Sesame chicken was my go-to order for Chinese takeout growing up. This simplified version will satisfy any sesame chicken (or Chinese food) craving, requires no deep frying, and comes together super fast! You can use chicken thigh or breast or even substitute with cubed tofu or tempeh. This one is sure to please the whole family!

Ingredient Highlight

Chicken! is a great way to get in easy protein that’s packed with selenium, choline, niacin (Vitamin B3), and vitamin B6, and B12.

Servings 4 People
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup jasmine white rice*
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch**
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions about 1 bunch
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • *We’re using rice in this meal and the Rice + Beans, so double down on the rice to save time! If you prefer brown rice, go for it.
  • **I tested with both cornstarch and tapioca. Cornstarch had better results, but both will work. The tapioca starch may take longer to thicken.
  • Note: for a veggie boost, add in some finely chopped broccoli, cabbage, or kale at the end before adding the sauce.

Pro tip:

  • measure the sesame oil first, then measure the honey. The oiled tablespoon makes the honey slide right out (no more sticky fingers!).

Jasmine white rice:

  • Add the rice to a fine mesh strainer and rinse, using your hands to agitate the grains, until the water runs clear. This gets rid of the extra starch so your rice isn’t mushy. Add rice to a medium pot along with 1 ½ cups water over high heat. Once the water starts to simmer rapidly, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for about 12-15 minutes, or until the water is evaporated and rice is cooked (watch the first part of the Bibimbap video to see how!).

Short grain brown rice:

  • Add rice to a pot and fill with enough water to cover by at least two inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a rapid simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

Instructions

  • Cook the rice (instructions below).
    In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, sesame, vinegar, ginger, and garlic until thoroughly combined (mix that honey in!).
  • Add starch to the chicken and toss to coat (I usually just do this on my cutting board). In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Once hot, add half of the chicken and spread out into an even layer. Let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Give it a stir and let cook until cooked through, about 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with remaining oil and chicken.
  • Once the second batch is done, add the first batch back into the skillet, along with the sesame soy mixture. Give it all a stir, then let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken nicely. Remove from heat and stir in the scallions.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds over the chicken and serve with rice, a squeeze of lime, and sriracha (if using).

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Cook 1 cup rice
  • Cube 2 lbs chicken
  • Whisk together the sesame soy mixture
  • Thinly slice 1 cup scallions

Substitutions:

  • To make vegan or vegetarian, substitute cubed extra firm tofu or tempeh for the chicken.
  • For a veggie boost, add in some finely chopped broccoli, cabbage, or kale at the end before adding the sauce.  

Storage:

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Warm up leftovers in the microwave until warmed through. Serve topped with any fresh green herbs you have (green scallions, cilantro, basil, mint) and a generous squeeze of lime. 
  • A fried egg or scrambled eggs would be delicious mixed in with the chicken. 

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