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Sesame chicken meatballs pack more flavor than the usual takeout favorite

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...

Put a fun twist on sesame chicken by turning them into perfectly poppable meatballs

Sesame chicken is one of the most-ordered chicken dishes in Chinese restaurants. It is popular because it has such a pleasant combination of sweetness mixed with tones of vinegar and a strong prominence of sesame.

This time, though, the chicken is packed with more intense flavors because ground meat is used and combined with more flavorful ingredients. Imagine how these meatballs taste with the sweet sesame sauce covering every single bit of them. Absolutely worth your effort and time.

Put a fun twist on sesame chicken by turning them into perfectly poppable meatballs
Image: Rowena Dumlao-Giardina/SheKnows

Sesame chicken meatballs recipe

Yields 20

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 1 hour


For the sauce

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Ground pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the meatballs

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sauce
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 slices sandwich bread, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons chives or green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Olive oil (or other kind of oil for cooking)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. Make the sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, sugar, water, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and ground pepper. Let it boil, then on low heat, simmer for 3 minutes.
  2. While the sauce simmers, mix the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of water until it becomes a paste. Mix the cornstarch paste with the sauce until it becomes thick, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, make the batter by mixing 1/2 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, water and 1/4 cup of sauce. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, bread, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of chives, the hoisin sauce, sugar, salt and ground pepper. Mix until you have a compact mixture.
  5. On a plate, put the remaining 1 cup of flour for coating the meatballs.
  6. Using floured hands, form meatballs with the chicken mixture, and then roll them on the plate with the flour. Shake off the excess, and line them up on a plate.
  7. On medium heat, warm up a large saucepan with the olive oil.
  8. Dip each meatball into the batter, shake off the excess, and cook them in the saucepan.
  9. When the meatballs are brown on all sides, pour in the remaining sauce, and mix for a couple of minutes.
  10. Garnish with the sesame seeds and remaining chives. Serve while hot.

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