A combination of sesame seeds and panko breadcrumbs makes these chicken fingers incredibly crunchy! The peanut dipping sauce pairs perfectly.
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5 from 4 votes

Sesame-Crusted Chicken Fingers with Spicy Peanut Sauce

A combination of sesame seeds and panko breadcrumbs makes these chicken fingers incredibly crunchy! The peanut dipping sauce pairs perfectly.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time27 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Fingers, Sesame Chicken
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 621kcal
Author: Jennifer Farley

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (I recommend Kadoya)
  • 4-5 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sambal or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or grated on microplane zester
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or any neutral-flavored, high-heat oil

Instructions

  • If you have time before cooking, let the chicken come to room temperature for 45-60 minutes (this will help it cook more evenly). If using chicken breasts, trim away excess fat and slice into 1-inch lengthwise strips.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, hoisin, sesame oil and 4 tablespoons warm water. If the sauce is too thick, slowly whisk in an additional tablespoon of water until the desired consistency is reached (you can always add more later if needed). Add the garlic, sambal or pepper flakes, and cilantro in bowl, whisking until smooth.
  • Place the breadcrumbs and sesame seeds in a shallow dish, such as a pie pan. Season chicken with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides (see photos), then lightly press into the breadcrumb/seed mixture so it adheres on both sides.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot, shimmering and just barely starting to smoke (the chicken will quickly cool it down). Cook half of the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, around 3 minutes per side. Transfer to large plate or cutting board lined with paper towels, carefully wipe out skillet, and repeat with remaining oil and chicken.
  • Serve with the dipping sauce. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Notes

Avoid using "natural" peanut butters with this sauce. Some of them have a grainy texture, which leads to a grainy sauce. 
To make sure I get an even, light sprinkling of salt and pepper, I lift my hand high above the chicken while sprinkling. This keeps it from all dropping in one spot.
You definitely want to use a nonstick pan with this recipe, otherwise the sesame seeds might burn before the chicken has a chance to fully cook.
Adapted from Cook’s Country

Nutrition

Calories: 621kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 219mg | Sodium: 1212mg | Potassium: 1714mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 435mg | Iron: 8.4mg