Skip the delivery and make tasty sesame chicken right at home in just over half an hour!
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Hey yooooooooo, y’all.
Okay, if you’ve been looking (or lurking) around, you may notice I have a lot of Chinese takeout dishes on here. They’re just so easy and fast, and Brian loves takeout so making them at home is a win-win for him and the wallet (takeout is not cheap around here!).
To make sesame chicken you need a nonstick skillet, but preferably a wok if you have a gas range since it’s the traditional, fast-cooking, high heat cooking tool of choice for stir fry and takeout dishes. You also need some good high-heat cooking oil, I personally use grapeseed oil but vegetable oil works great, too. You’ll also need sesame oil, to impart the delicious sesame flavor into your sesame chicken’s sauce. It’s necessary for this dish, and you can find it in your local Asian market or in the ethnic sections of the big grocery stores.
We love sesame chicken when we want something with rich flavor, not uber sweet like orange chicken, but not spicy like General Tso’s. We really love the flavor of sesame oil around here.
This recipe is shallow-fried, much like Mongolian beef, instead of double fried, like in the General Tso’s chicken recipe, so get that splatter guard at the ready #teamIdon’tlikepoppinggrease. The chicken is coated in that traditional takeout way, with cornstarch and egg as a binder. The cornstarch is a lot lighter than flour and because of that it leads to the crust of the chicken being light and crispy.
This is one of my weeknight wonders in how fast it comes together. After I grocery shop, I like to prep my boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the week by chopping them up whenever a recipe calls for bite sized pieces so when the night arrives for sesame chicken, I can just toss them in the cornstarch and egg and throw them into the pan without a ton of tedious prep work. I can also make different sauces ahead of time, warm them up, and pour them over the cooked chicken so that the meal comes together super fast. Gotta get about the meal prep life, y’all. It makes cooking dinner so easy!
As for the sesame sauce itself, fresh ginger and garlic really make it, along with the aromatic sesame oil. A little fresh ginger brightens and spices up the sweet sauce, and you can never really go wrong with garlic. Grate them with a microplane or the side of a box grater with the small holes, it makes your prep work way easier than mincing them up by hand.
Serve up with steamed or stir fried vegetables and fluffy cooked rice. Pour this sauce all over everything, it’s so delicious, don’t waste it!
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- 1/4 cup flavorless high-heat oil, like grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- 2 green onions, sliced into thin rings
- Heat a large skillet or wok with the flavorless oil over medium-high heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, cornstarch, and salt and pepper. Toss the chicken in the egg and cornstarch mixture until each piece is well coated.
- When the oil is hot add the coated chicken in batches, making sure not to over crowd the pan. Cook the chicken until they are golden brown and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Place the chicken onto a paper towel lined plate to drain and repeat step until all chicken is cooked.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sesame sauce. In a small saucepan on medium heat, stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, and minced garlic. Once the sauce is steaming, stir cornstarch and water in a small bowl to create a slurry, then whisk the slurry into the sauce. Cook until sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
- Once the chicken is cooked through and golden brown, place into a large bowl and pour the sauce over top. Toss the chicken to coat in the sauce.
- Serve the chicken with rice and sprinkle sliced green onions over top.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 296
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.