Sesame Chicken

I feel like everyone I know is always eating dinner out or ordering delivery. Pizza, Chinese food, subs, etc. I love to make take-out type food at home. It’s so much cheaper (even to feed just 2 people) and you can be sure that there are no weird chemicals added to keep it fresh. Last week I wanted Chinese food, but didn’t want fatty chicken or steak, with tons of salty sauce. It just so happened that one of my favorite bloggers, Beth @ Budget Bytes, was feeling Chinese-y as well, and she posted what looked like a great recipe for Easy Sesame Chicken.

Ever since Beth mentioned Jasmine rice in one of her posts, I’ve been using it in place of plain white rice. For some reason, when I make plain white rice it’s always gummy and sticks together. But not when I make Jasmine rice! This stuff is foolproof! Just make sure to follow the directions on the bag, because the water-to-rice ratio is a little bit different. I don’t know how Beth got her Sesame Chicken to be so beautiful and dark. My sauce looked great, just like hers, until I added the cornstarch as a thickener. Every time I add cornstarch to a sauce, it turns it a dull, muted color. Regardless, it tasted great, but just didn’t look as nice.

The one thing I changed ahead of time was using chicken breast instead of chicken thigh. I can’t get over the fatty taste of thighs, and they cost the same at my grocery store (Wegmans, $1.99/lb club pack). Next time, I probably won’t bother with the egg-and-cornstarch breading. Regardless of how hot my pan gets, breading like this never sticks correctly. Next time, I’ll try just a cornstarch breading, like I did with the Country Fried Steak. I’ll also double the sauce and add cooked broccoli to the chicken right before I add the sauce.

Sesame Chicken

Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 15 min

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 pinch each salt & pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)

For the Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

For Serving

  • cooked Jasmine rice

Directions

  1. Whisk together the egg, 2 Tbsp cornstarch, and pinch of salt and pepper in a large plastic container or gallon sized ziplock bag. Toss the chicken in the egg and cornstarch mixture.
  2. Heat a large skillet with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the chicken pieces individually (basically, just don’t put all that gooey egg mixture in the pan – yuck!). Cook the chicken, flipping once, until it is golden brown and cooked through (about 6-8 minutes total). Remove chicken to paper towel-lined plate or bowl to drain the excess oil.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Stir together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, minced garlic, cornstarch, and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
  4. Once the chicken is golden brown, pour the sauce all over & toss the chicken to coat it all in the sauce. The sauce will begin to thicken as soon as it hits the hot skillet. Once the chicken is coated and the sauce thickened (less than a minute!), turn off the heat.
  5. Serve the chicken over a bed of rice.

Do you eat a lot of take-out? Have you ever tried to make your own version at home?

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