“Take-Out” Sesame Ginger Chicken

My family, especially my kids are suckers for good Chinese food.
My kids totally crack me up when heading out to eat, when asked where to go we get one of two answers, “Chinese” or “Garlic Knot” (local pizza place). I love that now too they may even say sushi, meaning Chinese because they get sesame chicken at our favorite sushi place in town. I love sushi, love it! So this is always music to my ears. But taking 5 kids, let me correct that, five hungry kids requires a certain amount of energy and patience and let’s be real, I just don’t have it all the time…that is patience. So there are those nights where it is worth the messy kitchen, dishes upon piles of dishes to stay home and eat “Chinese take-out”. It taste even better than take-out, although I actually think my kids may disagree as they love super fried, like “where is the chicken?” fried type of sesame chicken. LOL.
This recipe is amazing, the ginger adds just a simple touch of sweetness. And what I love about this recipe is that it doesn’t call for flour to coat the chicken. And yet, you still get the crispiness of “take-out” sesame chicken.
Easy to prepare and make, even easier to serve. Your family and guest will devour this in no time.
Enjoy our twist on “take-out” Sesame Ginger Chicken.

“Take-Out” Sesame Ginger Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6

“Take-Out” Sesame Ginger Chicken

This "Take-Out" Sesame Ginger Chicken recipe is easy to make and easier to serve. With a touch of sweetness from the fresh ginger, and coated in cornstarch instead of flour, this recipe has a lightness to it, while still having all the qualities of your typical Chinese take-out sesame chicken.


  • 2 1/4 - 1/2 lbs of chicken thighs or breast
  • 1 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 8 tablespoons rice wine or white wine will work
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 8 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 generous tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoon sesame chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red chili sauce, found in aisle with oriental food
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish, optional
  • Scallions, for garnish, optional
  • Rice, for serving


Marinate the chicken, by in a mixing bowl, combine sesame oil, sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and pepper and stir. Toss in the chicken and coat, cover, place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Add 1 1/4 cup cornstarch to a shallow baking dish, set aside. Once the chicken has marinated for 1 hour remove and dredge each piece of chicken in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Set on baking sheet, and continue to coat the rest of the chicken, do not overlap chicken pieces on baking sheet.

Fill a Dutch oven or high-sided sauté pan with enough oil to completely submerge the chicken pieces. Heat over high heat until the temperature reaches 375 degrees F, I use a candy thermometer to check. Before I had one, I used the old water trick, of add a drop of water to the oil and if it bubbles and splatters then I knew the oil was ready, but you always run the risk of making the oil to hot, so once completely heated, reduce burner to medium high. Adding your chicken in batches to not over crowd the pan, deep fry the chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes. I do about 4 batches. Remove the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet.

In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice (white) wine, hoisin, soy sauce, honey and the chili sauce; bring to a simmer. In a measuring cup, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water (you want to do this to avoid lumps) and whisk until combined. Add water mixture to the sauce and simmer for an additional minute, until the sauce thickens. Adjust seasoning to taste, add a little more heat by adding red chili sauce, we like to add more soy and honey.

Add in the chicken to the sauce and toss to coat. Add the lemon zest and juice, optional – we don’t do this unless we are having guest over. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and scallions.

Serve with rice.


Kid’s reviews: Anyone want “take out”? Yes, they’ll scream. Let’s whip it up.

Adapted from Food Network, Kelsey Nixon


  1. says

    This looks so yummy! I love sesame chicken and have been looking for some good “take-out” recipes. I found an amazing fried rice one, so this would be a great add!

  2. says

    I have not had Sesame Chicken in a long time! Lately when I go Chinese I order Pepper Steak–A bit much for me to prepare just for me but maybe if I invite a bunch of friends over—-

    • Sandra says

      Louise – thank you so much for bringing this to my attention yes, I did 2 1/2 pounds! xo San

  3. says

    This looks AMAZING!!!! Better than any take-out!!!!!! And it’s making me hungry just looking at the beautiful pictures!!!

  4. says

    Mmmm, I’m definitely pinning this; this is my absolute favorite when we order Chinese. We have to try this. Thanks so much for sharing on Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week’s issue.

  5. Kirsten says

    Hey this sounds delicious! I was writing it down so I can cook it this week, but I’m a bit confused. In your list of ingredients, you don’t list chicken so I’m not sure how much to use. Also, in the first step, you say to marinate with a mix of sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce and pepper. The sesame oil and sugar aren’t in the list of ingredients either so I don’t know how much to use. I love, love, love sesame chicken and can’t wait to make this! Let me know if I”m missing something :) Thanks!

    • Sandra says

      LOL! Thanks for catching that girl, I left off my first ingredient when transfering, between 2 1/4 -2 1/2 lbs of chicken. I will go add that now. THANK YOU! xo San

  6. says

    We recently got back from 3 weeks in China, and I hear what your saying about eating out. After dragging our 4 kids around to restaurants 3 meals a day, I so prefer eating at home :) Although the food was incredible, and your dish reminds me of the great food! I can’t wait to give it a try, pinned!

  7. says

    YUM! While I don’t have five kids wanting to eat Chinese food quite a bit, my husband and I *adore* the local Chinese scene and spend a lot of time (and money!) trying out different dishes. I think this is going to have to be made at home sometime soon because it sounds amazing, and I love how you didn’t use flour for it!

    Also, this was one of my favorites from last week’s That’s Fresh Friday link-up! I’ll be sharing it at my blog tonight and this weekend as we kick off another party. Thanks for participating, and keep up the great work!

  8. Teri says

    As Kirsten said, there’s no listing for either the sesame oil or the sugar in the ingredients list…

    • Sandra says

      Thanks Teri and Kirsten – I copy and pasted from my word doc and some how left out 2 lines. THANK YOU for catching that. I have updated it now. xo San

  9. laura says

    this looks so good! we really want to give it a try. is the sesame chili sauce found in a jar? or is that ment to be sweet chili sauce? thanks if you could respond :)

  10. Julie says

    Hi, this looks amazing!
    Could you please tell me the brand of sesame chili sauce and red chili sauce you used?

  11. Lindsey says

    What is sesame chili sauce? I’ve never seen it at my grocery store and I googled it and didn’t find an answer. I just found recipes for sesame chili sauce. Is it like sriracha or sambal oelek? Please help!


  1. […] My daughters love Chinese food, especially take-out. They have always been a huge fan of my Take-Out Sesame Chicken recipe. This past Christmas my mom took the girls to Panda Express. It was one of those crazy Nutcracker […]

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