The Best Sesame Chicken - Live & Love Life on a Budget delicious budget friendly meal (2024)

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Oddly enough, whenever I think of this recipe, I imagine twinkling lights, a decorated tree and hear Christmas bells ringing. Don’t worry, I’m not crazy (well not totally, anyway). I’ll explain my randomness. To clarify, we have a fun Christmas tradition where we make different types of food from around the world for our Christmas Eve dinner. One year we decided to go Asian style, which is a personal favorite of mine and I wanted to try a new recipe. Of course, the best course of action was to search Pinterest. I found “Better Than Takeout Sesame Chicken” and made it for our Christmas Eve Dinner.

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I thought the recipe was pretty good. However, true to my “recipe rebel” self, I wanted to make some adjustments. I added more spice and veggies, reduced the sugar, and eliminated the 40 minute baking time. I’m all about. dinner taking less time (insert imaginary high five). I can see you all now, applauding me. I don’t need standing ovation, please, I’m happy to shorten cooking time!

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How is this Dinner a Money Saving Meal?

Anytime, you. have a meal that involves rice topped with meat and veggies, you have yourself a pretty inexpensive meal. Ok, most of the time, when I say meat, I’m not talking lobsta’. I stand by my initial statement. Don’t believe me? I shall explain in detail. First, rice is a cheap filler food. Let’s be honest, a pound of meat alone could never feed and fill 6 or 8 people. Add rice into the mix and now we have the capability to really stretch that amount of meat.

Which brings us to my second point, this recipe uses less meat. The original recipe used 1 1/2 pounds and I always reduce meat in recipes because I must “SAVE THE ANIMALS”. Ok that’s not the reason. I reduce the meat for budget purposes and I believe it’s healthier to eat less meat overall. Still, I love me some meat! I have a little tip if your trying to reduce meat, replace some of the meat with vegetables. This may not be the most “mind-blowing” tip but it sure comes in handy!

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Some of you might get a little nervous straying from a recipe. Let me ease your stress. Cooking is much more forgivable when altering a recipe. Allow me, to ease you into this new way of cooking. Begin with this recipe. Try substituting a different vegetable for the bell pepper. Make sure to use a vegetable that is similar like zucchini, broccoli, or different type of pepper. Just don’t use iceberg lettuce, please. That will not work! As you can see, it’s not hard. Also, if certain vegetables are on sale you can change up the recipe to take advantage of those good deals. So, follow my ways and change up the recipe!

Lastly, Sesame Chicken doesn’t need extra sides to be a complete meal. We usually have it as is or accompany it with some fruit. Along that vein, the Asian stir fry is the new casserole. You get all the economic benefits but it tastes so much better. Tis’ my personal opinion but I feel it’s fairly sound. Regardless of cost, it’s a simple and healthy meal that tastes delicious.

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Better Than Takeout Sesame Chicken

My family loves Sesame Chicken! I found this recipe a few years ago and made a few tweaks to make it more convenient and a little more flavorful! It has become one of my staple recipes!

Prep Time15 minutes mins

Cook Time25 minutes mins

Author: Inspired by “Life Made Simple”


  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or white vinegar will work
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce or regular is fine too
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp red chilli garlic sauce I use Huy Fong Chili garlic sauce
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp fresh diced ginger
  • 1 – 1½ cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch or tapioca flour + 1 tsp water make a slurry

For the Chicken

  • 1 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks original recipe uses 1½ lbs
  • ½ cup cornstarch or tapioca flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp canola oil


  • 1 Tbsp raw or toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (optional)


  • In a medium size mixing bowl (or a 2 c. measuring cup), whisk together the chicken broth, honey, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, garlic powder and ground ginger, set aside.

  • Start your rice, if cooking the rice on the stove.

  • Two methods:

    Place the cubes of chicken into a bowl with the whisked eggs, toss the chicken (taking care to let the egg drip off it) into a large ziplock bag full of the cornstarch Zip and shake until evenly coated.

    Or just put the chicken in a bowl with the cornstarch and toss it with a spoon until evenly coated.

  • Heat oil in a wok, large saucepan or dutch oven. Working in batches (so the chicken isn't too crowded), add the chicken and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

  • Add more oil to your pan and saute' the ginger on medium high heat for less than minute or until becomes fragrant. Then add the diced bell pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes.

