Sesame Chicken and Vegetables

Lots of ingredients, but not a lot of work
45 minutes Total Time
25 minutes to prep
20 minutes to cook
4 servings
I have adapted this from an old Cook's Illustrated recipe. I've been making it for over 15 years now and it is a favorite all year long. The original recipe uses a velveting technique with the chicken which keeps the chicken tender. I am using a slightly easier velveting technique in this version.
I usually prepare most of the ingredients long before I cook. I can make the sauce and cut up the chicken and vegetables as early as the night before I plan on making this. The only step I leave right before cooking is to brine/velvet the chicken. The prep is not hard, but because the cooking goes fast it feels easier to split the work up over two sessions. You can use whatever vegetables you like of course. Green beans work really well here. It is nice to top the dish with some toasted sesame seeds. I have some pre-toasted seeds, but if you don't you can toast some in a small skillet for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring often. It is a slightly fussy extra step, so feel free to skip.


Ingredients with an * are listed more than once.


  • Gather and prep ingredients.
    Step 0
  • Combine the sliced chicken, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sesame oil in a bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
    Step 1
  • Mix ginger, garlic and peanut oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
    Step 2
  • Make the sauce. Whisk chicken broth, soy sauce, sherry, chili sauce, sugar, cornstarch sesame seeds, sesame oil and garlic in a small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.
    Step 3
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of the peanut oil in a 12" non-stick skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add half of the chicken. Spread chicken out into an even layer, so flat sides are all touching the pan. Do not store. After a minute, the bottoms should be golden brown. Flip the pieces and cook another 30 seconds or until other side is brown.
    Step 4
  • Transfer chicken to clean bowl. Repeat the process with the second half of the chicken and another teaspoon of peanut oil.
    Step 5
  • Add peanut oil to empty skillet and heat oil until shimmering. Add green beans and carrots, stirring on occasion until vegetables are tender, 4-6 minutes.
    Step 6
  • Make room in the middle of the skillet and add the ginger, garlic and oil mixture. Stir fry until fragrant and then mix into the vegetables.
    Step 7
  • Return the chicken to the skillet.
    Step 8
  • Re-mix the sauce before adding to the skillet. Cook until thickened, another minute or so.
    Step 9
  • Serve over cooked rice and sprinkle with more sesame seeds.
    Step 10
  • Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. They can also be frozen.
    Step 11

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