Sesame Oil Chicken (麻油鸡)
June 18th, 2010 63 Comments

Sesame Oil Chicken (麻油鸡)

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Sesame Oil Chicken Recipe (麻油鸡)


3 chicken drumsticks (chop into 3-4 pieces each, bone-in)
2-3 inches knob of ginger (peeled and cut into thin strips)
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or Chinese rice wine
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 cup water
3 dashes white pepper powder


Heat up a wok over high heat and add the sesame oil. When a swirl of smoke appears from the wok and the oil is fully heated, add the ginger strips and stir fry until light brown or aromatic. Add chicken to the wok and stir fry for about 10-15 seconds before adding the soy sauce, oyster sauce, wine, and white pepper powder. Continue to stir-fry until the chicken is 70% cooked. Add water and do a few quick stirs. Cover the wok with the lid and turn the heat to medium to low heat and let the chicken cook for a few minutes or until the sauce thickens and the meat becomes tender. Dish out and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:

If the sauce dries up, add more water and cook until the chicken reach your desired doneness.

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63 comments... read them below or add one

  1. sheba says:

    I do happen to have some sesame oil at home..and was just wondering what to use it for. This chicken looks just wow!!!

  2. Serve with sambal belacan?! Great idea!

  3. oh my, that looks incredibly delicious..must try this one soon…thanks for sharing this recipe.

  4. Alta says:

    This does sound deliciously homey and comforting! I love sesame. Yum!

  5. Tricia says:

    This is one of my fav dishes. I use drumsticks, too. I add alot of ginger in mine … love the smell and heat! Hmmm…I think it’s time to make this again!!! Yummy!

  6. John Schuler says:

    I would like to try this but I’m confused about sesame oil.
    Does this use the toasted sesame oil? I recently moved to Koreatown and have shopped at the various markets but am unable to tell the difference between the toasted and not toasted.
    Can you shed some light? ( I know I should ask someone in these stores but haven’t ) Any recommendations on specific brands?

  7. Che says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I have fond memories of “mua yiew kwey” that’s how we call it in Manila (we speak hokkien). my mom made it all the time and I completely forgot about this.

    More power to you! My husband thinks I am a good cook – in truth, I just copy most of your recipes!!
    If you are in Dubai, please, let me know, it would mean the world to me to have yum cha with you :)

    • Yes, we call it mua yu kay, sounds about the same! I love this, my late mom used to make this quite a bit but with pork, and fried eggs in the sauce! I loved it so much!

      Glad to know you love my recipes! Hopefully I will get to Dubai one day!

  8. Mark says:

    This looks very nice. I even have the ingredients in my pantry. I think I could easily cook this on a weeknight.

  9. LimeCake says:

    This looks just like how my grandma makes it. She sometimes uses leftover cooked chicken to make this. You make it look so simple! And i agree – sambal makes everything better!

  10. I feel a bit scary to imagine how many bowls of rice I can eat up with this saucy chicken, aaahhhh!!

  11. tigerfish says:

    I also fall to Kadoya Sesame Oil when in the US. This is also one homey dish I enjoy very much. Shall make this soon….you must eat more of this! :P just so good!

  12. Lori Lynn says:

    It sounds simply perfect. I’m a fan of toasted sesame oil.

  13. DailyChef says:

    Wonderful. I love the flavor of seasame and sesame oil.

  14. Velops says:

    This sounds very similar to a Chinese dish that is very popular in Taiwan.

    Even though the name literally means “three cups chicken” it is just a guideline about using equal amounts of sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine to your taste.

    • Velops – I have a 3-cup chicken recipe:

      The taste of sesame oil chicken and 3-cup chicken are completely different though.

      • Simon says:

        I agree with bee here. Although San bei ji is a delicious (as a taiwanese friend said it in mandarin) is a delicious dish. This recipe uses fewer ingredients, but personally I prefer the sweetened mix of succulent chicken, chili, basil and saltiness in San Bei Ji more.

        Couldn’t manage to get sambal balacan, but made it with a homemade sambal ulek instead. Also turned out great.

  15. Jun Low says:

    hi, i made this last night and omg it was yum! i just used chicken thighs without the bones instead cos i have a lazy family haha!

    • Jun – that’s so great that you tried the recipe. It’s so easy and delicious, right? I love this recipe. Can eat all of them by myself. Boneless meat works fine, too. But I like chicken drumsticks for this specific recipe. :)

      • Jun Low says:

        It just makes me think of home (Singapore). I remember my aunt eating this and ginger fish during her confinement period :D Thanks so much again.

