Entree | Grocer to Table

Sesame Chicken Recipe – Chinese Take-out Style

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Sesame Chicken Recipe is a traditional Chinese – American Take Out dish. This Sesame Chicken recipe has orange and hot peppers added to resemble Orange Chicken!

Sesame Orange Chicken stir fry on white plate with orange peel garnishPin

The inspiration for this Asian style chicken was my sons’ love of sesame chicken.

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I, on the other hand, prefer the flavor of orange chicken so I decided to marry the two dishes. The fact that it’s super easy means it will be great for a work night when you are short on time!

History and origins of Chinese- American food

Sesame Orange Chicken stir fry on white plate with stir fried peppersPin

As with many Americanized Chinese foods, you would never find this dish, or anything similar to it, in China! As with most foreign foods, in general, in the melting pot that is the United States of America, immigrants to this country are responsible for Americanizing their local dishes, using ingredients available in the US.

Sesame Orange Chicken stir fry with bowls of rice and broccoliPin

With the increasing popularity of Panda Express, and PF Changs, in the US, in the early 90’s Chinese food has taken on yet another transformation, such as Chang’s lettuce wraps. This is interesting article called the An Illustrated History of Americanized Chinese Food.

Sesame Orange Chicken stir fry on white plate garnished with orange slices.Pin

Did you know that there are more Chinese Restaurants in America than McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and Wendy’s, combined? That fact alone is astonishing!

I guess, when you think about it, every time you see one of the big 4 fast food chains, there is at least 1 Chinese Restaurant, close by.

Sesame Orange Chicken stir fry on white plate with broccoli and rice.Pin

I like to going out to Chinese Restaurants, now and again, but when you think of the oil they use in those deep fryers, and the MSG and sodium, it’s a no brainer to stay home.

This, coupled with the fact that most Chinese- American dishes, are quite easy, there is no reason not to make it at home!

Sesame Orange Chicken stir fry with orange garnishPin

My brother got me this wok for Christmas sometime in the early 90’s and I have used it ever since! You will never have to replace it. It has no non stick coating on it, like many that are available for sale now, which will get scratched and peel. This will make them unsafe to use.

Even though it doesn’t have a nonstick coating, food never sticks to it! It’s a great addition to your favorite kitdhen gadgets!

Sesame Orange Chicken stir fry on white plate with chopsticksPin

Sesame Chicken, Orange Chicken and General Tso’s Chicken, are basically the same dish, except the Orange/General Tso’s Chicken has spicy hot Tien Tsin Peppers (The Chinese Red)

I married the spicy hot version and the mild version in this Sesame Chicken Recipe. Remove the peppers before serving, unless your group likes extra spicy!

How to make this Sesame Chicken Recipe

Cut up the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl. Salt and pepper chicken to taste. Mince garlic and grate ginger. Shave off half of the orange rind with a vegetable peeler trying not to get too much of the white pith. Grate the other half into marinade.

  1. Place all marinade ingredeints in large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Juice orange and add to marinade.
  3. Add chicken pieces to marinade and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days.
  4. Place sesame seeds in the dry wok over medium low heat, watching carefully, until toasted. Remove to a bowl.
  5. Drain chicken pieces in a colander, over a bowl. Reserve juices.
  6. Dip chicken pieces in cornstarch.
  7. Stir fry with a few tablespoons oil, until golden on both sides. Reserve pieces to a plate, until all chicken is done.
  8. Stir fry orange rind and white and light green parts of green onion, until soft.
  9. Steam brocolli in microwave, or on stovetop, until crisp tender.
Marinade ingredients in bowl. Orange juice in juicer. Chicken added to marinade. Toasted sesame seeds in bowl. Sauce ingredients in bowl. Cornstarch in bowl. Chicken pieces frying in wok. Orange and onion in wok. Blanched broccoli in bowl.Pin

Add reserved marinade to wok. Bring to boil. Boil 5 minutes. Reduce heat. Add dried hot peppers, if using. Thicken sauce with cornstarch mixed with water. Allow to cook until thickened and bubbly. Add chicken, and broccoli, if desired, back to wok, stir to heat through. Serve with Jasmine Rice. Garnish with orange slices, green onion tops and additional sesame seeds. YUM!

