You will love this air fryer honey sesame chicken recipe. It’s made with lean chicken breast and a yummy honey sesame sauce and then air-fried to make the chicken super crispy without deep frying.
Best Honey Sesame Chicken!
It’s true, I am a takeout snob. We order Chinese food at least once a week at my house and we often get a combination of stir-fried meals such as beef and broccoli or chicken stir fry and fried meals like sesame chicken.
What I LOVE about this honey sesame chicken is that the sauce is made from scratch using a combination of soy sauce, honey, fish sauce, and white vinegar. And, that it’s air fried instead of deep-fried.
You still get that deep-fried texture with air frying, but without the mess of oil. This is truly the most delicious air fryer chicken you’ll ever eat. Enjoy!
Why you’ll love it!
Takeout at Home
- Chicken breast: this sesame chicken recipe calls for chicken bresat. However, you’re more than welcome to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead.
- Seasonings: you need salt, garlic powder, ground ginger, and sesame seeds.
- Cornstarch: cornstarch helps make the chicken nice and crunchy– just like when it’s deep-fried.
- Eggs: egg is used to help the cornstarch and seasonings stick to the chicken.
I am a sucker for a yummy sauce and you’re going to swoon over this honey sesame sauce! Here’s what you need:
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce
- Fish sauce
- White vinegar
- Grated white onion
- Green onion
What is Gochujang? Gochujang is a thick paste that is sweet, sour, and spicy. It’s a fermented Korean chili paste. Here are some great options for substitutions.
How to Make Honey Sesame Chicken in Air Fryer
- Prep chicken: slice chicken into 1.5-inch pieces.
- Dip chicken: whisk eggs in a large bowl and add cornstarch and spices another bowl an whisk. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture and then into the cornstarch mixture. Repeat.
- Air Fry chicken: spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the chicken pieces on the pan. Make sure not to overcrowd the chicken. You’ll likely cook this in batches. Drizzle chicken with sesame seeds and air fry at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Flip and air fry for 6 more minutes.
- Make sauce: Cook garlic in sesame oil. Then, add soy sauce, water, honey, fish sauce, vinegar, grated onion, and Gochuchang and whisk.
- Thicken sauce: remove some sauce and whisk it with cornstarch. Add the cornstarch slurry back into the sauce and whisk over low heat until thick.
- Toss chicken: toss the air fried chicken in the honey sesame sauce.
- Serve: serve with sesame seeds and green onion over your favorite grain.
While this sesame chicken recipe is delicious on its own, you can complete the meal by serving it with any of the following:
White Sticky Rice: Sticky rice is a very versatile recipe to pair with many Asian-inspired dishes. Make sticky rice in your own kitchen with our step-by-step instructions. Enjoy!
Chicken Lettuce Wraps: These homemade PF Changs Chicken Lettuce Wraps are the perfect way to start a meal or, because why not, to be the main meal.
Chicken Fried Rice: This easy chicken fried rice recipe makes takeout a breeze in your own kitchen. In this post, we’ll teach you how to make chicken fried rice and share some alternate variations as well.
Brown Rice: Making Instant Pot Brown Rice is as easy as 1-2-3. All you need is and Instant Pot, water, and your favorite brown rice and you’re ready to make a big batch of rice. It turns out perfect and fluffy every time.
While we suggest eating this Air Fryer Honey Sesame Chicken as fresh as possible, you can definitely store the leftovers for later.
Transfer leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat: reheat in the microwave for 90 seconds or on the stovetop over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until hot.
Air Fryer Honey Sesame Chicken
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds separated
- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil separated
- 7 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grated white onion
- 1 tablespoon Gochujang red chili paste works too
- 2 green onions minced
- Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF.
- Begin by adding the cornstarch to a large bowl and remove 1.5 teaspoons of the cornstarch from the bowl and set it aside for later.
- Add the garlic powder, salt, ginger, and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds to the cornstarch mixture and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Add the eggs to a separate large bowl and whisk until combined.
- Cut the chicken breast into 1-1.5-inch chunks and add the chicken to the bowl with the eggs. Toss the chicken with the egg mixture until the chicken is coated.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the egg mixture and allow any excess egg to drip from the chicken.
- Add the chicken pieces to the bowl with the cornstarch. Toss the chicken with the cornstarch mixture until the chicken is coated.
- Spray the air fryer with cooking spray and then add the coated chicken pieces to the air fryer in one single layer (a few overlaps are ok). Drizzle the chicken with 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.
- Air fry the chicken for 10 minutes at 400ºF. When the chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, flip the chicken over and cook it for an additional 6 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Meanwhile, make the garlic sesame sauce. Add the remaining sesame oil to a small saucepan. When the sesame oil is fragrant add the garlic to the pan.
- Sauté the garlic for 2-3 minutes and then add the soy sauce, water, honey, fish sauce, white vinegar, grated onion, and Gochuchang to the pan. Whisk the ingredients together.
- Bring the sauce to a boil over medium/high heat and then turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove ¼ cup of the sauce from the pan and add the remaining 1.5 teaspoons of cornstarch to the ¼ cup of sauce. Whisk the 2 ingredients together. It will thicken. Add it back into the saucepan and whisk the sauce together. Allow the sauce to thicken.
- When the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, add the chicken to a large bowl and add then add the sauce. Gently toss the chicken in the sauce until coated.
- Garnish the honey sesame chicken with diced green onion and sesame seeds. Serve over rice and enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- We used a 7-qt air fryer for this recipe. We suggest using a larger air fryer.
- You can use chicken thighs or chicken breasts for this recipe.
- If you don’t have sriracha or Gochujang you can use garlic chili sauce.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.