Pomegranate Raspberry Sesame Chicken with rice and asparagus

Pomegranate Raspberry Sesame Chicken {Or Pork!}

  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 2 hours (includes 1 hour for meat to soak in marinade)
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 3 hours (includes 1 hour for meat to soak in marinade)
  • Yield: 4-6


A deliciously unique take on sesame chicken: crispy fried pieces of chicken or pork coated in a sweet, tangy, nutty pomegranate raspberry sesame sauce.


  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp orange zest, divided
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces (Or – pork tenderloin)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 cup Pomegranate Molasses (*See note)
  • 3 large eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  Vegetable oil for frying (enough to fill a large sauce pan with 3-inches of oil)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (toast in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, minced

Serve with:


Marinate the chicken {or pork}:

  1. Add buttermilk, soy sauce, salt, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon orange zest. Whisk to combine.
  2. Lay the chicken or pork out in an even layer in a rectangle baking dish. Pour the marinade over the meat and stir the pieces around a bit to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 – 24 hours (the longer the better) .

Make the Pomegranate Raspberry Sesame Sauce:

  1. Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch, raspberries, 1/4 cup orange juice, rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon orange zest to a bowl. Stir to mix, mashing up the raspberries a bit with the back of the spoon as you stir. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and set aside while you prepare the chicken.

Cook the Chicken or Pork:

  1. Crack the eggs into a shallow dish or pie plate and add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons sesame oil.
  2. In a separate shallow dish or pie plate, add 1 & 1/2 cups cornstarch, the flour, and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir to mix.
  3. Remove the meat from the refrigerator. Add several pieces of meat to the bowl with the eggs. Toss the pieces around to coat in the egg mixture, then place them one at a time in the flour and cornstarch mixture. Press the meat into the cornstarch and flour to form a thick coating. Set breaded meat on a separate plate. Repeat until all the pieces of meat have been breaded.
  4. Add 3 inches of vegetable oil to a large heavy bottom saucepan or dutch oven and set it over high heat. Using a deep frying thermometer to monitor the temperature, heat the oil to 360 degrees.
  5. Using metal tongs, place 8-10 pieces of meat in the hot oil. Let cook for about 3 minutes, then turn them over in the oil and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are a rich golden brown on all sides. Place the cooked meat on a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining pieces of meat. *Try to keep the oil temperature between 350 and 360 degrees at all times.
  6. Place the cooked meat on a serving plate and cover with aluminum foil while you finish the sauce.

Finish the Pomegranate Raspberry Sesame Sauce:

  1. Heat the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper and cook for about 10 seconds, just until the garlic and ginger are beginning to brown.
  2. Add the Pomegranate Raspberry Sesame Sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and boils. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds and the cooked chicken or pork. Stir to coat the meat in the sauce.
  3. Scoop the chicken or pork onto a serving platter and top with the remaining 1/4 cup sesame seeds, pomegranate seeds, and chives.
  4. Serve with Jasmine Rice and Sautéed Asparagus.


  • Because it’s become increasingly popular over the past few years, you can sometimes find bottles of Pomegranate Molasses in supermarkets. And, of course, like everything else in the world, you can order it on Amazon. A bottle of Pomegranate Molasses will run you around $15. Making it yourself will cost you about 1/3 of that and is as simple as pouring some pomegranate juice into a pan and letting it reduce down into a thick, intensely flavored syrup. Here’s how to make it.