Ginger Chicken With Sesame-Peanut Sauce Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Ginger Chicken With Sesame-Peanut Sauce Recipe (1)

Total Time
45 minutes, plus at least 1 hour’s marinating
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In this crisp-skinned chicken dish, full of bold, zesty flavors, chicken legs are flavored with toasted sesame oil, garlic and ginger, then roasted until golden brown. They’re served with a creamy peanut-sesame sauce that’s spiked with even more ginger and garlic, which can be quickly whisked together while the chicken legs cook. Be sure to save any extra sauce; it will keep for a week in the fridge and is terrific with cut-up vegetables as a snack, or spooned onto roasted or fried tofu.

Featured in: If You Love Crispy Chicken Skin, This Is the Recipe for You

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Yield:4 to 6 servings

    For the Chicken

    • 1tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • 2teaspoons kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal), plus more as needed
    • 1teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
    • 3garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
    • pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
    • 1tablespoon grapeseed, safflower or other neutral oil
    • 2scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

    For the Peanut Sauce

    • ¼cup soy sauce or tamari, plus more to taste
    • 2tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more to taste
    • 1small garlic clove, finely grated or minced
    • ½teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
    • 1tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1tablespoon honey, plus more to taste
    • ½cup smooth peanut butter, preferably natural

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

637 calories; 42 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 19 grams monounsaturated fat; 10 grams polyunsaturated fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 5 grams sugars; 54 grams protein; 869 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Ginger Chicken With Sesame-Peanut Sauce Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Prepare the chicken: In a small bowl, mix together sesame oil, salt, ginger and garlic, and smear mixture all over the chicken and underneath the skin. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet (or plate), preferably on a rack to allow air to circulate, and refrigerate uncovered for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  2. Step


    Heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove the rack under the chicken if you’ve used one. If the chicken isn’t on a rimmed baking sheet, transfer it to one (you can line it with parchment to make clean-up easier, but it’s not necessary). Pat the legs dry with a paper towel. Drizzle chicken with the neutral oil. Roast until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pricked with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes.

  3. Step


    While chicken is in the oven, make the peanut sauce: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and ginger until combined, then whisk in sesame oil and honey. Add peanut butter and whisk until smooth. If the mixture is very thick (and this depends on your brand of peanut butter), whisk in a few tablespoons of cold water until it becomes a thick but pourable sauce.

  4. Step


    Transfer chicken to a serving plate and carefully pour any pan juices on the baking sheet into the bowl with the peanut sauce. Whisk until combined. Taste the sauce and add more soy sauce, vinegar or honey if you’d like.

  5. Step


    Drizzle or brush some of the peanut sauce all over chicken pieces, reserving some sauce for serving. Garnish with scallions and serve with reserved peanut sauce.



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Cooking Notes


I needed to thin out the peanut sauce, but decided on the juice from half a lime instead of water. Highly recommended!!


It is baking powder, not baking soda, that is used on chicken to help promote crisp skin.


Adding red pepper flakes or even a couple of dashes of almost any hot sauce balances the peanut sauce and brings this wonderful recipe to a new level.


I cook chicken this way often. It is delicious. But since we’re not big fans of honey, I used seasoned rice vinegar to add a bit of sweetness.


Saw this recipe this afternoon about 3pm while at work. Knew I had everything in the house except scallions. Followed the recipe except for the marinating in the refrigerator part. Still came out fantastic. Served over rice with fresh broccoli.


How do you pat chicken dry with paper towels after it's been covered in a sauce the previous day?


Leftover sauce is great tossed with Chinese noodles and lightly sauteed red bell peppers and onions.


I prefer the sauce without the honey. Also, I mix sauces like this in a small mason jar—just shake until ingredients are combined and pourable.


I cook chicken on a sheet pan weekly and although it is good to dry the chicken skin by refrigeration, it is not necessary. I salt the skin and season with garlic powder as recommended, let it sit while I am preparing the rest of the pan components. Then I find I get perfectly crisped skin by placing it in my electric convection oven at 420F. I also have dried the bird in the refrigerator, but honestly have not noticed a big difference. Thankfully there is no baking soda.

Knitter 215

Made this tonight with thighs because it was what I had. Holy Moly. What a great meal and sauce. Had plenty of leftovers since there are only 3 of us. Did everything except the scallions.

S. Berry

I never know whether I can substitute boneless chicken breasts for chicken thighs. I realize they take a bit less time to cook.


Try Tahini! It's wonderful, and I use it more often than Peanut butter.


A big, and somewhat unexpected, hit. Omitted honey in sauce and used Skippy smooth. Otherwise followed the recipe using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Marinated (covered in refrigerator) about 8 hours. Chicken was as moist as can be and crispy and sauce had a kick we really enjoyed. I did need to add about 1/4 cup water to thin the sauce down. Delicious dinner. Served with Thai-style broccoli and scallions and rice.

midwest cook

This was good. I followed the recipe. The peanut sauce was nice--next time I might add some red pepper for a bit of a kick. I lined the pan with parchment to make it easier to clean up. The chicken did not get as crispy as I had hoped. There was a lot of liquid and it appeared to steam the chicken. Next time I'll skip the parchment in hopes of a crispier skin.


Make super crisp chicken then cover it with peanut sauce? I think not. Each to their own.


Loved this recipe so much! I was only looking to make a portion or two so I used 1/4 Ib of boneless thighs and halved the sauce recipe. I marinated it with the same amounts as the recipe says and then made half a bag of egg noodles with the chicken which the sauce fully coated. This meal was so satisfying, definitely hit the spot!


The sauce was VERY salty- I wondered if I did something wrong. I used tamari and natural salted pb. On top of the salty chicken, my eaters didn’t seem very into the food :( I’m going to add more honey, sesame, and vinegar to see if I can rescue the leftovers.


This was awesome. Great for scratching the Thai takeout itch without the expense of ordering out and I love that the ingredients are things I normally have on hand. I marinated boneless skinless thighs overnight, adding about a 1/4 cup soy sauce, and then grilled instead of roasting. I painted on a thin coat of sauce just when they were done cooking. I took advice from below and thinned the sauce with a mix of water and lime juice, plus an extra tablespoon of honey and some red pepper flakes.


Very basic. Doubled the spices and added in a few more and it was just pretty blah. The sauce saved it.


Very good. Crunchy peanut butter works very well and adds a little crunch to the sauce.


Made according to the recipe. Delicious juicy thighs and plenty of peanut sauce. Will half sauce next time.


Does this reheat well? I am trying to decide if I should halve it.


Really good! Added red pepper flakes to peanut sauce for some kick. Will use more ginger in both applications.


Really good! Added red pepper flakes to sauce for some kick. Will use more ginger for sauce and chicken.


I just made these peanut noodles last night ( and this recipe also calls for 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup soy sauce. Waaaay to salty for me!

Sharon Rosenfield

This was not a delicious dish. In fact, it was so bad I am not sure whether I will make a NY times recipe any time soon. The peanut butter did not mix well and even with water it was thick and had an overwhelming taste of peanut flavor and no other taste. The big problem is doubling the recipe did not work. I cook for 6 to 10 people not 4.

Karen M.

Not one of my favorite recipes. It was looking good until the instruction to add the pan drippings to the peanut sauce! Don't know about your chicken, but mine made a lot of drippings and it was sort of repellant. Sorry.


peanut sauce was excessively salty


For a recipe with "ginger" in the title, there isn't a whole lot of ginger. It's a good fast and easy recipe, but next time I'll probably triple the ginger.

marcia strongwater


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Ginger Chicken With Sesame-Peanut Sauce Recipe (2024)
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