I put out a survey on Facebook this week asking you guys what YOU wanted me to make. I got lots of great ideas from football snacks, crockpot dinners, easy quick dinners to stir fries.
I decided to go with the stir fry idea this week and go straight for one of my all time FAVORITE Chinese take out dinners and try and healthify it…. SESAME CHICKEN.
Everyone loves sesame chicken. It is the STAPLE Chinese food. But it also is really unhealthy.
A serving of the average sesame chicken at a Chinese restaurant can contain about 890 calories, and as much as 23 grams of fat. I know! ouch 🙁
PF Changs? Even worse. The nutrition info straight from their website is 990 calories, 36 grams of fat and 2560 mg of sodium! WHAT???
SO …. let’s see if we can make this a little better at home. What makes this chicken so damn good is the sauce. It’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s savory. It hits all the high notes that make you coming back for the next bite!
It is surprisingly easy to make BUT anytime you have to dredge something in flour and egg it can be a royal pain in the —, so what I found makes it a little less messy is using a Ziploc bag and doing the old Shake and Bake method. And then it’s just a matter of the chicken hitting that hot skillet and in about 7-10 minutes you have yourself homemade Sesame Chicken.
And yes, this CAN be made during the week for those of you who are wondering. Just be sure to dice up the chicken, make the sauce and mix the dry ingredients the night before. Then all you have to do is cook the chicken and heat up the sauce.
This goes uh-mazingly well with rice of course and broccoli. Perfect trio!
A few words before I go
I can only find organic cornstarch at Amazon (where I have started doing more and more grocery shopping). This is the brand I buy. Unfortunately some things in the Amazon grocery section only come in bulk. But the good thing is I have enough cornstarch to last me a while 🙂
Another key component to Chinese food as we all know is soy sauce and MSG. Healthy soy sauce is definitely available as long as you know what to look for and what to avoid. If you look on the store shelves you most likely will see 3,4 or 5 different choices.
Most soy sauce sold in the store and the ones in the restaurants are made within 2 days, this is NOT a good thing. I won’t get all geeky on you but in order for anything to be made rapidly for mass production additives and preservatives are added such as caramel coloring, natural flavors and unwanted sugars.
This is the one I use:
Tamari is another choice that is made only with soybeans (without any wheat). As far as I know, all the brands of tamari sold in food stores have been pasteurized. Tamari is far better to the commercial soy sauces and can also be found in organic form.
This is the one I use:Print
- A sweet, salty, spicy and sticky homemade version of the famous Chinese takeout Sesame Chicken
- 3 Boneless Chicken Breasts, chopped bite sized pieces
- 1–2 Large Egg(s), lightly beaten
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1/3 Cup Honey
- 1/4 Cup Ketchup
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/2 Cup Organic Cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- Whisk all sauce ingredients together, set aside
- Place the egg(s) in a shallow bowl with a little milk or water and beat.
- Add the ingredients for the Dry Coat mixture to a large Ziploc bag and give a good shake to combine
- In batches, dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then using a large slotted spoon to drain the excess egg, drop the chicken in the bag and shake to evenly coat the chicken
- Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan (I do not submerge the chicken, there is just enough oil to saute it)
- Using a pair of tongs (or your hands) take the chicken out and add it to the hot pan (again this may take 3 batches) and cook flipping over at least once to ensure even cooking. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until cooked though.
- Transfer the chicken to a paper toweled lined plate and continue with the next batch dipping it in the egg, then the dry coat mixture and sauteeing. Continue until all chicken is cooked and set aside on a plate
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the sesame seeds and stir until sauce thickens. Add the chicken back to the pan and stir to evenly coat. Serve over rice and top with additional sesame seeds and green onions.
If you’d like to kick up the heat a bit, try adding some red pepper flakes or dried red chilies.
To ensure a crispy result be sure to pat the chicken dry and season lightly with salt and pepper before putting it in the egg.
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