Spicy Sesame Chicken

Spicy Sesame Chicken

Crispy Sesame Chicken Recipe

Spicy Sesame Chicken

This is one of my absolute favourite spicy chicken recipes ever! This spicy sesame chicken dish is so simple to make and such a crowd-favourite! I think the best part about this dish is that the chicken is crispy and served with a tangy, yet sweet sauce that is not overwhelming and is served best with a bowl of white rice.

What is this spicy sesame chicken

So what actually is this spicy sesame chicken dish? It consists of bite-sized chicken pieces being coated with egg and cornstarch before being shallow-fried until cooked and crispy. The sauce is a mixture of different ingredients, such as light soy sauce, shaoxing wine and sesame oil. This recipe should make just enough sauce to coat all the chicken so it doesn’t soften the chicken and create an overwhelming taste.


The equipment I like to use to make this dish includes:

  • Bowls
  • Wok/Frying pan
  • Chopsticks
  • Paper towels
  • Plates 
  • Wooden spoon
Spicy Sesame Chicken

Ingredients you’ll need:

Crispy Chicken:

  • Chicken (either chicken thighs or chicken leg, deboned)
  • Egg
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt/Pepper (optional)

Spicy Sesame Sauce:

  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic
  • Shaoxing wine
  • Light soy sauce
  • Korean pepper paste
  • Honey
  • Onion

How to make the chicken crispy

To make the sesame chicken crispy, you need to coat the chicken pieces in beaten egg before coating it in corn starch. The egg will help the corn starch stick to the chicken, which in turn will help the chicken crisp when being shallow-fried in oil. Fry the chicken at low-medium heat and turn it every few minutes until the chicken is cooked and all sides are brown and crispy. I usually cook them for 8-10 minutes. Once crispy, place the chicken pieces on a paper towel to allow the oil residue to get soaked up, leaving you with crispy chicken. 

How to make the spicy sesame sauce

To make the spicy sauce, first fry the minced garlic and cubed onion in a pan. Once these are cooked, lower the heat and add the sesame oil, shaoxing wine, soy sauce, Korean pepper paste and honey to the pan and mix until even. Once the sauce is mixed, add the crispy chicken and coat it evenly in the sauce and coat with sesame seeds. Serve immediately. 

I would like to note that the sauce itself is very overwhelming and can be too intense for some people – it’s quite tangy, yet sweet and very spicy at the same time. However, once you add the crispy chicken to the sauce and coat it evenly, the sauce won’t be as intense anymore, giving you the perfect ratio of plain crispy chicken with piquant sauce. 

Spicy Sesame Chicken


  • Korean pepper paste – the Korean pepper paste is an add-on to make the sesame chicken extra spicy. If you prefer a medium to low spice, you can remove the Korean pepper paste and add chilli flakes / real chilli to the sauce to make it crispy. The outcome of the sauce may taste different. 
  • Ketchup – If you don’t want to use the Korean pepper paste, you could use ketchup as an alternative. The ketchup makes the sauce a lot more tangy, so you may want to add some brown sugar to balance out the taste. Add extra chilli flakes / chilli if preferred.
  • Shaoxing wine – If you don’t have shaoxing wine, using regular white wine is a good alternative. 
  • Salt/pepper – if you want more flavour on the chicken, you can add salt and/or pepper to the cornstarch before adding it to the chicken. I personally don’t add it because the sauce is salty enough from the soy sauce, but it is a variation to consider. 
  • Baked sesame chicken – If you don’t want to shallow-fry the chicken, an alternative is to bake the chicken instead. The chicken will not crisp up as much, but it is a healthier alternative. 
  • Onion – I like to add onion to the sauce because my family basically adds onions to every dish but it’s definitely not a necessity. 
  • Stir fry – Add extra vegetables to the pan before serving, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, or green beans.


  • Is this spicy sesame chicken healthy? – This honey sesame chicken dish is not the healthiest dish to make, but it’s also not the most unhealthy. The chicken is shallow-fried in oil for at least 8 minutes.
  • Is this sesame chicken dish sweet? – This dish is both sweet, yet tangy at the same time. The sauce itself can be considered very strong but it creates the perfect taste when stirred into the chicken. If you want to make it sweeter, add some brown sugar to the sauce and let it melt at medium heat before stirring in the crispy chicken. 

Hints and tips:

  • How long to fry the chicken depends on the chicken size. I cut the chicken into small bite-sized pieces so I usually fry it between 8-10 minutes, turning the chicken every 2 minutes. If you use smaller or bigger chicken pieces, adjust your frying time accordingly.
  • Once the chicken is cooked and crispy, make sure to place the chicken pieces on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  • This spicy sesame chicken dish is best served with white rice.

More Asian dishes:

Final thoughts on this Crispy Sesame Chicken 

Overall, this sesame chicken recipe is so tasty and such a family favourite of mine! It’s so easy to make, taste delicious and is so different to your typical fried chicken recipes. The tangy, yet sweet and spicy sauce is so unique and goes perfectly with the bite-sized, shallow-fried chicken pieces. 

Spicy Sesame Chicken

Recipe by YvonneCourse: MainDifficulty: Easy


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A super tasty spicy sesame chicken recipe like no other! This crispy chicken mixed with tangy, yet sweet and spicy sauce is the perfect combination you’d never expect!


  • Crispy Chicken
  • 260g chicken (either thighs or leg)

  • 1 egg

  • 5 tbsp cornstarch

  • Spicy Sesame Sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine

  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 heap tsp korean pepper paste

  • 1-2 tbsp honey

  • 1 medium onion


  • Chicken
  • Cut the chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces (around 2-3cm).
  • Gather two separate bowls. In one bowl, crack and beat the egg. In the second bowl add the cornstarch.
  • Individually, evenly coat the chicken with the beaten egg before coating it with the cornstarch. Once coated, place on a separate plate. Repeat this until all chicken pieces are coated and ready to be fried.
  • In a frying pan, add vegetable oil (there should be around 3-5mm of oil) and heat it at medium heat.
  • Place chicken in oil and fry at medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until cooked and crispy. Turn the chicken every few minutes to ensure all sides crisp and brown.
  • Once cooked, place the chicken pieces on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Set this aside.
  • Spicy Sesame Sauce
  • Mince the garlic and cube the onion. Fry the two at medium heat in a little oil for 2-3 minutes or until cooked.
  • Add the sesame oil, shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, Korean pepper paste and honey to the pan and mix evenly at low heat.
  • Once the sauce is mixed and heated, add the chicken pieces to the sauce and mix them until the chicken is coated evenly.
  • Garnish the chicken with sesame seeds and spring onions and serve with white rice. Enjoy 🙂

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