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Crispy Honey Sesame Chicken pairs crunchy fried chicken with a sweet, sticky honey garlic sauce. Everything is tossed with sesame seeds for an extra layer of crunchy goodness, making this easy Panda Express Copycat recipe better than going for take-out. 

A pan of crispy honey sesame chicken with a spoon.
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Chinese food is one of my favorites but getting takeout can be expensive, and it’s so easy to make my favorite recipes at home. This easy sesame chicken recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make, plus it freezes and reheats well. Save yourself the hassle of going out to restaurants like Panda Express or PF Chang’s and learn how to make Honey Sesame Chicken at home.

Why You’ll Love This Panda Express Copycat Recipe

  • It’s better than takeout. Crispy honey sesame chicken is one of my favorites when ordering take-out. This homemade version is even better, and I can make it any time. 
  • It’s fast. I can make this entire meal from start to finish faster than I can get delivery or go through the drive-thru at my favorite Chinese restaurant. 
  • It’s a family favorite. The sweet and tangy sauce isn’t spicy, so everyone in the house loves it. There is no need to make a separate meal for the kids. 

Honey Sesame Chicken Ingredients

  • Chicken: cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. You could also use chicken thighs if you prefer.
  • Eggs: beat room temperature eggs for dipping the chicken. 
  • Dredge: a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch is used to create a crispy coating. 
  • Salt & pepper: for seasoning the chicken. 
  • Oil: to deep fry.
  • Garlic: use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor. 
  • Soy Sauce: I prefer to use low sodium soy sauce. You can also use tamari or amino acids. 
  • Sweeteners: a combination of honey, ketchup and brown sugar create the base for this sweet and sticky sauce. 
  • Rice Vinegar: this sweet, mild vinegar is commonly used in Asian dishes. You can substitute other kinds of vinegar.
  • Cornstarch: to thicken the sauce. 
  • Sesame Seeds: for sprinkling over the chicken.  
  • Green Onion: for garnish. 
Ingredients needed to make easy sesame chicken recipe.

How To Make Sesame Chicken

Step 1: Dredge the chicken. In a bowl, crack the eggs and whisk with a fork; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper; set aside. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture first and then dredge the chicken into the flour mixture, pressing to coat evenly. Repeat the same with the remaining chicken breast cubes and place them on a plate.

Dredging chicken in egg and seasoned flour before frying.

Step 2: Fry the chicken. Meanwhile, heat oil to deep fry. Once the oil is heated, fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden and crispy. Transfer the chicken pieces to a dish covered with a kitchen towel to remove the excess oil. Set aside.

Crispy fried chicken rest in a plate on paper towels.

Step 3: Prepare the skillet. Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Add oil and garlic and saute for a minute.

Reducing honey sesame garlic sauce in a pan until thickened.

Step 4: Prepare the honey sesame sauce. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine; soy sauce, honey, ketchup, rice vinegar, brown sugar and cornstarch.

A bowl of honey garlic sauce for sesame chicken.

Step 5: Stir fry the chicken. Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir the chicken back into the skillet. Coat the chicken pieces well with sauce.

Fried chicken is tossed with honey sesame stir fry sauce, sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

Step 6: Garnish and serve. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and green onions and serve immediately over the rice. 

A spoon with sesame coated fried chicken rests near the edge of a pan of honey sesame chicken.

Tips To Make This Recipe

  • Crispy Chicken: Make sure to coat the chicken pieces evenly for a crispy and golden exterior.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Cook the chicken in batches to ensure that it browns evenly and crisps up nicely.
  • Thicken the Sauce: If the sauce is too thin, you can thicken it by simmering it for a few extra minutes or adding a cornstarch slurry. This will help prevent the chicken from becoming soggy. 
  • Make it Spicy: For a spicy kick, add chilli flakes or one tablespoon of gochujang paste to the sauce.
A plate of honey sesame chicken with chopstick resting on the edge.

Storing and Reheating

Storing: Leftover honey sesame chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, the chicken may not be crispy anymore after storing.

Reheating: Reheat in a skillet over medium-high heat until the chicken is warmed through. 

Alternative Cooking Methods

  • Baked Honey Sesame Chicken: Instead of pan-frying, you can bake the chicken in the oven until cooked through, then toss it in the honey sesame sauce. You can find the baked version HERE.
  • Air Fryer Honey Sesame Chicken: Cook the marinated chicken in an air fryer for a healthier, crispy alternative and then toss into the cooked sauce.
  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute tofu or cauliflower for the chicken for a vegetarian-friendly version of this dish.

What to Serve with Honey Sesame Chicken

Like when you order in a restaurant, serve this Honey Sesame Chicken with white rice and steamed veggies. You can also serve it with Lo Mein Noodles, Vegetable Fried Rice or substitute Cauliflower Rice for white rice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze Honey Sesame Chicken?

Yes. However the texture may change a little. To freeze, cool completely and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a skillet until the chicken is warmed through. 

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast?

Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. Just adjust the cooking time as needed.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can bread the chicken ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to cook. You can also prepare the sauce in advance and store it separately until needed.

Chopstick hold a piece of crispy honey sesame chicken on a bed of white rice.

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More Asian Recipes

Whether you’re craving a comforting homemade meal or looking to impress your family with a restaurant-quality dish, our Honey Sesame Chicken will surely hit the spot. I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you!

If you try this recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave a star rating in the comment section below because I love hearing from my readers. Also follow me at Cookin’ With Mima on FACEBOOK |INSTAGRAM |PINTEREST for all of my latest social posts and recipes.

5 from 3 votes

​​Crispy Honey Sesame Chicken

Crispy Honey Sesame Chicken pairs crunchy fried chicken with a sweet, sticky honey garlic sauce. Everything is tossed with sesame seeds for an extra layer of crunchy goodness, making this easy sesame chicken recipe better than going for take-out.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

Chicken

  • lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 whole eggs
  • cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Salt & pepper
  • Oil, to deep fry

Honey Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth, or water
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped

Instructions 

  • In a bowl crack the eggs and whisk with a fork; set aside.
  • In a separate bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper; set aside.
  • Dip the chicken into the egg mixture first and then dredge the chicken into the flour mixture pressing to coat evenly.
  • Repeat the same with the remaining chicken breast cubes and place them on a plate.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil to deep fry. Once the oil is heated, fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden and crispy. Transfer the chicken pieces to a dish covered with kitchen towel to remove the excess oil. Set aside.
  • Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Add oil and garlic and saute for a minute.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine; soy sauce, broth or water, honey, ketchup, rice vinegar, brown sugar and cornstarch.
  • Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir the chicken back to the skillet. Coat the chicken pieces well with sauce.
  • Sprinkle the sesame seeds and green onions and serve immediately over the rice.

Notes

  • Crispy Chicken: Make sure to coat the chicken pieces evenly for a crispy and golden exterior.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Cook the chicken in batches to ensure that it browns evenly and crisps up nicely.
  • Thicken the Sauce: If the sauce is too thin, you can thicken it by simmering it for a few extra minutes or adding a cornstarch slurry. This will help prevent the chicken from becoming soggy. 
  • Make it Spicy: For a spicy kick, add chilli flakes or one tablespoon of gochujang paste to the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 1067mg | Potassium: 831mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 3mg
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5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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