Baked sesame chicken

An easy, family-favourite dish!

I love this dish because it’s super flavourful and much healthier than the deep-fried version which is so popular at many North American-style Chinese restaurants. Aside from the resting time for the chicken at the beginning of the recipe, it’s also a very quick and easy dish to prepare. I like to serve it over cooked jasmine rice, but it would also be delicious over lightly seasoned rice noodles. This bok choy would make a terrific side dish to go with the chicken.


For the chicken:

  • 1 pound (454g) boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sesame paste *
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Shaoxing wine or mirin or sherry
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) toasted sesame seeds
  • pinch fresh ground pepper

*you can substitute with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of tahini mixed with 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) sesame oil, or just use 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) of sesame oil.

For the sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Shaoxing wine or mirin or sherry
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) corn starch + 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water
  • Additional sesame seeds, to garnish
  • 1 green onion, slivered, to garnish



  • Mix the chicken with the cornstarch, sesame paste, salt, and Shaoxing wine and set aside for 20 minutes. Then mix the flour, sesame seeds and pepper in a bag large enough to hold the chicken.
  • Preheat the oven to 450F and place a rack in the upper position.
  • Line a baking sheet large enough to hold the chicken pieces in a single layer with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Use your hands to mix the chicken in the bowl then transfer chicken pieces to the bag with flour, etc. Twist or seal the bag shut and shake until all chicken pieces are coated with the flour mixture.
  • Transfer the coated chicken onto the parchment-lined baking tray, taking care to place the pieces in a single layer.
  • Bake for 8 minutes; turn chicken pieces over and broil on low for 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven.
  • While chicken is cooking, heat a wok or frying pan that will be large enough to hold the chicken pieces over medium heat. Add the oil and garlic; stir fry for 10 seconds then stir in the Shaoxing wine, mirin or sherry, followed by the chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, sugar, soy sauces, and sesame oil. Heat until the mixture is just about to come to a boil.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water to form a thin past. Gradually add the cornstarch and water mixture to the sauce, stirring constantly. Let simmer for 1 minute until thickened. Remove from heat.
  • When chicken is cooked, bring the sauce mixture back to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Add the cooked chicken pieces and toss gently until coated with the sauce.
  • Transfer to a serving platter (or to bowls with hot, cooked rice) and garnish with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.

Serves 4.


Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.

7 thoughts

  1. i love all these flavours paula but i would have to double the quantity in this household! a pound of chicken for 4? no way – tee hee:-)

    1. You are more generous in your servings than I am. I guess I have been loading up our plates with vegetables for so long nobody complains anymore! 🙂

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