20 minutes is all you need to make this delicious and healthier Chinese sesame chicken. Plus, it beats take out any day and costs less to make!
The more Chinese food I cook at home and the less I feel the need to order it.
That’s because it tastes that much better and more authentic when I make it in my own kitchen. Take this Sesame Chicken for example: not to bring Ben up again but hey, he’s a good example of someone who doesn’t enjoy cloyingly sweet dishes. He never orders or eats sesame chicken except for the one I make at home – no joke! If you ask him why he’ll say it’s because the take out version has too much breading, is heavy and one note in taste. My version on the other hand is lighter (I only use 3 tablespoons of oil) and the sauce, although still sweet, is also tangy and nutty.
Here’s the thing about sesame chicken; the chicken doesn’t have to be deep fried to achieve a crispy texture. Try my recipe and you will see that by pan frying it, you can still get a very crunchy exterior – minus the fat and oiliness.
What makes Chinese food so good in places like Taiwan, Shanghai and Singapore is the depth of flavor attached to each dish. American-Chinese food overall tends to be too sweet and similar in taste. Everything seems to be tossed in oyster sauce or black bean sauce or mixed with too much sugar or honey. Many chefs will say it’s made to please the American palate but I beg to differ. Maybe it was made to please the palate back in the day when Asian food was totally foreign to this country, but not anymore. I believe that nowadays, Americans are much more educated when it comes to flavor combinations and want to experience dishes that are more complex. To me, this means even American-Chinese dishes like sesame chicken should also have a kick to it.
The mixture of rice vinegar, dry sherry and sesame oil is what makes this version of sesame chicken stand out. I also believe that the type of honey used in the cooking process makes a big difference in the end. I’ve become accustomed to only using raw organic honey for its extremely high levels of nutrients and antioxidant properties, but also because it’s creamier and smoother in taste. I can eat it straight out of the jar it’s so good!
This recipe is not your standard delivery sesame chicken. It’s bolder in flavor, lighter in texture and lower in fat and calories. If you like it as much as I do then heed my advice and cook more Chinese food at home! I have plenty of Chinese restaurant menu style recipes that are healthier and more savory. Not only will they be beneficial to your diet, they will also save you money. Here’s a list of my favorites recipes. Most of them only take 20-30 minutes to make!
Better than take out Chinese recipes:
- Chilled sesame noodles
- Orange chicken recipe
- Sweet and sour tofu
- Singapore chow mei fun
- Kung pao chicken
- Shrimp fried rice
- Moo goo gai pan
- Dry fried green beans with garlic sauce
- Chicken egg foo young
- Egg drop soup
- Hot and sour soup
- 1 pound USDA organic chicken, cut into small chunks
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¾ cup corn starch
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 scallions, finely chopped (optional)
- For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons raw organic honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- Place egg and corn starch in two separate bowls, large enough for dipping.
- Take a few pieces of chicken and dip them in egg. Add them to the corn starch, toss well and set aside on a plate. Repeat until all the chicken pieces are coated.
- In a pan over high heat, add vegetable oil and test the temperature of the oil by sprinkling a little corn starch. When the oil is hot (corn starch should bubble), add chicken. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan as this will bring down the temperature of the oil. Do it in separate batches if necessary.
- Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Flip the chicken halfway through. Turn the heat off and set aside.
- In a separate pan, add all the ingredients for the sauce except for the corn starch and water mixture.
- Bring to a boil and whisk in corn starch mixture. Lower to a simmer and cook until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
- Turn the heat off and add chicken. Toss well until chicken pieces are evenly coated.
- Transfer to a plate and top with scallions. Serve immediately.
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