Surprise the family tonight with this delicious and easy sesame chicken. It’s smothered in a thick sauce that’s packed with flavour. And because you’ve made it yourself, you’ll know it’s far better than a takeaway!
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Easy sesame chicken
This easy recipe for sesame chicken has got to be one of my all-time favourite dishes for when the Chinese craving hits. It’s got all the Asian flavours that combine so well together – ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame. And the best thing about making it at home is that you know exactly what has gone into it, and you can adjust the flavours to suit yourself.
The sesame chicken is coated in a light tempura batter and fried to a crispy golden brown, covered with a delicious Asian flavoured sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The chicken itself is mouth-wateringly tender, due to the fact that it is left to marinate for 15 minutes in a light batter made with cornflour (cornstarch) and egg. The cornflour and egg white in the batter break down the fibres in the chicken, making it beautifully soft and tender
If you enjoy seafood, you can substitute the chicken with shrimp (or prawns if you live in England). The steps in the recipe would remain the same.
I like to serve this dish with a side helping of vegetable lo mein, or a bowl of egg fried rice, so that I don’t miss a drop of the delicious sauce.
How to make easy sesame chicken
**Get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making easy sesame chicken on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
This dish is all about preparation. Once all the ingredients have been prepared you can have this easy sesame chicken on the table in 20 minutes or less. There are 3 easy steps for the preparation, and once that’s out of the way, the meal almost cooks itself.
- Make the batter. Break 2 eggs into a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and then add 4 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch. Mix well to remove all the lumps. You should have quite a thick batter. If the batter is very runny, add more cornflour/cornstarch, a teaspoon at a time, until a spoon drawn through the batter leaves a trail. The size of the eggs will determine whether you need to add any extra cornflour.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then transfer the cubed chicken to the batter and leave to stand for 10 minutes (see images 1, 2 and 3 below). For this recipe, I have allowed 110g / 4oz chicken per person. You can increase this for larger appetites.
- Mix the sauce. Dissolve the chicken stock cube in boiling water. Allow to cool slightly. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and vinegar. Mix the cornflour/cornstarch to a smooth paste with a little cold water and stir into the chicken stock.
Make the sesame chicken
- Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and add the chicken, a few pieces at a time (image 4 above).
- When adding the chicken to the pan, take individual pieces of chicken, and hold each piece above the bowl for a few seconds to allow any excess batter to drain off.
- Try to keep each piece of chicken separate from the other pieces.
- You will probably have to do this in batches to get a nice golden coating on the chicken. Do not put too much chicken in at one time as this will cause the pan to lose heat and the chicken will release moisture and stew rather than fry.
- Keep the heat on a medium setting or the chicken will burn on the outside before the inside is cooked. Stir to keep separate and allow the chicken to fry until it turns golden brown and is no longer pink on the inside.
- Once brown, drain on kitchen paper and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
- Pour the chicken sauce mixture into the same pan that you used for the chicken, and bring it to the boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. A spoon will leave a trail in the sauce when it is thick enough (image1 above).
- Add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce and stir to coat (image 2 above).
- Stir the chicken over the heat until it has warmed through, then transfer the chicken to a serving dish, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve while it is still hot.
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Easy sesame chicken recipe
Easy sesame chicken
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- Mixing jug
- 1 pound (450g) chicken breasts (allow 4oz / 110g per person)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying
- 2 large eggs
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cornflour / cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
Sesame chicken sauce
- 2 cups chicken stock made with 2 stock cubes and 2 cups boiling water
- 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoon cornflour / cornstarch
- Mix batter for chicken – break 2 eggs into a mixing bowl and add 4 tablespoons cornflour and ½ teaspoon salt (or to your own taste. Whisk until there are no lumps and the batter is quite thick. If the batter is very runny add more cornflour, a teaspoon at a time, until the batter leaves a trail when you draw a spoon through it.
- Cut chicken and coat with batter – cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and mix into the batter. Leave to stand for 10 minutes until you are ready to fry the chicken.
- Mix the sauce – dissolve the chicken stock cubes in 2 cups boiling water. Add all the ingredients for the sauce except for the cornflour/cornstarch. Mix the cornflour/cornstarch to a thin paste with 2 or 3 tablespoons cold water and mix into the chicken stock. Set aside until needed.
- Heat 2 tablespoons sunflower oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time. Stirfry until golden brown and no longer pink on the inside. (Cut a piece open to test).
- Cook the chicken in batches and drain on paper towel. Keep warm while you make the sauce.
- Pour the chicken sauce mixture into the frying pan and bring to the boil. Stir until it thickens.
- Add the chicken pieces to the sauce in the wok and stir to coat.
- Stir over a low heat until the chicken has warmed through.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and serve with either vegetable lo mein or egg fried rice.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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