This Honey Sesame Chicken recipe is made of bite sized pieces of battered and fried chicken that is coated in a sweet Asian sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. This better than take out Chinese food recipe is super easy to make and delicious!
When the urge for Chinese take out hits, I always pull up of my recipes that I call "better than take out" to make. This Honey Sesame Chicken is one, as well as Crispy General Tso's Tofu! We have discovered that the homemade version of Chinese takeout is the best version!
Saving money by cooking at home
Take out has become something of a normal for our day and age. However, it is not always budge friendly. We have been craving Asian flavors lately. And, since we really can't afford to buy takeout too often, I decided it was time to make my own take out versions.
This Honey Sesame Chicken sounded like something that Grumpy would eat at home. So, finally, this week I made sure to have all the ingredients I needed to make it!
My family loved this meal very much. I made Veal Egg Rolls and Fried Rice to go with it! This is a keeper as it is variety and even Grumpy liked it!
What you need to make Honey Sesame Chicken
Most of these ingredients you probably already have in your home, and they are not hard to come by. Note that not sticking to the ingredients for this Honey Sesame Chicken recipe will result in a possible recipe fail.
Chicken Thighs or Breasts: whichever cut of meat you prefer.
Corn Starch and Flour to coat the chicken
Soy Sauce: This is the brand I use.
Sesame Oil: This is an important ingredient, it gives a certain flavor to the sauce that marinates the chicken pieces and should not be skipped.
Sweet Chili Sauce: You can find this in the grocery store near the hot sauces. I like to buy this brand.
Ketchup: This brand is the only brand I use, and I usually buy sugar-free if I can find it.
Honey: I only use raw unfiltered honey.
Oyster Sauce: No substitutions recommended, other than making your own. If you cannot use Oyster Sauce due to fish allergies, I just recommend leaving it out without a substitution.
Tips for making this Honey Sesame Chicken recipe
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. This will allow the chicken to cook quickly.
- Use a candy thermometer to keep track of the oil temperature. It should not go higher than 350. If it drops lower than 350, allow the oil to reheat to 350 before resuming frying the chicken.
- Do not skip marinating the chicken pieces. This imparts the flavor you want and will help tenderize it.
- The flour and cornstarch will cling to the outside of the chicken, giving it a light breading when fried. I do not recommend skipping the cornstarch. This is what helps the honey sesame chicken coating stay crispy.
Substitutions you can make for ingredients
- Coconut Aminos can be substituted for soy sauce
- Seasoned rice vinegar can be substituted for cooking wine
- I encourage you to use the sesame oil if you can. It has a distinct nutty flavor. However, if you cannot use sesame oil, you can replace it with olive oil
- Cornstarch gives a little crispiness to the batter that fries around the chicken pieces. I don't recommend substituting, however if you must, try arrowroot or increase the flour by 1 tablespoon
- If you don't want to use the sweet chili sauce, this Chili Garlic Sauce can be used. I suggest using ½ tablespoon to start as it is pure chilis and more concentrated than the sweet chili sauce.
- If you must substitute the oyster sauce, just use additional soy sauce and add a couple drops of Worcestershire sauce in it.
- Maple syrup can be substituted for the honey.
- I do NOT recommend you make all these substitutions at once. I would only go with one or two if needed. Doing so can be the cause of a recipe fail.
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Honey Sesame Chicken
for the chicken
- 12 oz. chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- oil for frying
for the honey sesame sauce
- 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- green onion tops sliced off garnish (optional)
- Marinate chicken in soy sauce, wine, sesame oil and sugar for about an hour.
- Mix flour and cornstarch and place in a large ziploc bag. Drain chicken and add to flour mixture. Shake gently to coat.
- Place oil in a deep frying pot and heat to 350 degrees. Gently place the chicken into the hot oil and fry until the chicken is cooked through and the batter is golden brown. Drain the chicken pieces on paper towels.
- In a small bowl, mix the sweet chili sauce, ketchup, honey, oyster sauce, soy, sauce and water in a medium sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil then simmer until sauce begins to thicken.
- Toss sauce with chicken pieces, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions (if using).