Sweet and Spicy Sesame Chicken

The sauce is absolutely the star of this sweet and spicy sesame chicken. This sauce makes people decide they are fans of Asian-inspired recipes. Rich, thick, sweet, a little spicy, and totally indulgent, just what you expect for a good stir-fry sauce.

But life is balance. I like vegetables, especially those all-important green veggies with most of our meals. Vegetable fried rice is a great way to incorporate some veggies into any stir-fry recipe. But instead of our usual long-grain white rice, I used a frozen bag of cauliflower rice. Frozen cauliflower rice has become readily available and so darned convenient! All the local grocery stores carry it, like this version from our local ALDI.


Chicken: Either breast or thighs work fine.

Cornstarch: The cornstarch does double duty in this recipe. First, it creates a light coating for the chicken, and then the remaining bits in the pan help thicken the sauce.

Canola oil: Any neutral flavor frying oil is fine.

Ketchup: Adds sweet flavor and good color to the sauce.

Brown Sugar: Rich, sweet flavor.

Hoisin Sauce: This thick, sweet sauce is a staple in all my Asian inspired sauces.

Sriracha Sauce: Adds great, spicy flavor.

Soy Sauce: I always use low sodium soy sauce.

Sesame oil: Adds great authentic flavor.

Red Pepper Flakes: Adds more heat.

Garlic Powder: No savory sauce is complete without garlic flavor.

Sesame seeds: Scattered though the sauce and sprinkled on top.

Black Pepper: I love lots of fresh black pepper in Asian sauces.

Green onions: Sliced and sprinkled over the top for a nice burst of color.


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the cubed chicken to a small bowl with the cornstarch and stir until the chicken is well coated.

Add the coated chicken to the skill and pan fry. Stir and turn over the chicken occasionally until cooked through.

Meanwhile, stir together all the sauce ingredients.

Once the chicken is done remove it from the skillet. Give the sauce a stir and add to the skillet. Don’t worry about any bits of cornstarch remaining in the skillet. It will help thicken the sauce.

Heat up the sauce and allow it to simmer. Stir occasionally as it thickens.

Once the sauce as thickened to your liking, add your chicken back to the skillet. Cook and stir for a few minutes until the chicken is coated with the sauce.

Serve immediately over your preferred rice and sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and a sprinkle of sliced green onion.

Try this sweet and spicy sesame chicken soon!

Sweet and Spicy Sesame Chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2



  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into one inch pieces
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • canola oil


  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds plus extra for garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 green onions for garnish, sliced


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet.
  • To a bowl, add the chicken along with the corn starch. Stir together until the chicken is well coated.
  • Pan fry the coated chicken over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate. Set aside.
  • To the same skillet, add all the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir the sauce occasionally until the desired thickness has been achieved. The thicker the sauce, the better it will coat the chicken.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, add the cooked chicken and toss to coat. Cook for a few minutes, tossing regularly.
  • Garnish with green onions and additional sesame seeds if desired and serve immediately.
Keyword Hot, Savory, Spicy, Sweet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating