fully, but she told me you were right and it was good! Beth, you’re amazing!!!

  2. Carrie says:

    I made it. They liked it. I made a double batch, and I agree it needed a smidge of honey. I used about 1/2 Tbsp in the double batch, and a sprinkle of salt.

  3. I have no idea why I am so shocked. Every time I select something from this site to prepare, not only is easy but the taste is amazing!! Tonight I cooked the sesame chicken and I fell in love. I did add extra indgrdient such as honey, crushed red bell peppers and onion salt! Hands down my favorite!

  4. Guilhem says:

    Great recipe. Thank you. Marry me, Bet!

  5. Kayla says:

    This really did taste like take out. I’m starting to question weather I need to eat out ever again.

    I was wondering if you have any good tips/tricks/recipes for making donuts. My husband is a huge fan and I would love to impress him with some home-made skills.


  6. Tried it out today and it was super yummy! The sauce was not quite enough to coat all my chicken pieces so next time I shall try doubling the qty of the sauce. Just like to check if I were to cook and freeze the chicken with the sauce, will it be gummy after reheating? Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Sauces thickened with cornstarch generally don’t freeze well. They tend to separate upon reheating. :(

      • Gina Hudson says:

        try arrowroot or tapioca starch… They freeze well and are used in most Asian recipes.

  7. I was looking for a recipe for Furikake chicken (famous in Hawaii) and I think the coating will work beautifully for both this recipe and for Furikake chicken. And no frying! Thank you!

  8. Oscar D. says:

    I really need to learn my lesson, I come on this site (long time reader first time commentator) try something labeled “Easy”, and BY GOLLY it is the EASIEST meal I’ve ever prepared, and yet time and time again I am utterly surprised! I am an an amateur cook, and I’ve learned so many cooking methods through this site because I don’t have to do it the experienced chef complicated way, and I’m ok with that because I need to be able to cook quickly for me and my partner.
    Any who, I digress. This recipe is too easy, super flavorful, reheated excellently. Loved it!
    P.S. Love your food photography.

  9. Kelly says:

    As a celiac, I thought sesame chicken was a thing of the past for me. With one substitution (gf soy sauce instead of regular) this is a gluten free bonanza!

  10. Jessica says:

    I’ve been making this a lot lately. SO easy and delicious. I’ve been roasting broccoli in the oven lately while it I cook the chicken & then add the broccoli to the stir fry at the last minute. Delicious.

    • Laura says:

      Roasted broccoli is my favorite!! Fresh broccoli is on sale at my local grocery store for 67 cents/lb this week, so we are going to be eating quite a bit of it, I think :)

  11. Peggy says:

    Made this for supper tonight. There are maybe half a dozen pieces left. I also made vegetable fried rice to go with it. Delish! We live in the country. No delivery or take out here. It won’t be missed any longer.

  12. Marilyn says:

    This was delicious! I used chicken breasts because that’s what I had on hand, and dusted the chicken pieces in cornstarch before adding to the egg mixture, to help the egg batter stick. Because I used a little extra cornstarch in this step, I omitted it from the sauce and had excellent results: crispy chicken lightly coated in delicious, sticky sauce.

    Next time, I’ll probably add a dash of red chili flakes or sriracha to the sauce, but the dish had excellent flavor as is. Steamed broccoli w/ garlic and chili flakes rounded out the meal.

  13. Eunice says:

    I can’t tell you how much I love love love all your recipe. You are the best !

  14. Alex says:

    This was pretty great! The only thing I did differently was dredge the chicken in flour before coating it in the batter – it made it stick way better, and had a better crust.

  15. Karen says:

    Loved this receipe!! My husband and I both loved it. Great flavor and easy to follow directions. The only thing that I did have to do is double the sauce in order to get that lovely coating just right.

  16. Mags says:

    This was delish! It was not that syrupy-sweet sesame chicken that you get from takeout either. It was nice and flavorful and not at all greasy. I used chicken breasts instead of thighs because we can always get them for $2/lb. at one of the supermarkets in Charlotte.

    The only thing I might do different next time is make it in my non-stick skillet because some of the coating and sauce stuck, but after cooling a bit I was able to scrape it up and mix it in with the rice so no real harm done!

  17. Great recipe, but I have to double the sauce recipe to get it coat the chicken the way it looks in the photos.

  18. This is my boyfriend’s new favorite thing for me to cook! We beefed it up by adding in some vegetables (bell peppers, onion, mushroom, snap peas, broccoli). So delicious and so easy to cook!

  19. Kip S. says:

    Thank you for not using exclamation marks all over the place like a lot of cooks do with their recipes. It drives me nuts.

  20. Ericka says:

    I finally made this dish last night and it was so delicious! I love the texture the cornstarch/egg mixture creates. I will have to double the recipe next time as it was so good we had no leftovers! Darn it! I served mine with steamed jasmine rice and seared bok choy. Yum!!

  21. Chelsea says:

    How many calories is this per serving?

  22. Nick says:

    I butchered this meal last night due to poor cooking utensils. So today, I went and bought everything new and it’s turning out mighty fine I might say! Thank you!

  23. In my rushing around I only dredged the chicken in corn starch and it was okay, egg not missed. I added some canned mandarin oranges around the edges for color and one more way to get nutrition in my family. Roasted cauliflower and broccoli in the oven with some of the sauce over it. I made a double batch of sauce for this purpose.
    Wonderful website and awesome recipes!!!!!

  24. Kelle says:

    Wonderful! My husband and kids loved this! Thank you for a great alternative to take out.

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