Honey Sesame Chicken

Honey sesame chicken is a really simple and delicious take-out style dish that can be made in the air fryer. The chicken is seasoned with a few common Asian ingredients and coated in potato starch before being air fried. This recipe is perfect for those quick weeknight meals.

Growing up, I never ate much Chinese takeout because my parents would always tell me that it is unauthentic or just isn’t healthy. However, once I moved away from home for University, I found myself eating takeout a few times a month and it has really grown on me. I find myself craving Chinese takeout at random times and that’s not a good thing lol.

This is one of those meals that will remind you of that takeout style battered chicken in a tangy sauce without as much oil and guilt. I also really enjoy using this as a meal prep option, however, the chicken will not be as crispy as when it is fresh.

Key ingredients/steps for honey sesame chicken

Five spice powder: Five spice powder is a combination of cinnamon, fennel, star anise, peppercorns and other spices. That being said, it is a very strong spice used in traditional Chinese cooking and a little goes a long way.

Shaoxing rice wine: Shaoxing rice wine is a very popular rice wine used to marinate meats. It helps tenderize the meat and can be substituted with sake.

Corn starch: I like to add corn starch in the marinade because it acts as a thickening agent which makes the coating process easier.

Potato starch: Potato starch is usually my coating starch of choice because it is a coarse grain of starch which adds to the crispiness of the chicken. This is not necessary and can be substituted with corn starch.

Sesame oil: Toasted sesame oil is also one of those ingredients that you don’t need to add much of to get amazing flavor from. I always add sesame oil at the very end because once sesame oil is cooked, it loses its aroma.

Honey Sesame Chicken

A delicious takeout style item that can be made in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese



  • lbs chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • ½ tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp corn starch


  • ½ cup potato starch

Sauce ingredients

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • sesame seeds
  • green onions


  • Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and marinate in all the chicken ingredients.
  • Allow the chicken to marinate for a few hours, but if you don't have time just skip this step.
  • Coat completely in potato starch then place in the air fryer, spray with oil, and air fry at 400F for 12 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is done cooking, throw the sauce ingredients in a pan over med-high heat and allow to simmer.
  • Add the chicken in the pan then turn up the heat to high and toss.
  • Once chicken is thoroughly coated in sauce, add a drizzle of sesame oil and top with green onions and sesame seeds to serve.
Keyword chicken, honey sesame chicken, honeybutter, sesame

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