I love Chinese take-out recipes but I don’t love the frying and calories that comes with most of it, so this time around I’ve lightened up the classic Honey-Sesame Chicken! And trust me you won’t even miss the frying! It’s still totally flavorful and it even has a light battered crust around the chicken, and of course it’s finished off with a generous amount of sesame seeds for that finishing crunch. This is one of those recipes that’s so good I’d have no complaints whatsoever about having it on a weekly basis! It may just become a weeknight regular for you. Plus it’s a crowd pleaser, this is one of those recipes that anyone would love, both young and old alike.
I served mine up with brown rice to keep it healthier (white is prettier so I used white for pictures), but use whatever you like. I loved it with a side of steamed broccoli (you’ll want about 1 lb crowns, stems removed) but it would be also be good with green beans or a sauteed bell peppers, matchstick carrot, snow pea blend. Total comfort food without all the guilt right here and you’re going to love it!
Lighter Honey-Sesame Chicken
Skip the take-out and make this flavorful Chinese chicken at home instead! Bite size chicken pieces are pan seared then coated in a flavorful, easy to make honey sesame sauce. And you'll love that this recipe skips the deep frying - less mess and less fat.
- 2 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp finely minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp finely minced , peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth , divided
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts , diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 tsp each salt and white or black pepper
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil , peanut oil or extra-light olive oil
- 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
- 3 green onions , sliced
- Cooked white or brown rice , for serving
For the sauce:
Heat sesame oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add garlic and ginger and saute 30 seconds. Stir in 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp of the chicken broth, the honey, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a liquid measuring cup whisk together remaining 2 Tbsp chicken broth with 1 Tbsp cornstarch until well combined. Pour into simmering sauce mixture and allow to boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the chicken:
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together cornstarch, egg whites, salt and pepper until well blended and slightly frothy. Add in chicken and toss to evenly coat. Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken (work to space evenly apart and tilt pan slightly as needed to evenly distribute oil) and cook, turning pieces occasionally, until cooked through and outsides are golden brown, about 7 minutes (reduce heat slightly to medium heat as needed). Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat process with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp oil and chicken.
Return chicken on plate to pan with other chicken, add sauce and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve warm over white or brown rice.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy