This is a quick and easy version of Simple Sesame Chicken without all the extra calories from deep frying. While it will not end up tasting exactly the same as the Chinese restaurant, since the chicken isn’t deep fried, it’s so yummy and leaves our family always wishing I had made much more (even when I double the recipe, which I do.)
Always tentative about posting certain favorite recipes, since I typically don’t measure specific quantities, I’m sharing this because it’s a family favorite. You all insisted in the comments of my “Following Recipes – To Read or Not to Read” post, that you’d rather have a guesstimate than nothing at all. With any mixture of these ingredients, you can not go wrong.
Remember, you are the next Food Network Star at home. They never measure anything either – that’s how we all become better cooks. 😉
Therefore, play around with the quantities once you’ve made it, since these are approximates, and every ones tastes vary. We love extra sauce for left over rice, and I literally eye ball the amounts, so this is a very basic starting place. After you make the sauce for the first time, you will be able to taste test and determine if you like it spicier, sweeter, thicker etc. I have the basic spices down, but each time I make it just a tiny bit different.
And if you enjoy the simplicity of this, you will love my Orange Chicken Recipe too.
Recipe: Simple Sesame Chicken
Summary: This a quick and easy version of Sesame Chicken without the deep frying.
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves,
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup honey or brown sugar
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup water or mixture of OJ/water for variety
- 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrow root powder for thickener
- 1-2 teaspoon ground ginger (fresh is best, but I never have it on hand)
- 1-2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (This gives it an extra “kick,” especially if you add 2 tsps.)
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (In this picture, I was actually out of sesame seeds, but yes, this actually make it Sesame Chicken.)
- choice of oil (I use olive or sesame oil.)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp chili paste (optional, varies based on preference)
- minced garlic
- Cut chicken breast into 1 inch strips.
- Dredge chicken in flour for a quick breading.
- Heat (medium-high) a large skillet that has been coated with your choice of oil.
- Cook chicken in minced garlic, oil and a few dashes of soy sauce until no longer pink.
- Remove chicken from pan and deglaze pan with some of the vinegar.
- Mix together honey, soy sauce, water, corn starch, ginger, chili paste, red pepper flakes, and the rest of the vinegar.
- Whisk until no corn starch lumps appear. (I do this all in one pan.)
- Cook on medium – high heat until sauce thickens slightly.
- Pour chicken into skillet with sauce.
- You can add more water if sauce is too thick. (Taste test to see if additional seasoning needed.)
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Serve over rice and steamed veggies.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 6
Easy breading – you can mix the flour and chicken in a ziplock bag or just a bowl for ease.
Deglaze the pan so you don’t miss any of the deliciousness left over from cooking the chicken, and then mix the sauce for the chicken.
I’ve added a lot of steps for clarity, but this is really a simple dish to perfect.
Enjoy this Simple Sesame Chicken from my home to yours.
Yummm…This looks like something we will love! And, since I am in the middle of this week’s meal planning (and I actually blogged about that today) I am going to add this in for one night next week. Thanks.
Have a nice weekend.
My kids love Chinese and I loathe the way fried foods make me feel afterward so I might light them have takeout once a quarter. However, with this recipe, I’d let them have it more often, who know’s maybe once a month:) Thanks for sharing!
yum! i can see this being a family favorite!! 🙂 and it sounds like we have the same cooking technique…no measuring! love that! 🙂
when does the chili paste come into the recipe?
So funny that you just commented that. I was editing it while you were typing, since I just read that I left it out. It mixes in with the sauce for an extra punch of spice.
This looks good! Sesame chicken is one of my favorites, so I just might have to link up and give it a try if that’s ok with you!
Looks like a great recipe. I just wanted to tell you fresh ginger root will keep in your freezer for a very long time. I just grate and peel the amount I need from the frozen root and throw the rest right back it the freezer. Tastes just like fresh and so much better than powdered.
Great tip, Allison. I know it does keep really long in the fridge as well, but grating it and freezing it is a perfect idea. 🙂
@Jen, I think if you’ll re-read that, she stores her ginger root whole in the freezer as I do.. You can pull it out & grate it while its still frozen and then toss the root back in the freezer for the next time.
I have a garlic grater plate I got at a Home & Garden Show a couple years ago & I use that with the frozen ginger.. easy peesy..
