Crispy Sesame Chicken (without Deep Frying)

4.67 from 6 votes
Email Facebook LinkedIn Mix Pinterest Reddit Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

Making ultra-flavorful restaurant-style crispy sesame chicken without a ton of sugar or deep frying. You can’t miss this dish! {Gluten Free Adaptable}

Crispy Sesame Chicken (without Deep Frying)

You typically see two types of sesame chicken recipes. The first type replicates the takeout-style crispy sesame chicken but requires you to deep fry the chicken. The second type uses a simple stir fry approach, but doesn’t give you that crunchy surface. This recipe provides a better solution, so you can create the perfect crunchy, crispy chicken without deep frying.

Crispy Sesame Chicken (without Deep Frying)

Why this recipe

Now here is the trick to creating crispy chicken with a crunchy coating that is like the takeout you’d get from Chinese restaurants, without making a mess.

  • The killer coating for extra crispy chicken.

Simply use the formula: oil + salt + egg + cornstarch

Not only does it season the chicken and make it flavorful, but it also yields an extra crispy exterior, even after you coat it with sauce.

  • You can use any cut of chicken you like.

Although I always prefer chicken thighs, you can use chicken breast and create awesome results, as well.

  • How to make crispy chicken with less oil.

The answer is by pan-frying, which requires just 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil to coat your skillet. Simply cook the chicken one side at a time until golden brown, and transfer it to a plate for a minute to cool. Taste a piece of chicken. You’ll be surprised at the juicy and flavorful interior and super crunchy coating.

  • Extra flavorful sauce with less sugar.

This recipe uses cooking wine, Chinkiang vinegar, and plenty of fresh herbs to create an extra fragrant sauce that is rich and delicious. Many recipes out there use half a cup (or a whole cup!) of sugar. This one uses just a quarter cup, but I guarantee the results will be amazing.

Ready to make some killer sesame chicken at home? Happy cooking and I hope you enjoy the dish as much as I do!

Crispy Sesame Chicken (without Deep Frying)

More Chinese takeout recipes

Crispy Sesame Chicken (without Deep Frying)

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Want to Know More?Receive our 5-Day Chinese Cooking Crash Course & Recipe Updates! Subscribe
Crispy Sesame Chicken (without Deep Frying)

Crispy Sesame Chicken (without Deep Frying)

4.67 from 6 votes
Make ultra-flavorful restaurant-style crispy sesame chicken without a ton of sugar or deep frying.
{Gluten Free Adaptable}
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main
Cuisine: chinese american
Keyword: takeout
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 lbs (450 g) chicken thighs , cut to bite-size chunks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch


  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (or rice vinegar for gluten-free)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds , toasted


  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 green onions , sliced


  • Combine chicken pieces, vegetable oil, and salt in a big bowl. Mix well and let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Add the beaten egg into the bowl with the chicken. Stir to mix well. Add cornstarch. Stir to coat chicken, until it forms an uneven coating with a little dry cornstarch left unattached.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add chicken all at once and spread out into a single layer in the skillet. Separate chicken pieces with a pair of tongs or chopsticks.
  • Cook without touching the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom turns golden. Flip to brown the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a big plate and remove the pan from the stove. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Wipe the extra oil from the pan using a few layers of paper towel held in a pair of tongs, leaving about 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the garlic and green onion. Stir fry a few seconds to release the aroma.
  • Stir the sauce again to thoroughly dissolve the cornstarch. Add to the pan and cook until thickened.
  • Add the chicken back into the pan and stir to mix well.
  • Transfer to a plate and serve hot over steamed rice.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 448kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 18.5g, Fat: 28.2g, Saturated Fat: 6.3g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 613mg, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugar: 12.5g
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!
Crispy Sesame Chicken (without Deep Frying)

Receive our FREE 5-Day Chinese Cooking Crash Course & Recipe Updates!


Leave a Review!

I love hearing from you! Submit your question or review below. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*.

Rate This Recipe!

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hawk says:

    Hello! This recipe looks really, good, but I think it might be missing a step? You have “Stir the sauce again” in step 6, but you don’t actually mention combining the sauce ingredients in the first place anywhere? I assume you just whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until then, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Thanks!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Hawk, thanks so much for pointing out my mistake! Yes I forgot to write down the step of combing the sauce ingredients together. Will update the recipe now. Happy cooking 🙂

  2. CheesyRat says:

    Dank recipe Maggie XD

    • CheesyRat says:

      Dank means good for me, I hope I didn’t offend u

      • Maggie says:

        Dank is one of the only two German words I know so you’re totally fine 😉
        Happy cooking and hope your dish turns out great!

  3. Jennifer Tripp says:

    5 stars
    At least once a week I try one of your recipes. This was a huge success and left us wishing there were leftovers! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes!

