Last updated on November 23rd, 2023
If you’ve ever eaten at Panda Express, you’ll know that their Honey Sesame Chicken Breast is the bee’s knees. It’s like taking a wild flavor ride to Yumsville, and you can recreate it in your kitchen with some common ingredients and a bit of culinary know-how. We’re talking diced chicken, vibrant veggies, and a heavenly blend of sweet and savory sauce. It’s one of those Panda Express copycat recipes that’s got the power to satisfy your cravings right at home.
This Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken recipe is ready in about 35 minutes – quicker than a commercial break on TV. You’ll be the master of the pan, transforming simple chicken breast into a mouthwatering dish. Once you’ve got your ingredients ready, you’ll be tossing diced chicken and vegetables in a honey sesame sauce that could make cardboard taste good. Now, it’s time to pull out those aprons!
Ingredients Required for This Delicious Dish
Alright, let’s talk about shopping. You’re going to need some staples like chicken breasts, yellow bell peppers, and petite green beans. Onto the flavor makers – you’ll need some sweet chili sauce, honey, white vinegar, coconut aminos, and coarse sea salt. Then there’s the binding agent for the sauce; tapioca starch.
Now, one thing you gotta remember when cooking is that the quality of your ingredients can make or break your dish. So, choose the freshest possible.
Ingredients Specifically for the Chicken
Moving on to the chicken. Add some garlic powder, a bit of salt and pepper, to your boneless, skinless chicken breasts and we’ve got some serious flavor. Now, because this recipe is all about that crispy exterior and juicy interior, we’ll need some cornstarch.
Note it down, folks – 1 tablespoon cornstarch. And finally, to get that deliciously golden color, we’ll need some avocado oil for frying. Believe me, this combination of ingredients is gonna make that crispy chicken taste better than a hot dog at a baseball game.
The Secret Behind Honey Sesame Sauce
The true hero of this recipe, however, is the Honey Sesame Sauce. It’s like a secret weapon for your taste buds. The key is to balance the sweetness of the honey with the tangy flavors of vinegar and chili, rounded off with a subtle hint of sesame. When made with just the right proportions, this sauce is like an extra flavor grenade ready to explode with each bite. So, get ready to ignite your senses, folks!
Detailed Cooking Instructions for Honey Sesame Chicken
First things first, it’s time to heat your skillet to medium heat. Sounds simple, right? But don’t underestimate the power of the right temperature for cooking chicken.
Preparing the Chicken for Cooking
Alright, the first step to creating this mouth-watering Panda Express honey sesame chicken dish is to prepare the chicken. Now you might be thinking, chicken is chicken, right? Well, not quite.
See, the type of chicken you choose can be a game-changer. It’s alright to use chicken thighs instead of breasts because they tend to be juicier and have a bit more flavor. Just gotta keep an eye on the cooking time, ’cause thighs may take a touch longer to cook thoroughly.
Preparing the Vegetables
Moving on to the vegetables, you’ve got a whole yellow bell pepper, diced into 1-inch cubes, and 8 oz of French petite green beans, trimmed and diced into 2 sections. Now I know, bell peppers ain’t everyone’s favorite, but trust me, they add that perfect crunch we need. And those green beans? They’re not just for fancy French chef types, they add a nice balance to the texture of the chicken. Don’t be shy with the knife, we want these veggies diced, not sliced.
Making the Sauce and Merging All Ingredients
Now onto the real deal, the honey sesame sauce. It’s as easy as pie to make, and dang delicious. I recommend making the sauce first, then working on battering the chicken. Makes life a whole lot easier. Once the chicken is fried up to golden perfection, you can toss it straight into the sauce. It’s like they’re made for each other, like peanut butter and jelly, or chips and dip.
Variations and Substitutions for the Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken
Alright, we’ve got your basic honey sesame chicken recipe down, but what if you’re feeling adventurous? Or do you have dietary restrictions? No worries, there are plenty of ways to jazz up this recipe or swap things out to fit your needs.
Trying out Different Recipe Variations
Maybe you’re not a big fan of chicken, that’s cool. This recipe is pretty versatile, you can swap out the chicken for pork or beef strips, or even ground meat. If you’re a veggie lover, replace the meat with crispy tofu.
For those who like a little heat in their meals, toss in some red finger chilies. You could even mix in some toasted peanuts, almonds, or cashews for an extra crunch. And if you’re trying to keep things on the healthier side, forget about frying, just stir-fry your meat.
Low Carb Ideas for Health Conscious Cooks
For those on the lookout for healthier options, Panda Express honey sesame chicken bites offer a delicious alternative even without the breading. The unique taste of this dish remains unfettered, delivering a succulent mouthful of flavors. Moreover, swapping the traditional side of rice for riced cauliflower adds to the health quotient, without compromising on the satisfying feeling of a wholesome meal.
Achieving the Perfect Honey Sesame Chicken: Recipe Tips and Tricks
Craving the authentic tang of Panda Express honey sesame chicken breast at home? The secret is in following the right steps, and tricks. To start, always go for fresh vegetables in any stir-fry. They add an unmistakable crunch to the dish. If yellow bell peppers are not available, use sweet varieties like red or orange.
When cooking the chicken, try frying it in vegetable oil for about 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crispy. For best results, cook the chicken in batches and make sure that it is safe to eat before proceeding.
For the sauce, combine 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium bowl, add in your favorite Panda Express orange sauce, and whisk well. Then, mix in the cooked chicken pieces, string beans, bell pepper strips, and other ingredients. Heat and garnish with sesame seeds, then serve with brown or cauliflower rice.
Wrapping It Up
Cooking up a storm in your kitchen doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor for healthier options. With this recipe, you can enjoy your favorite Chinese takeout right at home. The balance of sweet and tangy flavors of honey and sesame combined with the juicy pieces of chicken creates an enticing dish, reminiscent of a special night out at Panda Express.
Now, even the health-conscious can take pleasure in a delectable meal and at the same time, stay in line with their dietary plan. This is the magic of a homemade copycat version of the Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken. So wait no more, and start cooking!
Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 8 oz French petite green beans, trimmed and diced into 2-inch sections
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Avocado oil for frying
For the Marinade:
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Honey Sesame Sauce:
- 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (for garnish)
Marinate the Chicken:
- In a bowl, season the chicken pieces with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and set aside.
Prepare the Vegetables:
- Dice the yellow bell pepper into 1-inch cubes.
- Trim and dice the French petite green beans into 2-inch sections.
Make the Honey Sesame Sauce:
- In a separate bowl, whisk together sweet chili sauce, honey, white vinegar, coconut aminos, tapioca starch, and sesame seeds.
Fry the Chicken:
- Heat avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Coat marinated chicken pieces in cornstarch and fry until golden and crispy (3-4 minutes per batch).
Combine Chicken, Vegetables, and Sauce:
- Once the chicken is cooked, toss it in the prepared honey sesame sauce.
- In the same skillet, stir-fry the bell peppers and green beans until slightly tender.
- Combine the vegetables with the sauced chicken.
- Garnish with additional sesame seeds.
- Serve over brown rice or cauliflower rice.
- For a variation, try using pork or beef strips, crispy tofu, or ground meat instead of chicken.
- Add red finger chilies for a spicy kick or toss in toasted peanuts, almonds, or cashews for extra crunch.
- For a healthier option, stir-fry the meat instead of frying.