Melissa Hemsley’s Korean chicken with sesame sprinkle recipe

Chicken thighs (or drumsticks) are perfect for this dish, but you could use wings, especially if you like eating with your fingers. The Korean-inspired sauce would go well with any meat or fish, as well as vegetable and noodle stir-fries. Look out for Korean chilli powder, if you can, and be sure to make the topping – you’ll be sprinkling it on everything! Serve these with a simple green salad or with my Herb & Pak Choi Salad, Vegetable Rice and Sesame Carrot & Courgette Noodles (all recipes in the book).

Issy Croker


4 chicken thighs (skin on and bone in; total 600g)
1 onion, finely chopped or grated
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
3cm piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
1 tsp chilli flakes or Korean chilli powder (or to taste)
1½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
6 tbsp tamari
2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup


4 tbsp black and white sesame seeds
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
½ tsp chilli flakes or Korean chilli powder (or to taste)

1. Preheat the oven to fan 220C/240C/gas 9.
2. Mix everything together (except the ingredients for the sesame sprinkle) in a large baking dish or roasting tin. Spread the chicken pieces out in a single layer, skin-side down, and bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and toss everything in the dish. Turn the chicken skin-side up and roast for another 12-15 minutes until golden and cooked through, the juices running clear when pierced with a sharp knife.
4 Meanwhile, prepare any sides, mix the sesame sprinkle ingredients together and sprinkle over the cooked chicken to serve.

Make double, then shred the chicken for a packed lunch salad that you’ll be desperate to eat.

The onion, garlic and ginger are grated for a more textured sauce, but you can blitz all the sauce ingredients together in a food processor if you prefer.


Eat Happy: 30-Minute Feelgood Food by Melissa Hemsley is published by Ebury, price £20. As well as Melissa’s introduction and brilliant advice and tips for time-savvy, good-for-you meals, chapters cover breakfast and brunch, bowl food, meat, fish and vegetable mains, salads, sides, snacks, dips and canapés, sweets and drinks. To order a copy for £16 until 18 February, visit or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.