Sesame Chicken Recipe

January 24th, 2024

The heart of winter is the perfect time to warm up the oven and try some flavorful new recipes. And we’re here to help.

Check out our Taste of Asia displays for featured products and produce from eastern Asia! Whether you already know the difference between tamari and soy sauce or you’re new to Asian ingredients and ponzu’s got you pondering, Amelia has curated a recipe you’ll surely love. 

Enjoy the flavors of Chinese takeout at home! This sesame chicken is crispy and flavorful. It’s great served with broccoli but can also be paired with other sides. Try it with garlicy green beans or bok choy.

Sesame Chicken

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

What You’ll Need

  • 1 ¼ lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1/3 c. Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Pagoda Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp. Kikkoman sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (plus about ½ c. for frying)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. cornstarch
  • 2 ¼ tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 tsp. tomato paste
  • ¼ c. lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Marukan rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 c. steamed jasmine rice
  • 4 c. steam broccoli (optional)


  1. Mix chicken, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a medium bowl. Set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.
  2. While chicken marinates, add 2 inches of vegetable oil to a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot. Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 375°F.
  3. Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. In another dish, beat eggs. Toss chicken in egg then coat in cornstarch. Take care to fully coat each piece. Carefully, transfer half of chicken to oil. Turning chicken occasionally, fry until fully cooked and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from oil with slotted spoon. Place chicken on a paper towel in a large bowl. Repeat until all the chicken is fried. Sprinkle with 1 ½ teaspoon salt or to taste.
  4. To make sauce, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and chopped garlic to a small pan. Stir over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, until garlic is golden brown. Mix in tomato paste. Stir frequently for about two minutes or until paste darkens slightly. Add 3 tablespoons water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, crushed red pepper, and ¾ teaspoons salt. Combine ingredients well and turn heat up to medium. Allow sauce to thicken for 1-2 minutes. It is done when sauce can coat the back of a spoon.
  5. Before adding sauce to chicken, remove the paper towel from the bowl. Gently stir until chicken is fully coated with sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with steamed rice and broccoli.

Recipe adapted from the New York Times.

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