Honey Sesame Chicken. Crispy fried chicken smothered in a sweet thick honey sesame sauce. A popular dish at Chinese restaurants. This is one of those chicken recipes that is so easy to make in just 30 minutes!
An easy chicken recipe that comes together quickly serving the whole family as an easy weeknight meal, if you double up the portion! It pairs deliciously with white rice, brown rice or fried rice.
It even tastes great the next day! This homemade version of my honey garlic sesame chicken really hits the spot. It tastes almost like Chinese takeout and is a family favorite!
You could almost say it tastes like Panda Express' honey sesame chicken. It's one of those Chinese food dishes that keeps you coming back for more thanks to its crispy texture and delicious sweet savory sauce and maybe it'll be your dinner tonight!
No deep frying! Just shallow frying
I love this delicious honey sesame chicken stir fry as there is no deep frying involved! We are not frying the chicken in inches of oil! That's one of the best things about this recipe. The corn starch does a great job at creating crispy chicken pieces without a large amount of oil. You can also use the air fryer to make this recipe too. I share instructions in my recipe card on how to do that.
Easy to make!
This honey and sesame chicken stir fry is one of those easy recipes among Asian food! You’re simply mixing your Sauce ingredients in a small bowl for that sweet honey sauce. Next season the diced chicken in salt and evenly coat it with cornstarch.
Then shallow fry the chicken in some oil over medium high heat until it’s crispy and brown. Then you’ll remove the pieces of chicken to set aside. Discard any excess oil from the pan by using a paper towel and tongs. Then simmer your savory honey sesame sauce until it's thick and glossy. Finally, mix back in your juicy chicken pieces, garnish with sesame seeds and green onions (optional) and that’s it! It's that easy!
What You’ll Need
You will need the below honey sesame chicken ingredients. ***Please scroll down to the below Recipe card for full measurements***
- Skinless boneless chicken thighs, diced
- Avocado oil, or vegetable oil
Sticky Honey Sesame Sauce:
- regular soy sauce, not light or dark soy sauce!
- toasted sesame oil
- white granulated sugar
- sesame seeds
- Shaoxing wine
- garlic, minced
- rice vinegar
- Green onion
How to make Honey Sesame Chicken
Below I share visuals on how to make this honey sesame chicken. ***Please scroll down to the recipe card below to find full instructions and details***
Use fresh chicken thigh meat
Chicken thigh is a dark meat, which is more forgiving and less dry due to a higher fat content unlike boneless skinless chicken breast. However, if you’re looking for a healthier option, opt for white chicken meat like breast.
Dice chicken into equal size pieces
By slicing them into equally sized bite size pieces this will result in an even cooking time ensuring all your chicken pieces are crispy.
Use quality honey.
That's one of the best things you can do to elevate this dish! It makes a significant difference when it comes to this honey chicken dish.
Pre-mix your honey sesame sauce
Combine your sauce ingredients and then simmer it. Do not add ingredients to the pan as you simmer it, or it’ll result in a very clumpy sauce.
Do not overmix the cornstarch into your chicken
If you overmix, this increases the chances of the cornstarch becoming moist which can cause the chicken to become less crispy when frying. The best way to coat is by turning your tongs a few times to mix the chicken into the starch. This will create perfectly coated chicken. See video for visuals.
Use paper towel to remove excess oil after frying
After frying, simply use paper towel held by tongs to soak up and discard any excess oil.
Fry chicken until golden and crispy brown
To attain crispy golden brown chicken, I recommend frying medium high heat for 5-7 minutes in total.
Simmer the sauce until thick and glossy
By simmering the sauce until it's thick and glossy, we are evaporating the water content making the sauce stick better to the chicken and also preventing the crust around the chicken from reaching its soggy point faster.
How long does Sesame chicken store for?
If you store it in an airtight container, it should last up to 3-4 days.
Will it stay crispy the next day?
Like many saucy crispy chicken recipes, this one won't stay crispy the next day, but it will still taste delicious. Because it's smothered in that sauce, the coating will begin to moisten and lose the crisp factor. This is the case for most recipes similar to this nature.
Where can I buy Shaoxing wine?
Any Asian grocery store will sell this item. It's also known as Chinese cooking wine.
Can I substitute the Shaoxing wine?
Yes, feel free to replace with Dry Sherry Wine or omit if you want to remove alcohol from this recipe.
Can I substitute the soy sauce with a gluten free option?
Yes, tamari sauce or coconut aminos is a good gluten free option.
What can I replace rice vinegar with?
You may use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Is Sesame Chicken healthy?
