New This Month

Lighter Sesame Chicken


Say "open sesame" to a Chinese-restaurant classic that's no longer a guilty pleasure. This chicken is sauteed in a little oil instead of deep fried. The less-sweet sauce has fewer calories than a standard recipe, and, nutritionally, brown rice beats white.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Photography: Anna Williams

Source: Everyday Food, December 2007


  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed with a garlic press
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets, stems peeled and thinly sliced


  1. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, and fill with 1 inch water; set aside for broccoli. Cook rice according to package instructions.

  2. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add half the chicken; cook, turning occasionally, until golden and opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and chicken. Return all the chicken to skillet; add reserved sauce and scallions, and toss to coat.

  4. Meanwhile, place saucepan with steamer basket over high heat; bring water to a boil. Add broccoli, and cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve sesame chicken with broccoli and rice.

Reviews Add a comment

  • runmute
    11 JAN, 2014
    NICE life insurance rate
  • eater of worlds
    23 OCT, 2013
    this recipe is absolute shit I've halved the honey, doubled the sesame, and it was still inedibly sweet. The sweetness isn't a problem, ok, i don't like sweet, but i still couldn't detect a hint of sesame. This is just another copy/pasted recipe, without being actually sampled first. Bad, bad, bad.
  • lisakow
    24 JAN, 2013
    A fabulous, delicous and healthy meal BUT I double the sauce recipe because I found it too dry otherwise.
  • ccherd
    22 MAR, 2012
    Have made this recipe numerous times for, of all people, piles of teenagers. Not only do they love it, some of them request it if they will be over at dinner time. Easy to make, great flavors and also reheats well.
  • katiecooper
    8 DEC, 2011
    Yes, very good indeed. Just made this last night and substituted flour for cornstarch and the chicken turned out fabulous. Also added red pepper flake for a spicy kick. Next time I will make a little more sauce.
  • kelseypage
    10 OCT, 2011
    This is great, I liked the sauce. I will definitely make this again!
  • Kb2121
    4 OCT, 2011
    Would make extra dipping sauce next time.
  • Kb2121
    4 OCT, 2011
    Lived in Malaysia for five years - great recipe says the family!
  • scooper212
    3 OCT, 2011
    OMG, I just tried that busy day chocolate cake and now this. Martha and her team are blowing my mind away with these quick recipes. Super easy to make and it doesn't require too much time. If you like "lighter" Asian fare, this is the recipe for you. Even my German boyfriend (who has a cold) liked it! That's saying something!
  • jessicas20
    1 JUN, 2011
    We're going to try this tonight! Does anyone by any chance know the calories in this recipe? We're trying to watch our weight here!