This Sesame Chicken Recipe is easy to make at home

Sesame chicken on rice served with broccoliPin

This Sweet and Sour Chicken is another great Chinese Take-out fake-out!

Sesame chicken on rice with chopsticksPin

That is how easy it is to make this Sesame Chicken Recipe at home! Customize it however you would like it! Add more vegetables, if you like and call it a stir fry.

The sauce is delicious for a stir fry anyway.

Keep your eyes open this year for more classic Chinese American takeout/ fakeout dishes this winter on BCC. I have a bunch of others planned.

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Tools I Use to Make Sesame Chicken

Contains affiliate links, for full disclosure, which means I get a small commission if you click the link and purchase something see FTC Disclosure, here.

Enjoy! And have fun cooking!


Binky’s SignaturePin
sesame chicken on white plate with blue rim.Pin

Sesame Orange Chicken

Spicy and sweet take on a classic Chinese – American take out dish!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $5



  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind off of the orange being careful not to get too much of white pith.
  • Cut the orange peels into about 2 inch strips.
  • Juice the orange and set juice aside.
  • Mix half of the garlic, half of the ginger, rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and 1/2 of the orange peel together in a bowl.
  • Cut chicken into about 2″ pieces. Add chicken to the soy sauce mixture. Let stand. Can be refrigerated up to 2 days.
  • In a wok or heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat toast sesame seed in a dry pan. When sesame seeds are a nice light golden brown and fragrant, remove them and set aside.
  • Add oil to the same pan and saute the scallions, the rest of the ginger, garlic and orange peel for a few minutes until soft.
  • Drain chicken, reserving the marinade.
  • Add marinade, orange juice, and water to the scallions. Heat to boiling.
  • Combine the cornstarch and water stirring until smooth.
  • Add the cornstarch to the sauce mixture. It will look white at first but as it thickens and cooks through it will turn a lovely dark brown.
  • Once the sauce is thickened, Remove from wok and set aside.
  • Wipe the wok clean and add about 2 Tbsp more oil.
  • Dredge the chicken pieces in the remaining cornstarch and shake off excess.
  • Heat the oil in the wok to very hot. It should start to lightly smoke. Brown chicken pieces a few at a time on both sides until golden. Check the internal temperature of a few of the larger pieces. They should be in excess of 165°F, If they are not, place on cooking tray in a 350°F oven until done.
  • When all of the chicken has browned, discard any additional oil and wipe out the wok again.
  • Add sauce back to the wok to heat through. Add Sesame seeds and combine with sauce.
  • Once the sauce has reheated, add chicken pieces to coat.
  • Serve with jasmine rice. Garnish with sliced scallions and orange slices.
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  • Prepare all ingredients before starting to cook.
  • Cook vegetables crisp tender because they will continue to cook when dish is assembled.
  • An authentic wok will required much less oil when it is fully seasoned.
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 4 days.
  • Best if not frozen.


Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 491mg | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1.2mg
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Originally Published 1/22/2016

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m a firm believer in anything but Chinese take-out! You can definitely make these dishes at home, like your sesame orange chicken! This looks amazing!

  2. 5 stars
    I love Chinese food but here in Italy the Chinese restaurants aren’t good! So, I occasionally make something at home! This sesame orange chicken looks and sounds yum! Looking forward to trying it out!

  3. 5 stars
    I love the idea of a fusion of the sesame and orange chicken. This would definitely be one for me as I like orange in anything. Homemade Chinese is much more fun!

  4. 5 stars
    Totally my kind of meal! I love Asian cuisine and their quick and versatile stir fry recipes. I need to find a wok like yours, just had to get rid of my used up non-stick… Thanks for the heads-up about differences between General Tso and Orange!

  5. 5 stars
    Looks like a tasty combination of flavors, and I agree I’d much rather make at home and know what’s in it for some things, and this kind of dish is one of them.

  6. 5 stars
    I’m in agreement with your son – Seasame Chicken is a favorite of mine too, but I’ve never tried making it at home. Great recipe and instructions!

  7. When you have a recipe like this, I would forget to take away meal. Such a simple and flavoursome sesame orange chicken.

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