This paleo sesame chicken recipe is a healthy version of a classic Chinese take out meal with minimal effort! Tender pieces of chicken fried in a crunchy sesame coating and slathered in a sweet and tangy Whole30 approved sauce…what’s not to love?!
When I was little, Chinese food was always one of my favorite family restaurant options. We didn’t go out often, but when we did, Chinese food was always a regular choice. I can only imagine at some of the ingredients used to create those deep fried chicken dishes I so loved.
MSG? Likely. Processed vegetable oils? Most definitely. And sugar? Probably a given!
Now, I know better. I know the quality of the food I put IN to my body really does have an impact on my health and well being! So to relive those nostalgic restaurant memories from my childhood…I create healthier versions of Chinese food everyone can enjoy!
Paleo Breading Options for Chinese Food:
- In this recipe, I have chose to coat the chicken pieces in a simple breading of egg whites and cassava flour. It is simple, straight forward, and totally delcious.
- A mix of coconut and tapioca flours can also be used.
- If you do rice, rice flour or sweet rice flour are both options.
How to Get a Sweet Flavor for a Whole30 Sauce?
I have used multiple version for a slight sweetness. While honey or stevia work for a Paleo version, for those doing a Whole30, no sweeteners of any kind are allowed. My two favorites for this sauce are pineapple (puree or juice) and apples (sauce or juice). They lend a subtle sweetness to the end product that is equally addicting and totally delicious!!
As a general rule of thumb, if you are doing a Whole30, turn to your fruits to sweeten! Some dishes and sauces lend themselves perfectly an all fruit sweetener!
Paleo Sesame Chicken Serving Suggestions:
- Serve this atop any favorite Asian slaw! I make a dressing of avocado oil, sesame oil, coconut aminos, and vinegar! Topped with this sesame chicken, it becomes a full meal!!
- Serve with some Whole30 Sriracha. Regular ole Sriracha has sugar, plus some preservatives. Here is a Paleo one sweetened with honey you could try, or this one is even Whole30 compliant!
- Serve with your favorite cauli rice, or white rice as allowed
- Steamed broccoli
- Sauteed green beans
More Paleo Asian Dinners to Try:
- Paleo Baked Bao Buns
- Quick Asian Stir Fry (using ground meat)
- Instant Pot Chicken Adobo
- Paleo Cashew Chicken @ I Heart Umami
- Paleo Orange Chicken @ The Clean Eating Couple
Chinese Paleo Sesame Chicken Recipe:
Paleo Chinese Sesame Chicken
- 1/3 cup cassava flour
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt may use 3/4t sea salt and 1/2t garlic powder instead
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast cut into bite size pieces
- 3 tablespoons whipped egg whites or 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda this tenderizes the chicken
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon mirin or white wine, omit for Whole30
- 1 tablespoon honey OR a few drops stevia OR for Whole30 use 2 tablespoons apple or pineapple puree or juice
In a small bowl, whisk together the coating ingredients and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until fluffy, and mix in the soda and water. Stir in the chicken pieces, and set aside.
Mix together the sauce ingredients, set aside.
Preheat a heavy bottomed large skillet over medium heat ( I love my cast iron for crisping foods!)
Prepare you assembly line next to you preheated pan: first the chicken, followed by the coating mixture.
Once your pan is preheated, add 2 tablespoons coconut oil, swirling to coat pan evenly.
Grab several pieces of chicken then press into the coating, placing coated pieces into the hot pan. Do not overcrowd the chicken or it will not crisp properly, work in batches if necessary.
Let the first side brown, then using tongs, flip the chicken pieces over to crisp the other side, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Once the chicken is crisped and cooked through, pour the sauce into the hot pan, stirring to release any bits. Let it simmer about a minute to reduce, then stir your chicken back into the sauce, coating evenly.
nutritional info calculated using honey
I love the breading option on this! Making recipes like this is the best way I have for getting me kids to eat all the veggies!!
Sesame chicken is a definite favorite of mine and I am loving this version!
Katie Beck says
This looks as good as it sounds – we are always trying to lighten and healthy-up takeout meals. Great idea 🙂
I would love to try this sesame chicken recipe! I am going to take the great idea from your photos – serving this with a bowl of salad, instead of rice.
kelly @ a girl worth saving says
Dang this Sesame Chicken recipe looks so good! I’ve been struggling to find some tasty new whole30 chicken recipes and your recipe fits the bill.
I love finding delicious new Whole 30 recipes that are delicious, and fill a craving- such as a craving for Chinese take out! This looks even better!
I love asian food so this is definitely going on my menu this week – yum!
Anne Lawton says
this looks so good! I would eat it with a bowl full of that slaw. Thanks for sharing.
Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica says
This looks SO delicious! Thanks for the great recipe plus all the ways to serve it!
My family loves sesame chicken! I can not wait to try your healthier recipe using pineapple juice!
Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! says
Yum this looks delish, and that crispy chicken has my mouth watering!
STACEY CRAWFORD says
I love this! The chicken is so crisp and delicious! 🙂
Kiran Dodeja Smith says
Yum! My kids are huge fans of Chinese foods, so I know they are going to love this. Love that it’s GF!
Those chicken pieces look SO crispy and tender! This looks amazing.
Joni Gomes says
Looks delicious!! I am very eager to this this egg white coating trick!
Shelby @Fitasamamabear says
I love how simple the sauce is!
What not to love about this chicken?! It looks incredible and I bet it tastses even better!
Renee D Kohley says
Ooo the coating looks absolutely amazing! YUM! I will put this on my dinner menu!
Looks amazing — can’t wait to try!!
Megan Stevens says
Wow, Tessa, SO yummy!! I love that coating you use for the chicken. The whole dish is beautiful! My family will love this.
Raia Todd says
This looks so delicious! I love healthified versions of take-out food. 🙂
Laura Duffy says
I looovvveee sesame chicken but haven’t had it for years. I’m looking forward to trying this healthy version!
This looks like an amazing meal. I haven’t tried coating chicken with cassava flour but will now!