I wouldn’t say it’s a health food as it’s fried in oil and covered in a sweet thick sauce.
What's the difference between sesame chicken and General Tso's chicken?
Sesame chicken isn't spicy like General Tso chicken and it also has a more nuttier taste due to the sesame seeds and oil. It's also not spicy.
Is sesame chicken the same as teriyaki chicken?
No. Sesame chicken is usually battered and fried in oil, then coated in a thick sweet sesame sauce. On the other hand, teriyaki chicken is usually grilled or pan fried and then glazed with a sweet sauce.
What is sesame chicken sauce made of?
My honey sesame sauce is made of honey, sugar, Chinese cooking wine, sesame oil, regular soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlic, rice vinegar, cornstarch and water.
Other recipes you may like!
If you liked my crispy honey sesame chicken recipe, you may like my other favorite takeout recipe(s):
General Tso Chicken
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Korean Fried Chicken
Give it a try!
I hope you give my Honey Sesame Chicken a try and enjoy it!
If you enjoyed my recipe, please share it with your family and friends or on social media! Take a picture of your re-creation and make sure to tag me @ChristieAtHome in your feed or stories as I would love to see it!
*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
Easy Honey Sesame Chicken
- 1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ⅓ cup avocado oil or any neutral tasting oil
- ½ cup honey
- 2.5 tablespoon regular soy sauce (not light or dark soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ tablespoon white granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon Shaoxing Cooking Wine or sub with Dry Sherry Wine
- 2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- ½ stalk green onion finely sliced
- In a bowl, combine Sauce ingredients until well combined and set aside.
- Slice chicken thighs into equal bite size pieces, about 6-8 pieces depending on the size of your thighs. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Season diced chicken with salt. Then add cornstarch and mix with tongs just until chicken is coated. Do not overmix. Tip: Turn the tongs a few times to mix the starch into the chicken and this will achieve an even coating (see video for visuals).
- In a wok or non-stick pan set over medium high heat, add oil. Once oil is hot, carefully lower coated chicken. Spread apart quickly. Fry until golden and crispy brown on both sides, about 6-8 minutes in total. Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a plate. (For Air Fryer instructions, see Notes section below). Discard any excess oil.
- Back into the pan on medium high heat, pour in the sauce and simmer until it thickens.
- Once sauce is thick, toss fried chicken into sauce and mix until each piece is coated. Remove off heat. Optional: Garnish with green onions and more sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Michelle | Sift & Simmer
This looks like the perfect weeknight meal! Way better than take-out! Yum! 🙂
Josiah - DIY Thrill
This Honey Sesame Chicken looks irresistible such a great weeknight meal idea!
Tasia ~ two sugar bugs
This one looks so darn good Christie! The honey sesame sauce has my name written all over it!
Heidi | The Frugal Girls
Mmmm, your honey sesame sauce is so perfect... and pairing this chicken with some steamed bok choy is so perfect!
I have everything for this honey sesame chicken except for the Chinese wine! What could I use instead?
Fab recipe. Easy and delicious. Helps us avoid ordering takeaways
Thank you for making my recipe! So glad to hear this Jacquie!
I wish I could give this more than 5 stars!! The sauce is delicious and yummy, so easy to make. So many are tomato based and even just a little changes the sauce. This was SPOT on for an Asian sauce that we enjoyed. Now that I've made it, I'll do it again and add some heat, mushrooms and some water chestnuts, even though that changes the main recipe. I fried half in a pan with oil and the other half I did in the air fryer. Going air fryer all the way next time. Thank you for this!
Thank you so much for these kind words and for making my recipe, Melissa!! I'm so glad you enjoyed the dish and happy you liked the sauce so much 🙂 Have a lovely day!
This is a wonderful recipe! Will def make it many times for family dinners with grands! I added the Chinese udon noodles and in a separate pan stir fried chopped red pepper, onion, shredded carrots with a cup of green peas to make a complete meal. SOOOOO good!! Thank you for sharing this!
Thanks so much for making my Honey Sesame Chicken, Rosemary! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it with udon noodles in a delicious stir fry! I am drooling as I read your comment!
Very tasty but far to sweet. I'd leave the sugar out next time for sure
Sorry to hear it's too sweet for your liking. Thank you for making my recipe!
I tried so many of your recipes and all of them were amazing and so flavored and delicious, my kids love them too! Your recipes made family dinners happier and more fulfilling for us! Thank you 🙂
This is by far the sweetest comment I've ever received here on my blog! Thank you SO MUCH for making my recipes and for sharing this kind message with me. One of my goals is to make family meals more fulfilling in taste and in joy 🙂 Have a lovely day Christiana!