Are you in the mood for some sweet and savory goodness? Are looking for new, exciting chicken recipes to try? Look no further than Panda Express’ Honey Sesame Chicken! This dish has been a staple on the Panda Express menu since 2013, and it’s no wonder why. The dish features juicy fried chicken pieces coated in a sticky honey sesame sauce made with honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and other delicious ingredients. And if you find yourself enjoying this dish, I invite you to also check out my recipe for Guyanese Curry Chicken as well!
In this post, I’ll show you how to make a copycat Panda Express recipe that’s sure to satisfy your craving for Chinese takeout. We’ll guide you through the steps to create crispy chicken bites that are tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce made with soy sauce, honey, rice white vinegar, and more.
A Tasty Twist on a Traditional Dish
But first, let’s talk about what makes this dish so special. Honey Sesame Chicken is a dish that has been around for years in Chinese restaurants in the United States. But it wasn’t until Panda Express added it to their menu that it gained nationwide popularity. It’s now one of their most beloved dishes, right up there with Orange Chicken and Chow Mein.
The dish features tender pieces of white chicken meat, either chicken thighs or skinless chicken breasts, that are coated in a flour mixture made with corn starch and seasoned with salt and black pepper. The chicken is then dipped in an egg mixture, which helps the flour mixture stick. The chicken is fried until golden brown in a mixture of vegetable oil and sesame oil.
Once the chicken is cooked, it’s tossed in a sticky sauce made with honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and more. The sauce is cooked on medium heat until it thickens and becomes a beautiful golden color. The chicken is then tossed in the sauce until it’s fully coated, and then sprinkled with sesame seeds. Serve it over a bed of white rice or with some delicious soup to complete the meal.
To make this recipe healthier, you can swap out the fried chicken for air fryer cooked chicken, and use avocado oil instead of vegetable oil. You can also add in some green beans and bell peppers for extra nutrition and flavor.
Storing and Serving the Leftovers
This crispy Honey Sesame Chicken recipe is perfect for meal prep too. Simply store the cooked chicken and sauce separately, each in an airtight container, in the fridge. The next day, you can reheat the chicken in the microwave or in a separate pan with a bit of oil. Once heated, pour the sauce over the chicken and enjoy! And if you want to add a dessert to your meal, consider pairing this dish with my delicious Guyanese Sponge Cake.
So without further ado, let’s dive into this delicious copycat Panda Express recipe card!
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together cornstarch, flour, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, beat the eggs.
- Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then coat them in the cornstarch mixture, shaking off any excess.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken pieces in batches until they are golden brown and crispy, about 5-6 minutes per batch.
- Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil.
- In a separate bowl, mix together 1 tbsp cornstarch and 2 tbsp water to create a slurry.
- Heat a clean wok or frying pan over medium heat. Add the sauce mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and stir until they are coated evenly.
- Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan and stir until the sauce thickens, about 1-2 minutes.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve with steamed rice or vegetables.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 477Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 190mgSodium: 1276mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 42g