Who needs takeout when you can enjoy this Easy Sesame Chicken made right at home?! It’s sweet and tangy and always a crowd pleaser!
Updated: This post was first published here in February 2017. I decided it was worthy of a re-share because it’s a super popular recipe here at the BHK. I’ve added all new photos and notes to the post below. I decided not to change the actual content because it was special.
Happy Monday morning folks. Today, I have a special recipe to share.
This morning bright and early, I put my baby (sorry Case, you’ll always be my baby) on a plane to Bali. I’ve been trying to talk myself off the ledge for weeks, preparing myself for this day. But literally, I can’t handle it. So today, I’m drowning my sorrows in this sweet and savory Easy Sesame Chicken (leftovers from Casey’s going away dinner), a few double chocolate chip cookies I baked for Casey to enjoy on the long flights and binge watching Stranger Things on Netflix. Can somebody please grab me a box of Kleenex?
Yesterday, we spent the day packing, buying toiletries, medicines, a little gift for his host mother in Shanghai and toothpaste for his good friends Mike and Mark who are studying abroad in Bali. Apparently, the toothpaste in Bali is nothing like the toothpaste we have here.
I know I should be totally fine with sending Casey across the world because this isn’t our first rodeo sending a child abroad. Our oldest son Sean studied in Buenos Aires when he was in college. But our Casey is not the most organized of fellows. I love him dearly. He’s extremely bright, but in life he flies by the seat of his pants most of the time. So far flying by the seat of his pants seems to be working out in his favor, so I guess I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed it keeps on working right?! Really, do I have any other choice?
Since Casey’s heading to China, last night for his going away dinner I decided to make him one of his American Chinese favorites, this Easy Sesame Chicken. I know authentic Chinese food is nothing like our American version, but this Easy Sesame Chicken is super simple, delish and always the first dish he requests when I bring up Chinese food.
Better than Takeout Easy Sesame Chicken
It’s got a sweet and tangy sauce with a slight kick from the sriracha sauce. If you like more of a kick, just add a bit more sriracha. I loaded it with black and toasted sesame seeds because that’s what I had on hand, but you can also use regular sesame seeds. And to get in our daily serving of veggies, I added snow peas and sliced carrots, but feel free to customize it with whatever veggies you like.
Sesame Chicken Ingredients
- snow peas or sugar snap peas
- kosher salt and pepper
- boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- vegetable oil
- soy sauce
- rice wine vinegar
- sriracha sauce
- toasted sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds
I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but you can also use chicken breasts if you like. If you opt for the chicken breasts, I would highly recommend you brine them before you cook them, so they’ll be nice and juicy and tender. To brine, simply combine 6 cups of cold water with 3 tablespoons kosher salt in a bowl and stir. Add the chicken and let it sit for 30 minutes. Remove it from the brine, rinse it with cold water, pat dry and proceed with the recipe.
So next time you want Chinese, skip takeout and give Casey’s favorite a try! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try. And if you have any questions about the recipe, just drop a comment below. Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Sesame Chicken
You can use regular sesame seeds for this recipe, toasted sesame seeds, black sesame seeds or a combination.
I love to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe, but you could also use chicken breasts if you prefer white meat. If you use white meat, I would cut it into chunks and brine it first so it stays moist and juicy.
To brine your chicken, fill a bowl with 6 cups cold water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Add chicken pieces. Mix well. Let chicken sit in brine for 30 minutes. Drain the chicken pieces, rinse and then pat dry and then proceed with recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups quick cooking white or brown rice
- 6 oz. snow peas or sugar snap peas
- 2 large carrots, sliced 1/4 thick on the diagonal
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, rinsed and dried and cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp. ginger finely minced
- 1 garlic clove finely minced
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds divided
- Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
- Place a steamer basket in a medium pot filled with 1 inch water, cover pot, and bring water to a boil. Uncover and steam snow peas and carrots until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over high. Add chicken in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add extra oil when needed. Transfer to a plate.
- Combine soy sauce, honey, vinegar, Sriracha, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Transfer sauce to skillet and cook for 1 minute. Return chicken to skillet, and toss to coat. Cook until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in snow peas and carrots. Remove from heat.
- Serve, topped with remaining sesame seeds and rice on the side.