Air Fryer Sesame Chicken is tender, flavorful, and simple to make. Juicy chicken bites coated and fried are tossed in a homemade orange ginger sauce packed with a ton of umami flavor. Have it all ready in 30 minutes!
Air Fryer Sesame Chicken
Looking to make a classic takeout recipe right at home? consider making a batch of this air fryer sesame chicken!
I love my easy sesame chicken recipe because it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish…
Skip the Chinese takeout and enjoy a night in with this quick fried sesame chicken and you won’t be disappointed.
I love a great and easy air fryer chicken recipe, and this one is no different. Made with either sliced chicken thighs or boneless breast of chicken, you get a ton of flavor with relatively few ingredients.
Why You’ll Love Sesame Crispy Chicken
- Fast and easy!
- Just as good as take out
- Homemade sesame sauce
- Flavorful and juicy
What is sesame chicken?
Fried sesame chicken was actually a Chinese American creation. You’ll find variations of this popular recipe in Chinese restaurants all over the USA.
Sesame cripsy chicken has breaded chicken breast pieces that are deep-fried and tossed in a sweet-savory sesame sauce and garnished with sesame seeds.
The classic Chinese Sesame Chicken is infused with classical Asian flavors and garnished with sesame seeds. So, the entire experience of fried sesame chicken is tasted in this dish.
The air fryer gets the same results. You end up with crispy air fryer sesame chicken with a sweet but nutty sauce.
Video on How to Make Air Fryer Sesame Chicken
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Sesame Chicken
- Chicken: You can use either chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
- Coating: Use potato starch
- Non-Stick Oil: Olive oil or avocado oil.
- Sugar: Brown sugar or a brown sugar sweetener.
- Sauces: Soy sauce and Hoisin sauce.
- Juice: Orange Juice
- Spices: Ground ginger and garlic powder
- Thickener: Water and cornstarch
How To Make Fried Sesame Chicken
Step 1: Cut and Coat The Chicken
Cut up the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces. Place the diced chicken in a large bowl. Add in the potato starch and use your hands to coat it evenly.
Step 2: Fry The Chicken Bites In The Air Fryer
Place the coated chicken onto the air fryer tray or in the air fryer basket. Spray the chicken generously with olive oil. Set the timer to 7 minutes, at 350 degrees F, air fryer setting.
After that time, flip the chicken with tongs and air fry for another 5-7 minutes.
Step 3: Make The Sesame Sauce
While the chicken is cooking, start making the sesame sauce.
Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, orange juice, hoisin sauce, ginger, and garlic powder to a small saucepan, and bring to a slight simmer. Once the sauce starts to simmer, stir in the cornstarch and water. Mix it together very well.
The sauce thickens because of the cornstarch. Continue to mix until it’s thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
Step 4: Toss The Chicken In The Sauce
When the chicken is fully cooked, toss it with the sauce. Since this is sesame chicken, don’t forget to sprinkle some sesame seeds on top!
Tips For The Best Fried Sesame Chicken
- The key to this recipe and getting Air Fryer Sesame Crispy Chicken is to coat the chicken with potato starch before air frying. Potato starch is a classic way to make fried chicken, as it makes the outside crispy by trapping the moist juices of the chicken inside, while outside, it creates a crispy exterior.
- If you find that your chicken sticks to the air fryer basket, use parchment paper, or a reusable silicone liner.
- Spray your chicken generously with cooking spray so that all of the chicken crisps up.
- If you want to make this meal ahead of time, just make a fresh and hot batch of sesame sauce, and toss it together.
- You can also make this dish with chicken thighs, there is nothing better than Air Fryer Sesame Chicken Thighs!
What To Serve With Sesame Crispy Chicken
I usually serve this easy sesame chicken over a bed of rice, which is really what you would get done in a Chinese Food Restaurant.
There are so many other options, including a side of broccoli, a large garden salad, and of course, for the picky eater, a side of Air Fryer French Fries.
Serve these recipes with your sesame chicken:
- Pork Dumplings
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Fried Rice
- Air Fryer Chinese Donuts
- Egg Rolls In The Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Crab Rangoon
Yes, you can certainly make the sesame chicken ahead of time. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for no longer than 3 days. After 3 days the quality will start to deteriorate. It really does taste the best when it is hot and fresh out of the air fryer, so eat it soon as you can.
Since my oldest son is intolerant to gluten, I keep a bottle of gluten-free soy sauce in the house. Since it’s the only ingredient in the recipe you have to switch out, it is a very gluten-friendly family recipe!
Some of my favorite gluten-free soy sauces are San-J Tamari and Kikkoman Soy Sauce–Gluten Free. Both are easily found in your Asian food aisle at your local grocery store.
This recipe is completely adaptable for all air fryers, from the Ninja Foodi to the Instant Pot Crisp Lid.
One of the best things about using the Ninja Foodi for this recipe is adding the sauce right into the chicken after cooking and then using the saute function and creating the sauce. It makes for an excellent one-pan meal, thanks to the Ninja Foodi.
More Frequently Asked Questions
The answer is long, but you need to choose an air fryer to work for your cooking needs. The two main factors that will determine what air fryer you purchase are the size and cooking.
Yes, since sesame seed oil is high heat, it will work perfectly in the air fryer.
Other great cooking oils to use in the air fryer are avocado oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil.
Yes, the air fryer is great for all types of raw meat; you can add raw chicken, raw fish, raw beef, etc. The exact timing of your raw chicken will depend on how thick your chicken is and how much chicken you are air frying.
You flip the chicken in the air fryer to get evenly cooked on all sides. So, grab a pair of tongs and flip halfway through.
If you are looking for even more Air Fryer Chicken Recipes, some of my favorites are:
- Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo | Give this chicken alfredo recipe a try. Tender pasta, delicious creamy white sauce, and chicken in every single bite.
- Breaded Air Fryer Chicken | You will enjoy another air fryer breaded chicken. It is loaded with flavor, juicy, and is one of my favorite chicken recipes.
- Instant Pot Sesame Chicken | Sesame chicken is made in the Instant Pot chicken loaded with rich flavors. Pair with a bed of rice, rice noodles, etc. This recipe is better than take-out.
- Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta | Skip eating out and make a copycat Chili’s Cajun chicken pasta for dinner. Pair with some steamed vegetables, bread, garlic bread, etc.
Air Fryer Sesame Chicken
- 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- olive oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- green onions
- sesame seeds
- Cut up the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces.
- Place the diced chicken into a large bowl.
- Add in the potato starch and use your hands to coat it evenly.
- Place the coated chicken onto the air fryer tray or in the air fryer basket.
- Spray the chicken generously with olive oil.
- Set the timer to 7 minutes, at 350 degrees F, air fryer setting.
- After the time, flip the chicken with tongs and air fry for another 5-7 minutes.
- The exact time will depend on how large your chunks are and the type of air fry you own. Always use a meat thermometer.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, toss it in with the sauce (see notes on how to prepare the sauce)
To Make the sauce:
- Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, orange juice, hoisin sauce, ginger, and garlic powder to a small saucepan, and bring to a slight simmer.
- Once the sauce starts to simmer, stir in the cornstarch and water, mix well.
- Air Fryer