Sesame Coated Chicken Nuggets, or Tori no goma age


These humble-looking golden and black chunks are one of my biggest culinary discoveries of this year and the dream dish for sesame seed lovers. The idea to prepare it came while I was leafing through my favourite Japanese cookery book (Japanese cooking. A simple art by Shizuo Tsuji). Some of you might remember Scallops Fried in Nori I have prepared according to “kawari age” or “variation frying” methods described in Tsuji’s book. As a reminder, just like tempura, these methods consist in deep-frying, but first the food is dipped in the egg white and then in different types of coating. After several coating tests on scallops nori proved the best choice, while my beloved sesame seeds gave a bitter and rather unpleasant taste. In spite of this bad experience, I risked the sesame crust on chicken and the result totally blew me away. It was crunchy, nutty, not bitter and, contrary to tempura, it stayed crisp for quite a long time.

I had these nuggets for lunch, with rice and some pickles, but they could easily be served as snacks at a party. My Hot Mango Sauce was the absolute winner among other dips I have tried. I suppose it can be substituted by a quick mixture of mango, chilies and vinegar. Next time I will only stick to white sesame seeds coating. Black ones were slightly bitter and left a strange aftertaste.

Preparation: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves one):

100 g chicken breast or thigh cut into bite-sized pieces

1 heaped tablespoon flour

1 egg white

4 heaped tablespoons (or more) white sesame seeds

salt, pepper

oil for deep-frying

Preheat the deep-frying oil (it’s hot enough when a tiny piece of bread thrown into the fat doesn’t “sink” and stays on the surface, instantly browning).

Season the chicken pieces lightly with salt and pepper.

Beat the egg white slightly with a fork.

Dry them well with paper towels.

Dredge them slightly in flour, then in the egg white and at the end roll them in sesame seeds.

Deep fry them for about 3-5 minutes depending on the temperature of your oil and the size of your pieces.

32 Replies to “Sesame Coated Chicken Nuggets, or Tori no goma age”

  1. This sounds like another winner Sissi! I haven’t deep fried in about 20 years though… it makes me nervous… I wonder if I could bake it instead though I’m quite sure it wouldn’t be nearly as delicious. I love the simplicity of your recipes Sissi – they are full of flavour and so different from what I’m accustomed to. The first two nuggets give the impression of a heart shape – love it! Have a beautiful weekend Sissi 🙂

    1. Kelly, I’m really flattered and honoured to read all your compliments. I’m not sure if it would work in the oven, but please let me know if you try baking it. I’d be very happy if it was equally good minus the oil 😉 It’s so funny, but I haven’t noticed the heart shape at all and now you and Jeno have both noticed it! Have a lovely weekend too.

  2. Wow! This looks fantastic! Did you notice at first glance the front 2 chicken nuggets forms a heart shape? 🙂 I am not sure whether that’s intentional or accident, either way it brought a smile to my face along with the recipe!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeno. I haven’t noticed it at all, but apparently Kelly’s also sees the hearts! It wasn’t intentional at all.

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. If you are a sesame seeds fan, it’s worth trying. I also had this impression: it definitely soaked less oil than for example anything coated in bread crumbs.

  3. Yes, please! I’ve always been a huge fan of chicken tenders. My brothers and I used to only order chicken tenders at restaurants. My mom got so fed up one time that she said we weren’t allowed to order them–boy, that caught us off guard, and we didn’t know what to do, haha. Anyways, these sound fantastic!

    1. Thank you so much, Caroline. I am also a big chicken breast fan. I think I couldn’t live without it. I’m not surprised at what you say. I also go to some restaurants and always order the same dish.

  4. ahhh they sound so good!! I like how the sesame forms the crispy coating instead of a normal batter! do you think this will work with oven baking instead? i always try avoiding deep frying because it’s just so…messy haha.

    1. Thank you so much, Shuhan. I have no idea. I haven’t even tried because dee-frying was quicker…. I suppose you would have to bake at a very high temperature. (Otherwise the meat dried). Let me know if you tried baking it, I would be very curious to know.

  5. Yummy – I suppose you could create a whole platter with different things – aubergine, courgette, chicken, shrimp maybe? I like the idea of the sesame seeds, though I know what you mean – you can have some bad experiences with them sometimes. I ate something with a lot (like, A LOT) of sesame seeds once and I kid you not, it was like putting a spoonful of tahini paste into my mouth. Icky, sticky and gross! (I love tahini, but not to eat like that – usch!).

    Darn, just when I bought a giant bag of poppy-seeds you make me want a load of sesame seeds 😀 I’ve seen fish cooked a lot in these recently too so I’m really eager to give it a try. I bet the sesame seeds must impart a beautiful, nutty flavour to the final taste. Even though you said the’re a bit more “weird”, the black ones looks glorious too!

    1. Thank you, Charles. Yes, it’s an excellent idea, although I suppose some ingredients (like my scallops) could be disappointing with sesame seeds. I can assure you: it didn’t feel like putting lots of tahini in your mouth. It didn’t have this overwhelming fatty taste at all!
      Haha! I have also tried scallops with the same method plus poppy seeds. Don’t do it with scallops. It was even worse than sesame seeds, but do try it with other products of course! I am very curious. This kawari age method is wonderful because the coatings are endless… and you use up egg whites! The black ones tasted more oily, but they were good too.

  6. Sesame seed heaven! Drool-worthy! But I’m not into deep-frying. Doesn’t the sesame seeds burn? I’d like to try this baked in the oven tho. but I doubt the crust would have the same crunchyness.

    1. Thank you, Ping. Strangely the sesame seeds didn’t burn (I was also worried). I suppose if I used the grilled ones they would burn. Mine were also organic and not polished. (Not very light). I think it might be feasible in the oven too. Let me know if you try it!

  7. I can smell the sesame aroma from here! I don’t mind deep frying at all if it’s worth deep frying and that includes this one! I sometimes makes chicken katsu with panko + sesame + katsuobushi coating and that’s also yummy too. So I can imagine this one has more sesame flavor. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. I have a very tiny pan (there is only two of us) special for deep frying and I have never found this method dangerous or messy. I think it can be dangerous if the food is moist, but I always make sure it’s well dried. It takes me less and less time and I always keep the oven at the lowest temperature with a small baking dish, where I put progressively all the batches. This way they stay warm. Some however become a bit soggy (tempura…), but these were crunchy and perfect, just like korokke! Thank you for the panko+sesame+katsuobushi idea. I will make it next time. It sounds fantastic.
      Even though there is only sesame here, I was surprised the sesame flavour wasn’t overwhelming (maybe only with the black seeds). It was really delicate…

  8. These look amazing! It is really a great idea to use sesame seeds to coat chicken pieces for deep frying, or anything else for that matter. Thanks for sharing the great recipe.

    1. Thank you, Hyosun Ro. Now I know it’s a great idea, but I was worried the taste would be too overwhelming.

    1. Zsuzsa, I must also start making oven experiments with all the deep-fried food I love. I know it works perfectly well in some cases.

      1. It works but nothing replaces the taste, texture and colour that deep frying gives to foods. It is also a little harder to bake them in the oven, “oven fried” foods can dry out in seconds. You have keep peeking through the oven window to see what is happening in there.

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