  16. Mina says:

    It looks delicious and easy.Thanks for sharing.

  17. po says:

    I made it last night and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe :)

  18. Audrey says:

    OMG this is HOME dish!! The first dish I learned from my grandma when I was only 14, just because it’s my favourite. My dad, thinking I know how to cook by then because of sesame chicken, told me to fry a plate of veg and I failed miserable.

  19. Rajesh says:

    Love to cook this dish tonight. Is it ok if i leave out the wain.

  20. Novice says:

    I’m making this recipe, but I don’t have Chinese Rice Wine. Are there alternatives that are more common that I can use?

  21. richard.fila says:

    Really enjoy this dish – the bone in chicken I think adds to the flavour. One tip though …. when cutting up a chicken drumstick the bones can shatter however, cutting when it’s still partially frozen should help.

  22. Vanessa says:

    I’m going to make this with boneless chicken, would you recommend that I use the “baking soda trick” for the chicken?

  23. Peter Pantry Raider says:

    Whenever I cut up and cook a whole chicken, my daughter reserves the drumsticks and thigh parts while my eldest son goes for the chicken breast.

    I only get to eat what’s left – the bony parts and the chicken backside. Sigh! But I love those parts especially in curry or KFC.

  24. Mrs Fox says:

    I’m so making this tonight. However, my Mat Salleh hubs is not a fan of picking bones, so I’m afraid it’ll have to be made with boneless thighs.

    I shall demand for this dish everyday during my confinement period come spring. Bones and all.

  25. Nining says:

    I can only get roasted sesame oil in Cairo. The one you would top soups before eating them. So won’t this oil burn if heated on high heat?

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Yvonne says:

    just tried your sesame chicken recipe, it was really really good! taste came out exactly as I expected :D

  27. Kokila says:

    I’m staying in Kuwait and want to try this dish as it’s so mouth watering. But I can’t get the shoaling wine or rice wine over here…can I substitute these ingredients? Thanks…

  28. Shirlyn says:

    I’ve tried this recipe a few times. It tastes just like the way my grandma used to cook it. Simply delicious! Thks for sharing this recipe. I’ll be posting it on my blog soon. :D

  29. SparklingRachel says:

    I love this dish, a silly question…is there a why to make it not so oily those?

  30. Ptrcf says:

    Delicious and simple for a working women to prepare and makes me refresh back to my childhood taste.

  31. juliTHAPA says:

    Chinese wine? Any good wine would do?

  32. cholito says:


    I love you site and already tried the chicken cashew nut which tasted just like in our favorite Chinese restaurant.

    We also have another favorite called Sesame chicken but it looks different than this one here. We could never figure out what the sauce is made of. My guess is oyster sauce, honey and soy sauce but I was wondering if you can help me. They usually sprinkle sesame on top of it.

    Thank you!

  33. claire says:

    when i cook sesame oil chicken, i would take out the ginger after i fried it and then add to the chicken just before serving. to me the chicken taste better that way, anyway diff people have different taste. can try if you wish to have a different taste.

  34. EILEEN12662 says:

    I tried this yesterday, I add a little bit of chilli paid… It taste good.. Thanks Rasamalaysia!

  35. Lisa says:

    I have been using this recipe as a good starter, with a few minor tweaks. Instead of oyster sauce, I drizzle a little kecap manis because my kids like a touch of sweetness. I also use Kadoya toasted sesame oil for a richer sesame taste. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  36. Joyce says:

    Will it be alright if I don’t have ShaoXing wine or any rice wine? Is there any alternative to this?

  37. noor says:

    looks yummy. i’m into chinese these days. for muslims what can you suggest as the closest substitute to the wine? i can take rice wine vinegar though but not sure about the taste.

  38. FgK says:

    It looks great, but I have one question. Do you use sweet soysauce or salty? because im sure that would make a difference.

  39. oilparand says:

    I’m really interested in the food.

    Thank you…

  40. Hi Rasa,

    Ten thumbs up for putting up this website! You’re a legend!

  41. mandy says:

    Cooked the sesame oil chicken following your recipe for dinner, it was very delicious. We had to fight for the last few pieces. Thumbs up!!!
    Going to try more of your recipes.

  42. Rosa says:

    Wow, this sounds delicious, I would like to try it! what do you mean by chicken drumsticks (chop into 3-4 pieces each, bone-in). Do you actually mean to chop the drumsticks? how?
    BTW, I have your book and enjoy choosing a recipe every weekend :-D

  43. Hazrina Haja says:

    Is this mua-yu? i dont know how to spell it out but recipe like this in my family is called mua-yu.

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