“What do you have in this sesame chicken recipe?” you might ask. Nothing more than bite-size chicken chunks coated in a tangy, savory sauce, with crunchy toasted sesame seeds on top. But unlike the chicken batches from chain restaurants or your nearby street vendors, this time you get 100% control over what’s going into the dish.
If you’re afraid of doubling the work when home-making anything, worry no more! We promise this will be an experience where the familiar taste of sesame chicken is easily achieved with only a few simple steps.
What Is Sesame Chicken Made of?
Sesame chicken is a combination of two things: the fried chicken and the sauce mixture. This dish has a very distinct taste and consistency: the chicken should be juicy and tender, while the coating should be smooth with a silky texture.
Is Sesame Chicken Healthy?
At HealthyKitchen101, we strive to create healthier versions of every recipe we come across. Sesame chicken is no exception.
The color and flavor of this dish are amped up only by using natural, low-salt ingredients. There’s also nothing exotic about the ingredients-you may already have many of them in your kitchen, and it only takes a few minutes to pull everything together.
How Does Sesame Chicken Taste?
While the tender and juicy chicken chunks take center stage, working in the background is the combination of umami flavor from the soy sauce and mild sweetness from the honey. The spicy-sweet thick glaze is made of cornstarch, honey, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce— indeed a flavor party in the mouth!
How Can You Thicken The Sauce?
We get that sometimes it’s hard to get the right consistency for the sauce, it can easily end up being too runny or too thick. To help, we’ve come up with a couple of ways to adjust the sauce as you go.
For a sauce that is too thick, slowly whisk in spoons of water or chicken broth to help dilute it. On the flip side, if you want to fix a watery sauce, then the most natural and down-to-earth solution is to blend it with a mixture made of cornstarch and cold water. For the ratio of cornstarch to water, we suggest you set it at 1:1.
Please note that you should make adjustments while the sauce is still cooking. No matter what liquid is going into the pan, make sure that you go gradually with one or two teaspoons of it at a time to avoid over-thickening or over-thinning.
In this sesame chicken recipe, we carefully tested and observed the ingredient ratios. The end result is a recipe with just the right amount of everything to ensure that the sauce consistency is just right.
Chicken breasts and chicken thighs can be used interchangeably in this recipe. The same goes for oil, you can swap avocado oil with olive oil or coconut oil.
Is Sesame Chicken The Same as General Tso Chicken?
No, sesame chicken and General Tso chicken are not the same; though the difference is not so significant.
Sesame chicken is sweet, savory, and less spicy than General Tso chicken. While sesame seeds are a must for sesame chicken, the same does not apply to General Tso chicken— sesame seeds are only one of the topping options.
It’s the sauces that tell these two dishes apart, but practically you’ll need only a few ingredient replacements to turn sesame chicken into General Tso chicken. This could explain why they’re frequently mistaken for each other.
What Can You Serve With Sesame Chicken?
To help create a balanced meal with such a protein-rich dish, we came up with the idea of preparing steamed broccoli and a nice bed of hot steamed rice to serve along with the sesame chicken.
Broccoli will get soggy quickly when it sits in the sauce and absorbs all the liquid, so it shouldn’t be overcooked. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so leave the broccoli a bit firm (rather than steamed to soft and mushy.)
To make it more intriguing, we added extra flavors to the sesame chicken by serving it along with a miso soup and fresh milk and orange juice . We hope you’ll find this combination a promising meal choice just like we did!
Sesame Chicken Recipe
- 12 oz skinless boneless chicken thigh chunked
- 1 medium egg beaten
- 3 tbsp cornstarch divided
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 oz sesame seeds roasted
- 1 oz scallion chopped
- 10 oz broccoli steamed
- 3 cup cooked medium-grain rice 1 cup uncooked
- Cook the rice.
- Steam the broccoli until tender.
- Mix together egg, salt, ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a bowl. Add the chicken to marinate. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat to sauté the marinated chicken. Stir frequently for 10 minutes until they’re browned on all sides.
- After the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and set aside.
- In the same skillet, make the sauce mixture: Turn on medium heat, add garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir.
- Continue to add the following ingredients to the skillet successively: 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, soy sauce, honey, and chicken broth (it’s important that it is done in this order, otherwise the sauce will be muddy). Let it simmer and stir frequently until it starts to bubble and thicken.
- Add apple cider vinegar and transfer the cooked chicken back into the sauce mixture. Stir around to coat the chicken chunks evenly.
- Sprinkle in red pepper flakes, chopped scallions, and roasted sesame seeds. Finally, add sesame oil and give it one last stir.
- Remove the skillet from heat.
- Serve sesame chicken over a bed of hot cooked rice and steamed broccoli, sprinkle a few pinches of roasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions on top. Enjoy!