My Baked Sesame Chicken is seasoned with delicious Chinese Five Spice, white pepper, soy sauce, and toasted sesame seeds. Combined with a sweet and zesty honey glaze, each crunch is filled with flavor from the inside out. Serve with white rice for a filling and satisfying meal!
Recreating my restaurant favorites can be a challenge, but oh-so rewarding when I capture that flavor and texture just right. And my baked sesame chicken tastes like you just pulled it out of a takeout container — only fresher, crisper, and more tender.
While it can be hard to get a nice crust without frying, these Asian baked chicken thighs are nice and crispy without using any excess oil. This is because I coat the meat in frothy egg whites to help the meat crisp up quickly and easily.
The best part? This entire recipe takes just 30 minutes!
Leftover sauce is great to serve on the side for dipping. I also find this dish delicious with my multi-flavored Chinese Chili Oil if you want a bit of heat and nuanced flavors. For similar texture and flavor, try these Sticky Asian Short Ribs and braised Chinese Pork Belly.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chicken - This recipe makes enough sauce and includes baking instructions for 2 pounds worth of boneless thighs, my preferred cut for baking.
- Soy Sauce - I use soy to marinate the meat and to build up flavor in the honey glaze.
- Egg Whites - Commonly used to make baked meats extra crispy and crunchy, this helps the sesame seeds adhere for that perfect crust.
- Rice Flour - A popular ingredient in Asian cooking. Coating the meat, we’ll achieve a wonderfully crisp texture without frying.
- Sesame Seeds - Loved as much for their aroma and texture as for their taste. They’ll toast while baking, making them even nuttier and giving the dish a pleasant crunch.
- Chinese Five Spice - Prepare this popular seasoning blend right at home! Warm, rich, and complex in flavor.
- White Pepper - A hot pepper with herbaceous notes that are delicious with the honey and lemon in the glaze.
- Sauce - Sticky and sweet, we’ll pair our Asian baked chicken thighs with a delicious combination of:
- Honey - Raw, organic honey is always your best bet with sauces.
- Lemon Juice - A common companion for honey. Lime juice can be substituted, though it doesn’t have the same sweetness.
- Oyster Sauce - Rich, tangy, and salty. It has a unique, strong flavor, but could be replaced with fish sauce if needed.
HOW TO MAKE BAKED SESAME CHICKEN
1. Prepare for Baking. While your oven is preheating to 425°F, prepare your baking pan by lining it with tin foil and coating with a generous amount of cooking spray.
2. Marinate the Meat. Place the meat in a bowl with soy sauce, tossing so that each piece is well coated. Let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk just the whites of an egg until light and frothy. In a third bowl, combine the rice flour, sesame seeds, Chinese Five Spice, and white pepper until fully mixed.
3. Season and Dredge. Transfer the meat to the egg whites, again tossing so that everything is fully coated. Dredge the thighs in the seasoned flour, pressing with your fingertips to help it stick.
4. Bake. Arrange the thighs on the baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes.
5. Mix the Honey Glaze. While the meat is baking, prepare the honey glaze. Pour the honey, lemon juice, oyster sauce, and soy into a bowl. Stir everything together.
6. Let Cool and Glaze. Remove the thighs from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before brushing with the honey sauce.
7. Serve. Baked sesame chicken goes great with steamed white rice and with any leftover sauce on the side.
I also like to serve this with my Chinese Chili Oil for an extra flavor explosion. The chilis are steeped with an array of spices and heat is minimal, but flavor is WOW!
How long does it take to bake chicken thighs?
These asian baked chicken thighs take 18 minutes to cook through to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.
Is baking meat healthier than frying?
Yes, it is. When you fry something, it generally soaks up some degree of oil, adding unhealthy fats to the meal.
Baking, however, eliminates the need for frying when trying to get that crisp crust. In this recipe, I use egg whites to achieve a nice crunch, no oil required!
What does it mean to “dredge” in flour?
Dredging simply means to coat meat or vegetables in flour or breadcrumbs before baking or frying. Dredging is usually preceded by coating whatever you’re cooking in some kind of liquid to help the coating stick.
In my recipe, we coat the meat in soy and egg whites and dredge them in rice flour seasoned with sesame seeds and rich Chinese spices.
How long does baked sesame chicken last in the fridge?
Like most cooked meats, leftovers will remain safe to eat in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Baked Sesame Chicken with Honey Sauce
- 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon oyster sauce
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, toss the chicken and soy sauce, set aside and marinate for 10 minutes. In another medium bowl beat the egg white until frothy. In another medium bowl whisk together the rice flour, sesame seeds, Chinese Five Spice and white pepper.
- Add the chicken to the egg white, tossing to coat evenly. Dredge each piece of chicken in the in the sesame flour mixture, gently pressing to adhere to both sides.
- Spread pieces out on prepared baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together the honey, lemon juice, oyster and soy sauce. Set aside.
- When chicken have finished baking, allow to cool for 5 minutes. Brush the chicken pieces with the sauce. Serve with steamed rice and any remaining sauce. I also like to serve this with my Crispy Chinese Chili Oil, optional.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.