Sesame Chicken

Total Time:
1 hr
25 min
35 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • For the marinade/batter:
  • 6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • For the sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (recommended: Sambal Oelek)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Peanut oil, for deep-frying
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions, for garnish
  • 5 to 6 cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Wash the chicken under cold running water, pat dry and trim off any excess fat. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the marinade ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the sauce.

To make the sauce: In a saucepan, add the sesame oil and set over low heat. Add the ginger and garlic and fry gently until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to dissolve the cornstarch. Gently pour into the saucepan with the fried ginger and garlic. Stir as you pour because the cornstarch will thicken up pretty quickly. Keep warm over low heat.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or deep-fryer heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 375 degrees F.

Fry the chicken, in small batches, until golden and crispy, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken using a wire mesh strainer and drain on paper towels. Season with a little salt, to taste. To serve, arrange the fried chicken on a platter and pour drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with a generous amount of toasted sesame seeds and garnish with scallions and cilantro sprigs.

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    73 Reviews
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    This was very good and easy to make. Much better than the corner store takeout! I've made this now a few times for the family and its a thumbs up all around. If your going to rate the man's recipe at least follow the directions correctly! The sauce calls for 1/4 cup cornstarch not 1/3. I do agree with a few other raters when they say the marinade is a little salty and turns out a little runny. Just leave the kosher salt out of the marinade and make sure you use "heaping" tablespoons of flower. Or, just add an extra tablespoon of flower if your like me and measure everything to the letter. :) And, if you like things to have a little kick add a little more Sambal Oelek Chili Paste to the sauce. Umm, Good! Semper Fi
    Why on Earth would you tell me to put 1/3 cup of cornstarch??? It turned my sauce into JELLO from the thickness! It wasted my chicken broth, and I had to toss it out, making it a total waste of time and a trip to the super market. Too salty even when i ran out of soy sauce midway through the recipe, and it was still too salty.  
    Also, why does he call for cornstarch in the marinade? it made the chicken also have little jello-like consistancy in it. I personally didnt like this recipe. Maybe with some modifications, it would turn out good.
    ma' says 1/4 cup cornstarch... 
    Love the recipe as is (though I do make it with broccoli instead of green beans), and I've made it a number of times. Last night I wanted to make some stir-fry vegetables to put over leftover rice, so I used this sauce recipe rather than my usual, and WOW! Tyler's sauce is a fabulous way to dress up a few stir-fried veggies!
    You know dinner was good when your whole family, who never agrees on anything, asks for you to make it again tomorrow. For those of you who say it is so salty you couldn't eat it - use KOSHER salt as the recipe calls for not table salt. Huge difference in saltiness between the two, and a common newbie cook mistake thinking you can use table salt it the same quantity.
    Is it just me? I don't think the sauce tastes very good at all... I have always loved the sesame chicken served in the food court at the mall. This doesn't taste like the sesame chicken that I love. It is not sweet enough and its taste doesn't have enough depth to it. Maybe add some honey or ketchup? I don't know what it is that it's missing, but I'm giving it a two star. It tastes more like home-cooked food than restaurant food.
    WE LOVED IT!!I had no trouble with this browning to fast. I cooked it on my stove with no thermometer, just got the fat hot, and turned it to med. heat. It took 5 min. just like the recipe said. The sauce was delishish! I didn't have the vinegar listed in the recipe so I used cidar vinegar, and put a tablespoon of cocktail sherry in the sauce. Wouldn't change a thing!
    My whole family enjoyed this very much. I'm glad I watched the video, because the marinade was much thinner than the video showed. I just added more flour until it seemed to match what I had seen. I do think the sauce could use some salt and a bit more chili sauce. I found it to be a little flat unless I was eating a piece of the chicken. The coating on the chicken had plenty of salt. I did add broccoli and the sauce needed something more with the broccoli. However, my family loved it and I will continue to make it.
    My chicken was super crispy but be sure to cut the chicken into small chunks as they brown very quickly..i cooked in fryer until brown and then put into oven at 300* between batches..this helped finish cooking. the sauce is very sweet but is definitely missing something??? don't know what..but that being said, the family devoured the entire portion. paired it with rachel ray's no pain lo mein. a nice mix..added broccoli to the lo mein so we had the meat, veggie and carbs covered.
    Very tasty. To get the chicken extra crispy, I use the same technique that I use for homemade french fries or crispy asian chicken wings ... I double fry, with only a few minutes between the first and second fry. In addition, I hold off on adding the sauce until just before I serve it. Cutting the chicken into slightly larger chunks also helps to retain moistness through the second fry.