    • Maggie says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the dish Jennifer! I love this one as well. Hope you have a great day 🙂

  4. DMK says:

    Hi, great site! This looks delicious. Maybe you can help me – I’m cooking for somebody who isn’t eating eggs or dairy currently; is there a good substitute for the eggs? Thanks!

    • Maggie says:

      Try using 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine to marinade the chicken and skip the egg. When you’re ready to cook, add enough cornstarch to coat the chicken. I believe it will turn out pretty well. Happy cooking and hope the dish turns out great 🙂

      • DMK says:

        Thank you! I’ll let you know!

  5. victor says:

    Love Chinese cuisine and am a big fan of shallow frying, Will definitely try your recipe.

  6. Chit says:

    4 stars
    Making this is superb! So delicious like I ordered it from a real Chinese restaurant…but I think much better. Will land in my favorites! Thank you.

  7. Jess says:

    A quick question regarding Step 1, when you said ‘vegetable oil, do you mean sasame oil?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Jess, no, I usually use vegetable oil or peanut oil to make this dish and use toasted sesame seeds to add the nuttiness. If you want a more intensive sesame flavor, you can add a small drizzle (like 1/2 teaspoon) of toasted sesame oil (the dark type) at the end of cooking. Adding sesame oil at the beginning of cooking is not the best option because the high heat during cooking will cause it to lose the nutty taste.
      Happy cooking and I hope you enjoy the dish 🙂

  8. Robert Nieboer says:

    Hi Maggie
    Sounds delicious! I’m a type 2 diabetic – is there a way that I can avoid the sugar?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Robert, you can try to use 1/2 tablespoon stevia or 6 packets splenda to replace the sugar. The sweetness is very important in this recipe, otherwise your dish will turn out too sour.
      Let me know if you have more questions. Hope you’ll able to cook this one at home 🙂

  9. Anita says:

    Hi Maggie! I am a huge fan of your blog! If I want to make this chicken the day before, how do I reheat it to get the crunchy flavour again? Would I bake it?

  10. Karen says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    This recipe is a keeper, the technique is perfect for home cooks

    Delicious and surprisingly easy considering the wonderful flavor!

    And a thousand times better than takeout

  11. Erika says:

    I willwith pork to make ,is ok?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Erika, yes, pork will totally work!

  12. Debbie Mar says:

    Where have you been all my life? I am a former Beijinger (Lao wei) and I ‘ve missed these dishes!!! Thank you so much. I understand your methods clearly.

  13. Yusel Kho says:

    5 stars
    Hi Maggie. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe! We cooked it this morning and we love this so much!

  14. Marie-Andree says:

    4 stars
    Ok, I did not make this with chicken but used the sauce for a sesame salmon instead. It was very yummy! I added a TBSP of Hoisin and a TBSP of miso paste in the sauce. I started with a cup of chicken broth because we like more sauce, and reduced the sugar (will reduce even further in the future), double the cooking wine and the cornstarch. Pan seared the marinated salmon (Ponzu sauce and a little sesame oil), put aside, cook all my vegetables in order of cooking time (onion, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini, yellow bell pepper, fresh corn, bock choi and green onion), before pouring in the sauce for a few minutes of simmering. Served over Jasmine rice. So good and healthy!

  15. Kristina says:

    Thank you for this recipe! The family loved it, unanimously ranking it #1 in the ‘please make this again’ list. We like things spicy so I did add some Sambal Oelek to the sauce. I also chopped some cilantro for garnish before serving. Next time I would also reduce the sugar a bit as well, but still great as is. I look forward to trying more of our recipes!

  16. Lisa says:

    Hi thank you for your recipes. Salt and pepper chicken was amazing.
    For the above recipe could insubstitte sugar or anything else, instead if the dry sherry
    Thank you

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Lisa, you can use some chicken broth to replace the dry sherry.

  17. MM says:

    5 stars
    I’m new to your recipes but this was the second one we tried. They were both great but this one was spectacular!! I love sesame chicken done *right* so this will definitely be a regular in our meal rotation! Thank you SO much for this deliciousness!

  18. Brian in Kansas says:

    5 stars
    Not much of a cook but this recipe made me look like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen. My wife and daughter were very complimentary at the dinner table last night. The only thing I changed with the recipe was cutting the sugar in half and using rice vinegar over the Chinkiang vinegar. Kudos to me though for having the Shaoxing wine on hand since there really is no equal substitute for that.
    Thank you Maggie Zhu!

  19. Rita says:

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe so much. My husband loves it as well. Will be making this again with my grandkids!!!

Omnivore's Cookbook: Make Chinese Cooking Easy
BuzzFeedGood HousekeepingHuffington PostLucky ChowMSNReader's DigestSaveurYahoo! News

FREE 5-Day Chinese Cooking Crash Course

Cooking delicous Chinese food is easier than you think!





Follow us on Facebook