Sesame Chicken

While Sesame Chicken is certainly not a traditional Chinese dish, it always comes to mind when I think of Chinese food. Sesame Chicken is an Asian-American dish that was invented in North America and still appears on Chinese take-out menus to this day. Why, you ask? Because it is damn delicious! Tender pieces of chicken are breaded, fried and topped with a sweet sauce- I mean, what’s not to love?

Servings: 3-4

Difficulty: Medium

Prep Time:  30 minutes   |   Cook Time: 10 minutes   |   Total Time: 40 minutes



  • 3 boneless + skinless chicken thighs, cut in 2 centimetre cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cooking wine
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds


  • 2 tablespoons cooking wine
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • 2 scallions, chopped (for garnish)


Add the cubed chicken thighs, cornstarch, soy sauce, pepper and cooking wine into a bowl and mix to combine. Let the chicken marinade in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Combine the cooking wine, water, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and set aside.

In a smaller bowl, mix the cornstarch and water together. This is the cornstarch “slurry” and will be added during the cooking process to thicken the sauce.

Next, prep your vegetables. Finely chop garlic and roughly chop the scallions. Set aside for later.

Next, prep your breading mixture. Mix the flour and sesame seeds together on a plate or in a bowl. Set aside for later.

After 30 minutes have elapsed, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and get ready to bread the chicken. Toss the chicken in the breading mixture in small batches and ensure that all of the chicken cubes are fully coated. Reserve the breaded chicken on a plate until you are ready to fry the chicken.


Let’s get to cooking!

Begin by heating the oil in a wok (or large frying pan) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and let it fry for about a minute or until it begins to turn golden brown along the edges. Add the cooking wine and let it simmer out for about 30 seconds. Next, add the chicken to the pan and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once the chicken is golden brown and fully cooked, remove it from the pan onto a plate lined with paper towel (to absorb excess oil).

Reduce the heat of the pan to medium. Give the sauce a stir to mix up any sugar that may have settled to the bottom of the bowl and add it to the pan. Cook it together for 2-3 minutes until the flavours have combined and the sauce is warmed through. Next, mix up the cornstarch slurry and add it to the pan slowly, whisking the sauce as you add it. If you dump it all in at once, the sauce may clump up….which is no fun. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the sauce until it has thickened, about 2 minutes.

Once the sauce is thick, add the chicken back into the pan and mix it all together to combine. Make sure that the sauce covers all sides of the chicken. Scoop out the chicken onto a serving plate and top with the sesame seeds and the scallions. Serve immediately.