Baked Sesame Chicken

You’ve probably ordered sesame chicken before, as it’s a standard menu item at most Chinese restaurants. Having it at a Chinese buffet is a more likely place to try it. As typical as French fries at McDonald’s, this Baked Sesame Chicken dish can be found on the steam table of any Chinese buffet.

Chicken with orange flavoring is a common dish, and if you like it, you must try our Orange Chicken prepared with the right aromatic spices.

Truth be told, my parents’ favorite Chinese takeout spot didn’t offer sesame chicken until about 20 years after it first became trendy, which could mean that they missed the boat when it came to menu planning or that they didn’t realize how famous Chinese buffets would become in the United States. There were no Chinese buffets in the area when my family and I first moved to New Jersey from upstate New York to open a restaurant.

One of the first Chinese buffets in the area was in New Jersey, and my favorite uncle drove down there to try it out. It was a big deal because there was unlimited food, more than twenty options, free soda, and dessert. That’s some seriously forward-thinking thinking right there.

During the development of the Chinese buffet, some astute people selected sesame chicken as one of the twenty essential buffet dishes, but what is Sesame chicken, exactly? Of course, you’re thinking, “Hey, that sounds just like General Tso’s chicken!” Not really, because the General prefers a darker, spicier, and tangier sauce with his fried chicken and broccoli.

Compared to General Tso’s chicken, sesame chicken tends to be sweeter. However, the dish still features a hint of vinegar to counteract the sugar. Moreover, there are many more sesame seeds in it, as one would expect from something called “sesame chicken.”

So, I give you my take on sesame chicken, which incorporates an oven-fried technique for a more nutritious spin on the classic. Is the term “skinny sesame chicken” acceptable? If this is an exaggeration or not is still up for debate.


For the Chicken:

  • 1 lb. of boneless chicken thighs(cut into chunks)
  • 1 tbsp. of cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. of sesame paste
  • ¼ tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of Shaoxing wine
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour (32g)
  • 2 tbsp. of toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/8 tsp. of fresh ground white pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tsp. of canola oil
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
  • 3/4 cup of chicken stock (180 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp. of rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. of sugar
  • 1 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. of dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. of cornstarch (mixed into a slurry with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1 pc. of scallion (sliced into 1/2 inch pieces)


  1. Set aside the chicken for 20 minutes after mixing it with the cornstarch, sesame paste, salt, and Shaoxing wine. Then, combine the flour, sesame seeds, and white pepper in a different bowl. Bring the temperature of your oven up to 475 degrees.
  2. Combine the chicken and marinade thoroughly using your hands until there is no pooling liquid. Place chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or nonstick foil and dredge in the dry mixture. Put on the top rack and bake for 8 minutes at 475 degrees. Broil the chicken for 3 minutes on low, then flip and broil for another minute. Taking out of the oven.
  3. Put the oil and garlic in the wok and heat it over medium heat. Shaoxing wine should be added after 5 seconds of stirring. Add the chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, sugar, soy sauces, and sesame oil, and bring to a simmer within 5 seconds.
  4. Stirring constantly, slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce. Wait 20 seconds before serving. A spoonful of the sauce should coat the back of the spoon. Throw in the chicken and scallions and toss until everything is well-coated with sauce. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.
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