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
- 1½ 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
- 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.
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