March 15, 2014

Skinny Baked Sesame Honey Chicken

Hi everyone!

So, I have to admit, I've always been nervous trying to make Asian dishes. The stir frying, all the necessary ingredients I never seem to have on hand... I get intimidated. However, I finally succeeded at creating a sesame chicken dish that was amazing! Also, it's much healthier than traditionally fried sesame chicken you get from restaurants. The reason for this, aside from knowing every single ingredient that goes into the dish, is that it's actually baked!

It really didn't take me much time at all. The longest process was 45 minutes baking in the oven, while I waited hungrily for the chicken to finish. But during this time, I prepared a side of asparagus and zucchini sauteed in a bit of butter and garlic. Since the sesame honey chicken does have kind of a lot of sugar in it, I determined I didn't need to add another carb like rice. You're already getting carbs from the brown sugar, ketchup, and honey that goes into the sauce. But you could stick with the Asian theme and have broccoli, mushrooms, red bell peppers, etc. I just happened to have zucchini and asparagus on hand.

First I cut up 4 chicken breasts into cubes. Then I put about 1 cup of corn starch in a gallon size Ziploc and 3 beaten eggs in another gallon size Ziploc bag. I used tongs and put the chicken chunks into the cornstarch bag and shook until all chicken pieces were covered. The next part gets a little messy. You will need to take the cornstarch covered chicken out of the first bag and place it into the egg filled bag. Shake around again until the egg has saturated the chicken. The mixture will be very thick. You could also do this same process by putting the cornstarch and egg in two separate bowls, but I didn't feel like touching raw chicken and egg.

Plus, look at my adorable pig tongs! I never get to use them, so this was a good excuse. :-)

Heat 1/4 cup of canola oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the chicken mixture to the pan and saute until chicken is browned. At this point, I got nervous because the chicken seemed to form an egg-like crust. However, this is the "breading" that the delicious sesame honey sauce will adhere to in the oven so that the final dish has that great glazed texture you find at P.F. Chang's. Mmm! Once the chicken is browned (should be almost cooked through), place it into a 9 x 13 baking dish prepped with non-stick spray. After this, use a medium bowl to mix the sauce: soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, garlic, rice wine vinegar*, sesame oil*, garlic, and cornstarch. Mix together then pour sauce over the chicken and stir to cover chicken evenly, so it looks like this:

Bake at 325F for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, stir the chicken around so that the sauce coats it evenly. You'll notice the sauce starts to thicken and glaze over the chicken, sticking to the "breading" formed with the egg and cornstarch. When finished, it will really start to look like the Asian sesame chicken dishes you know and love.

Serve with a side of veggies or steam some brown rice and top it with the chicken. Don't forget the final ingredient: top with sesame seeds once you plate the chicken!

Skinny Baked Sesame Honey Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 cup cornstarch
3 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce (or shoyu for gluten free)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar*
1 t sesame oil*
1 t minced garlic
1 T cornstarch
additional sesame seeds for garnish

Preheat oven to 325F. Cube chicken into bite size pieces. Place 1 cup cornstarch into one gallon size plastic bag. Place 3 eggs, beaten, into another gallon size plastic bag. Add chicken into cornstarch bag and shake around to coat. Using your hands or tongs, remove chicken from cornstarch and place into the bag with eggs and shake again to coat.

Heat 1/4 cup canola oil in a large non-stick pan. Add chicken and saute, stirring often, until chicken is mostly browned (will be mostly cooked through and will finish cooking in the oven). Transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

Mix all ingredients for sauce together in a medium sized mixing bowl. I did not have sesame oil and left it out and subbed out white wine vinegar* for rice wine vinegar as I didn't have it on hand. My version was still delicious the way I made it, but the original recipe calls for sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. It may lend it a more authentic taste, but if you don't have those uncommon ingredients on hand, don't sweat it! It'll still be great.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir to evenly coat. Put chicken into the oven for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, stir to make sure all chicken is coated with the sauce. You will see that the sauce starts to thicken and act as a kind of glaze on the chicken. When done, remove from oven and add sesame seeds as a garnish once you plate the chicken. Serve with veggies and/or brown rice!

UPDATE 4/15/15: I remade this recipe using the rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and we thought it was way too tangy. The sauce was definitely overpowering, so I suggest making it with white wine vinegar. I'm not sure if the sesame oil made a difference. I couldn't really taste it.

My boyfriend thought this was a big hit, and I hope you will too! Enjoy!



  1. Thanks for the simple and tasty recipe! I made this for dinner last night. I realized a bit too late that I didn't have all the ingredients, so I improvised a little but it was still great. I didn't have eggs, so I did cornstarch, then cashew milk, then rolled the chicken in quinoa flour. I didn't have ketchup, so I just left it out of the sauce. Served with zucchini and brown rice. I liked it just as much as takeout!

    1. Hi Jenna!

      Yay! I'm glad your substitutions worked! I've been thinking about making this again lately. It's a tasty one. Home cooking beats takeout any day! :-)


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