Historically, I stink at cooking Chinese style food at home. My husband would attest.
However, I won HUGE a couple weeks ago when I made my Umami Mongolian Beef & Broccoli in the Instant Pot – MUST check that out.
My husband grew faith in my Chinese abilities, and I set out to make Honey Sesame Chicken.
Traditional Honey Sesame Chicken recipes call for frying the chicken before saucing – no thanks, and no frying in my Instant Pot. I am not a huge fan of fried food – #1, its a pain in the arse to cook at home – I hate that lingering “just fried” smell. #2, who needs all that fat?
Other recipes, including those I found specifically for pressure cookers, call for TONS of brown sugar and honey – they just seemed to be an amount I would want in dessert, not for dinner.
I set out to make my own Honey Sesame Chicken, and I have to say… Bravo. 👌
This Honey Sesame Chicken is not only easy, but it is delicious. It’s the perfect amount of savory Umami-ness and the perfect amount of honey-sweet.
1 1/2 pounds chicken, 1-2 inch cubes, can use breast or thighs
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey, plus 1 T
1/2 cup chicken broth (can sub water, but add extra 1 t soy sauce)
1 t fish sauce
1 T sesame oil
2 t rice vinegar
2 t. ginger (I use jarred)
1 t. garlic, minced (1 clove)
2 t. Sesame Tahini
, or sub peanut butter (yep, I use peanut butter and its delish – I don’t always have tahini on hand, but I do always have peanut butter)
1 T sesame seeds
1 T brown sugar
pinch salt and pepper
2 T cornstarch
1 T water
1-2 T toasted sesame seeds, garnish
In mixing bowl or Instant Pot
insert, mix soy sauce, honey, chicken broth, fish sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, peanut butter, sesame seeds, brown sugar, salt, pepper and Sambal Oelek. Whisk until well combined. Add cubed chicken. Marinate according to how much time you have… anywhere from 15 minutes – 12 hours.
I do this the morning I plan to make Honey Sesame Chicken. I throw it all into my Instant Pot insert, cover with saran wrap and store in my fridge. When its time to cook, the insert goes right into my IP!
Place insert in Instant Pot
, and add marinated chicken (if not already in your insert like mine was). Close lid, turn Vent knob to “Sealing”
Press Manual button and adjust cook time using “+/-“ buttons to 8 minutes.
Instant Pot (IP) display will show as “On” until IP comes to pressure. Then, cook time countdown will display and begin.
While Honey Sesame Chicken cooks in your Instant Pot, toast your Sesame Seeds for your garnish. Toast sesame seeds in dry pan for 3-5 minutes on medium heat, moving seeds in pan often. Toast oil they just turn golden and fragrant. Set aside until ready to serve.
When cook time is complete, IP will beep and automatically change to “Keep Warm” setting. Allow NPR
for 5 minutes.
While NPR is taking place, mix a slurry of corn starch and water in small bowl – this will act as a thickener for your Honey Sesame sauce.
After NPR, release remaining pressure by turning Vent knob to “Venting” (QPR
Press “Saute” button on IP (browning button on other pressure cookers).
Add slurry while stirring. Allow sauce to thicken for 3-5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
Turn IP Off by pressing “Keep Warm/Off” button.
Add about 1 T of honey, stir.
Why the extra honey here? I think it gives a fresh, fragrant honey taste perfect for right before you serve.
Serve and top with toasted sesame seeds & Sambal Oelek
(if desired for spice)