Food: Sprinkles of sesame

Sometimes you need something that’s a little sweet … and sometimes you need it for dinner. I previously shared my Lo Mein recipe (and my undying love of Chinese food) with you. This time I decided to try another favorite from my takeout menu, and let me tell you, not only was it super easy to make, but it tasted amazing.

At first I was a bit skeptical about how easy this would be to make, but it took me less than an hour to make the Sesame Chicken, including the prep time and preparing the steamed broccoli and fried rice that I served with the chicken.

Considering that I already had most of the ingredients in my pantry, the only thing I needed to buy for this recipe was the chicken, so not only was it a quick meal but it also ended up being cheaper to make the dish at home than it would have been for me to buy it from somewhere else. So it was a win-win all around.

Sesame Chicken

Serves four

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil 
  • olive oil for frying

Sauce

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

First things first, make the batter for the chicken by sifting flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder into a bowl. Pour in low-sodium soy sauce, sherry, 2 tablespoons water, vegetable oil, and sesame oil; stir until smooth. Stir in chicken until coated with the batter. Let the chicken sit in the batter for 15-20 minutes while preparing the sauce. Bring the chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Gradually dissolve 1/4 cup cornstarch into the water, and stir into the boiling sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens and turns clear. Reduce the heat to low, and keep sauce warm while frying the chicken.

Fry the pieces of battered chicken in a deep fryer or large saucepan a few at a time, and fry until they turn golden brown and float to the top of the oil. The pieces should take three to four minutes to fry. Scoop out the cooked pieces and drain the excess oil on a paper towel-lined plate. Fry until all the chicken has been cooked. Once the chicken is done, place it on a platter and pour the sauce over it. Top the sauce with sesame seeds and serve. Note: for the sauce you can add more or less sugar, based on your preferences.

Add some steamed broccoli and fried rice and you’ll blow your friends’ minds that you’re serving them a home-cooked meal instead of takeout.