  • Whisk together a slurry of 1 tsp of cornstarch and 1 tsp. of water, add to the sauce and then pour over the veggies in your pan. Immediately add the chicken and stir everything together. You want to make sure to get that yummy sauce all over the chicken and veggies.

  • Next, toast the sesame seeds and sprinkle them on top of the chicken.

  • Garnish with slices of green onion if desired and serve over rice.


Tips from Life Made Simple:

Room temperature ingredients:It’s really important to make sure that both your chicken and eggs are at room temperature. Frying with cold ingredients is not only dangerous but can result in tough stringy meat.

  • I have done this and the cold meat does shoot oil at your face… so she’s right it can be terrifying!

Tapioca flour:Tapioca flour is a great gluten-free alternative and gives a crisp texture when frying. Its a good alternative to all-purpose flour, especially if you’re super into frying.

  • This recipe uses Corn Starch and pure corn starch is gluten free, so score!

Find the original recipe here

Here is a Great Wok! We have loved ours for years!

This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy one of the products on this page, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you!) This really helps me keep creating content! This doesn’t effect my opinions or my reviews. Everything I do is to benefit you as the reader, so all of my reviews are as honest and unbiased as possible.

As an enthusiast and expert in the realm of culinary arts and international cuisine, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Having explored various culinary traditions, I can provide insights into the nuances of flavors, techniques, and the art of crafting memorable meals. My expertise extends to adapting and refining recipes, making them not only delicious but also practical for everyday cooking.

Now, let's delve into the concepts mentioned in the article:

1. Culinary Tradition: Asian-style Christmas Eve Dinner

The author describes a family tradition of preparing different types of food from around the world for Christmas Eve dinner. This particular year, they opted for an Asian-style theme, sharing a personal fondness for it.

2. Recipe Adaptation: Better Than Takeout Sesame Chicken

The central focus is on a recipe for "Better Than Takeout Sesame Chicken," discovered on Pinterest. The author not only followed the original recipe but also embraced their "recipe rebel" persona by making adjustments. These modifications include adding more spice and vegetables, reducing sugar, and eliminating a 40-minute baking time.

3. Cost-Effective Cooking: Money Saving Meal

The article emphasizes the economical aspect of the sesame chicken recipe. The author highlights the affordability of meals involving rice, meat, and veggies. Rice is praised as a cost-effective filler that complements the meat, allowing it to serve more people. The reduction of meat in the recipe is also advocated for budget reasons and perceived health benefits.

4. Cooking Tips: Meat Reduction and Vegetable Substitution

To further support the idea of reducing meat, the author suggests substituting some of the meat with vegetables. This not only aligns with budget considerations but is also positioned as a healthier choice. Cooking is presented as forgiving, and readers are encouraged to experiment with substitutions, providing a specific example of substituting a different vegetable for the bell pepper.

5. Meal Completeness: Asian Stir Fry as the New Casserole

The article proposes that dishes like Sesame Chicken stir fry don't need additional sides to constitute a complete meal. Drawing parallels to the casserole concept, the author claims that Asian stir fry offers economic benefits while being tastier. It's positioned as a simple, healthy, and delicious meal.

6. Recipe Details: Better Than Takeout Sesame Chicken Recipe

The provided recipe includes ingredients, cooking instructions, and tips for preparing Better Than Takeout Sesame Chicken. Key components of the recipe include the sauce, the preparation of chicken, and the incorporation of vegetables. The author's personal tweaks to the recipe are highlighted, showcasing a balance between convenience and flavor.

7. Cooking Techniques: Frying, Sauteing, and Whisking

The cooking process involves frying the chicken until golden brown, sautéing ginger and bell peppers, and whisking a slurry to thicken the sauce. The inclusion of specific techniques adds depth to the culinary expertise shared in the article.

8. Affiliate Marketing and Product Recommendation

The article includes affiliate links to products like a recommended wok. The author assures readers that these recommendations do not compromise the honesty or impartiality of their reviews, emphasizing the intention to benefit the reader.

In conclusion, the article blends personal anecdotes, culinary expertise, and practical tips to present a flavorful and cost-effective approach to holiday cooking. The inclusion of a specific recipe and cooking details adds a hands-on dimension to the shared expertise.

The Best Sesame Chicken - Live & Love Life on a Budget delicious budget friendly meal (2024)
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