Crispy Sesame Chicken Sandwich Recipe

The chicken sandwich that crunches back.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


for the cilantro mayo:
3 ounces|80 grams cilantro leaves and stems
1 cup|250 ml canola oil
¾ teaspoons white vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg yolk

for the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup|40 grams all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
¾ cup|45 grams panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 cup|250 ml canola oil


for the sandwich:
3 ounces|90 grams thinly sliced red cabbage
3 Persian cucumbers, smashed
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons chili oil
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
1 ¼ teaspoons chili flakes
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 sesame buns


  1. Make the mayo: Blend the cilantro and oil in a high-powered blender until smooth. Place in a wet cheesecloth in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, discard the solids, saving the oil. You should have about ½ cup|125 ml.
  2. Place the vinegar, mustard, salt, and egg yolk in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the cilantro oil until emulsified. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Cook the chicken: Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Place the flour and eggs in two separate, shallow bowls. Place the panko in a third shallow bowl with the sesame seeds. Dredge each chicken thigh in the flour, then the egg, then coat completely in the panko mixture.
  4. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium. Working in batches, cook the chicken, flipping once, until golden on each side and the chicken is cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and season with salt. Keep warm.
  5. Make the sandwich: Toss the cabbage and cucumbers with the salt and let sit for 5 minutes, then mix in the vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil, chili flakes, garlic, and scallion.
  6. Toast the buns however you feel like. Smear the inside of each bun with the cilantro mayo. Top each bottom bun with a chicken thigh and some of the cucumber and cabbage salad, then the top bun. Get into it.

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