Here is a video of the garlic grater if you’re not familiar with them.. (no I dont know Patti) 😉 I love this plate & its just as easy to use as she shares.. the garlic peeler too. 😀
I went back and re-read that. I am so glad that you pointed that out. I would not have thought to store the whole root in the freezer and grate it while it’s still frozen. I’ll have to share that tip. Thanks. 🙂
Made this tonight along with some Fried Rice “Rice-A-Roni” from my stockpile and steamed broccoli. I was out of corn starch so just used a little flour to thicken the sauce & everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing 🙂
YAY! Glad to hear it. Did you make any other changes or just substituting the flour?
I know what my family is having for dinner tonight. Thanks SO much for the inspiration!
Yay! We made this with crystallized ginger pieces and noodles instead of rice. Delicious!
Yum, Patti – crystallized ginger sounds like a fun change. Glad you enjoyed it.
I just wanted you to know if you are in a hurry – you can use KFC popcorn chicken or popeyes chicken nuggets (warning they are spicy). It speeds things up on a busy night. If you use the KFC/Popeye chicken start at #6 and reduce the vinegar by half since you don’t need to de-glaze the pan. I buy grocery store egg rolls (sometimes i splurge & get take out egg rolls) and make my own fried rice. This is a fantastic Sesame Chicken recipe (and more cost effective than take out for sure) thank you for sharing it. Oh, I used 2 boxes of popcorn chicken with this recipe and got 4 generous servings (3 men 1 woman) haha.
That looks wonderful! When I was in China I found a lot of the dishes we deep-fry are actually not, traditionally (like sweet and sour). I am not into Chinese deep-fried stuff, so this is right up my alley. (Well, wait. Unless we’re talking about egg rolls. ‘Cause I like them babies FRIED!)
Was so tickled to get your post this morning. Am going to run out and grab some ingredients to make your sesame chicken recipe for after I get home this evening. My gang- which now consists of my youngest son, hubby, and sometimes in a rare occasion, my college age daughter and her boyfriend, will enjoy this, im sure. Thanks so much for the recipe!
Hey Jen! Sorry to bug you; grad student newlyweds so still learning to cook and save money! Would sriracha work as a chili paste or sub for chili paste? Perhaps more importantly, would flour thicken it as well as cornstarch or should I definitely get cornstarch? Finally, would anything sub for rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar? (I’m assuming not on that one..)
Congrats!! No worries about bugging me. I was just turning off the computer, so you caught me at a perfect time. Let’s see, Sriracha could work. Since it’s a bit more spicy, I’d do a little less and then you can always add a bit more later. Yes, flour would thicken it as well as corn starch, and you’d just need a bit. Even without the flour, as it simmers, it thickens even on it’s own, and at first, it doesn’t seem like it will ever thicken.
Vinegar??Hmm – you kind of need that. I’m trying to think if I ever substituted white vinegar? I think I might have once, but it’s not quite the same.
I guess you could try a mini version of the sauce with regular vinegar and just don’t add the chicken. Let the sauce thicken on it’s own, and then you could see if it tastes ok, and if it doesn’t, you really haven’t wasted much. All together, you can whip it up quite quickly. And honestly, if the sauce doesn’t work out, just the chicken in the oil with the garlic and soy sauce is YUMMY, so you could have that minute the “Simple Sesame” part. 🙂
Let me know how it goes.
Perfect thanks! About how many lbs do you think 6 chicken breast halves are? My guess is about 2 lbs.
Oops .. and I picked up rice vinegar. Is this the same thing as rice wine vinegar? Thanks so much!!
I made this last night and it was great! I substituted a bag of frozen popcorn chicken, because I was feeling a bit lazy :), and was still very good! Thanks for the recipe!!
Made this as a crockpot freezer meal and it turned out so well today! The flavor was spot-on delicious. My husband even gave it the seal of approval, and he’s pretty picky! Thank you!
YAY! So glad to hear that. 🙂 Did you just throw all the ingredients in the crock pot?
Jen-Do you freeze this? I am getting ready to tackle 80 pounds of chicken!!!!! I would like to at this to my freezer meals, but not sure how it will freeze. Thanks!!
I made this tonight with some chicken I had frozen in a sesame ginger marinade and it was outstanding. One of my 2 picky eaters actually asked for seconds which is a huge win in my house. I think if I dialed back the “heat” my other picky eater might actually join the party. Super easy and used staples I always have on hand. Love that!
So glad you enjoyed it, Robin. 🙂 Whenever a picky eater gives it a thumbs up, it’s cause for celebration. 🙂
Just tried this recipe, and it is amazing. Just like my favorite Chinese joint. Thanks for posting!
SO, so glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