    my husband and i really liked this recipe...i found the chili sauce at kroger and the sherry vinegar at a gourmet grocery store not far from my house...i followed the recipe to a T, it tasted just as i thought it would but the chicken was not crispy, great flavor...but not crispy.
    This was delicious. It was so good I am making it again for tonight.
    Delicious! My husband and daughter loved it!
    This was very, very good! The only thing we thought was missing was some spice. I will make this again (family loved it, but next time I will add some chili peppers.
    I watched this dish on his show, and it is absolutely delicious! My husband loved and and keeps asking that I make this dish again. It is just like eating in the restaurant, maybe better.
    Incredible! Tastes like eating out at a restaurant. The hard to find ingredients, I substituted other things. Still turned out fantastic!
    Awesome! Better than takeout. I went with my instincts, though, and only used 1/3 cup sugar and did not salt the chicken after frying - it was plenty salty. like other reviewers, I also had a lot of left over sauce and will cut the recipe in half next time. Served with white rice and stir-fried peppers, onions, and eggplant.
    Well, I love Sesame chicken but this one was way too sweet. I thought 1/2 cup of sugar sounded like too much so I reduced it to 1/3 cup. Still too sweet. Added hot chili sauce to cut the sweet. Also thought the salt was too much as well. I will try it again with my changes.
    This recipe works beautifully with firm tofu, too. We didn't deep fry, we panned fried. I used rice flour instead of wheat flour. We served this recipe as a side with a bowl of miso broth with veggies and soba noodles (100% buckwheat. Excellent. I also had a ton of the sauce left over. Great idea about substituting orange peel - I forgot to do the sesame thing at the end...
    This was amazingly like my Mother-In-Law's fried chicken (she's Japanese, my husband loves hers). The list of ingredients is pretty long, but its really not that bad to make. I only used about half of the sauce so the rest is in the fridge for another application. This is definitely going into the standard recipe box for my hours. The base recipe is pretty adaptable - add some orange peel instead of the sesame seeds for Orange Chicken, some chili flakes or more spicy sauce for a General Chicken, etcetera.
    Love everything about this recipe! But I used fish instead of chiken... delicious!
    What a pain. But I have to say well worth it. I used regular sesame oil and wine vinegar.I was surprised it was edible with the salt content,but tried to follow the recipe.Thanks.
    My daughter made this for a family supper at her house. She was hoping to have leftovers for her lunch the next day but nothing was left.
    Delicious. The marinade/batter on the chicken was terrific -- it came out very tender -- and the sauce is not overwhelming. I served it with a napa cabbage salad and our family felt like we were in one of the better Chinese restaurants around. I love Tyler.
    This is great! If you have any trouble finding asian ingredients, go to asianfoodgrocer (you have to add the "dot com" at the end, but food network doesn't allow such additions in their reviews. They have everything you need, and even stuff you never knew you needed! I love Tyler and all of his recipes and cook chinese food on a regular basis and this is a great one. An aside note: salt levels are always to taste and it is very important to salt as you go along, all of the salt in the world added at the end of a recipe will not make up for missed additions along the way! The more you cook any type of cuisine, the more you realize your family's tastes.
    Okay, I read most of the reviews before making this dish last night 3/8/11. Most of them were good but some were not so great. I have to say, this is a wonderful recipe for sesame chicken. To those that wrote bad reviews, I challenge you to taste your food while you cook. Recipes are a guide. However, do to using different brands and different ingredients, taste can vary slightly. Some of you asked about finding chili paste. I live in NC and you can find chili paste at Whole Foods or The Fresh Market. I was not close to either one so I just used chili sauce and red pepper flakes. Thank you Tyler for this recipe. My daughter loves sesame chicken and I can finally make it at home!!!!
    @ flywileyp_1386065  
    now i'm afraid to make this lol 
    what do i need to be careful on exactly?
    This was delicious! I'll never order take-out Chinese food again! Thanks to the previous post which pointed out that the sauce needed to be boiled in order to thicken. That should be added in the directions!
    This is absolutely amazing! Next time I will use 2 pounds of chicken because my husband and two teenage sons licked the bowls clean. This will be in our regular dinner rotation.
    Very good batter, very good sauce. For us "kitchen mechanics", it might be nice to point out something about making the sauce, though: Once you saute the garlic and ginger, take the pan off the heat and let it cool a little before even "gently" adding the rest of the ingredients. If the vinegar and soy sauce hits the 300+ oil in the pan, both the liquid and the oil is going to depart the pan very noisily and much akin to Old Faithful's hourly show. At the very least, you'll be cleaning everything within 6 feet (vertically and horizontally) of the pan. At worst, well, make sure your health and home insurance is paid up! 
    We did enjoy the final results, though. It's worth the effort of making it.
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