Dump and start Instant Pot sesame chicken cooked in a rich honey soy sauce. This Chinese classic is made so easy in the Instant Pot, perfect for a busy mid-week dinner and definitely much better than a take-out!
Here’s another family favorite, honey sesame chicken made in the Instant Pot! A bit similar to my favorite Instant Pot brown sugar chicken recipe, and my firecracker chicken (this recipe is AMAZING by the way, make sure to check it out!). It’s definitely one of the recipes that go in our monthly rotation, and we usually serve it with plain white rice.
The Instant Pot version is so quick and easy! The chicken is cooked in just 3 minutes on high, and the sauce turns out so thick, rich, and delicious!
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What Is Sesame Chicken?
Sesame chicken is a dish that is usually found in Chinese restaurants in America. It’s a take-out meal that we used to get all the time before I realized how easy is it to make at home.
The sauce is mainly made with honey and soy sauce, so the chicken turns out sweet and just a little bit spicy. The sauce is made thick and rich so it glazes the chicken nicely.
Traditionally, the chicken breast is cut into bite-sized pieces then battered, deep-fried, then it’s tossed in the sticky sauce. But this Instant Pot version is a dump and start recipe, no deep frying or sauteing is needed, and it turns out as good as your favorite take-out!
For the sauce, you will need soy sauce (I recommend using a low-sodium soy sauce as otherwise, it can be too salty), ketchup, hot sauce or sriracha, garlic, ginger, honey, and sesame oil. Some of these ingredients go in the pot before pressure cooking, and the rest are added at the end.
To thicken the sauce, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water, then add them to the sauce to thicken it while the Instant Pot is set on the SAUTE setting.
How to Make Instant Pot Sesame Chicken
- Add the chicken to the Instant Pot, followed by soy sauce, garlic, ginger, ketchup, hot sauce or sriracha. and give the ingredients a quick stir.
- Cover the pot with the lid, and make sure that the valve is in a sealing position. press on MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (this depends on which Instant Pot do you have), and cook on high for 3 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure, and count down to 0. When it beeps, quickly release the steam by turning the vent to the RELEASE position and make sure that it’s not close to your face as the steam will be really hot!
- Carefully remove the lid, and press on SAUTE. Add the honey, and sesame oil, and make the cornstarch slurry. At this point, you can taste the sauce and see if you need to add salt (I usually don’t).
- To make the slurry, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Add it to the sauce, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the sauce thickens. Switch off the saute setting (I remove the stainless steel insert from the pot at this stage so it does not continue to cook).
- Garnish with sesame seeds, and spring onions or scallions. Serve over plain white rice that you can easily make in the Instant Pot.
Thickening the Sauce
I always use cornstarch slurry and add it at the end. However, If you have no cornstarch available, you can use arrowroot powder.
More Asian-Inspired Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot hibachi steak
- Instant Pot hibachi chicken
- Instant Pot shrimp and broccoli
- Instant Pot beef and broccoli
- Instant Pot fried rice
- Or check out my Instant Pot recipe collection!
- 2 pounds chicken breasts boneless and skinless, cut into bite-size or 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch ginger peeled and grated
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce or sriracha
- ¼ cup honey or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds to garnish
- chopped green onion to garnish
- Add the chicken to the Instant Pot, followed by soy sauce, garlic, ginger, ketchup, and hot sauce or sriracha. Give everything a quick stir.
- Cover the pot with the lid, and make sure that the valve is in sealing position. Press on MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (this depends on which Instant Pot do you have), and cook on high for 3 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure, and count down to when it beeps, quickly release the steam by turning the vent to RELEASE position and make sure that it's not close to your face as the steam will be really hot.
- Carefully remove the lid, and press on the SAUTE setting. Add the honey (or brown sugar), sesame oil, and make the cornstarch slurry.
- To make the slurry, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Add it to the sauce, and stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens. Switch off the saute setting.
- Serve over rice, and garnish with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
- It’s important to use low-sodium soy sauce in this recipe, as otherwise, your sauce might be too salty. If you only have regular soy sauce, use ¼ cup of soy sauce or tamari, and ¼ cup of water.
- Nutrition values are calculated per 1 portion of sesame chicken without rice (rough estimate). If you’re following a specific diet or have a health condition, please make your own calculations and don’t rely on our data.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen