This is my version of the popular Chinese take-out, Sesame Chicken. I’ve lightened up the recipe considerably by not coating and deep frying the chicken. Omitting a step also shortens the preparation time by a lot, as well making this a quick, easy, and healthy weeknight dinner.
I love all things deep fried, so I was dubious of my idea to skip this step at first. I mean, how can you have a Chinese chicken dish without deep frying? Growing up, most everything I ever ate from a Chinese restaurant was fried and sweet. As I got a little older, my tastes turned toward the spicier dishes like Kung Pao Chicken, but there has always been a fondness for Sweet ‘n’ Sour.
Today’s recipe for Sesame Chicken satisfies all my take-out cravings whilst remaining true to the more vegetables in dinner the better (this is not always so easy to achieve, but we’re working on it). So…, I’m on a mission to recreate some of my favorite restaurant foods but with more vegetables and time-saving tricks.
This stir fry was so good that as I was writing this, I found myself digging in the fridge for the leftovers and eating them cold.
First thing: toast the sesame seeds until golden and fragrant, set aside.
Now we’re going to thinly slice the green onion on the bias; meaning slice the green onions on an angle instead of straight, refer to the above picture. Sometimes it adds to how a dish looks to cut a few things just a little different then usual.
Next: cut the bell peppers into halves, then into strips lengthwise, and finally cut across the strips widthwise to create pieces about 2 inches long. Cut the ends off of the onion, peel, and cut in half from top to bottom. Lay each onion half face down and cut in half widthwise. Finally, cut the halves lengthwise into about 2 inches pieces.
Cut or break the tough ends from the asparagus and slice them into 2 inch pieces, on the bias if desired. Set all of the vegetables aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Now we are ready to cook. I don’t always prep all of my ingredients like this, but it is key when cooking over high heat. You want everything ready to go by the stove because when the first item hits the pan, it’s only a matter of minutes until the stir fry is done
Yum, Yum, Yum…it’s so good. The pictures are making me hungry again and I’m thinking there may be another trip to the fridge in the near future. Drat the luck, I’ll just have to eat the leftovers.
I’ve been thinking of doing a series of restaurant favorites with a healthy makeover (Tyler’s favorite is up next week). Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite is and I’ll add it to the list.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 large white onion
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 Tablespoon oil for frying
- 1 pound chicken breast, cubed (about 2)
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Teaspoon chili paste
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
- ½ cup green onions, thinly sliced
- Start by toasting the sesame seeds until lightly golden. Thinly slice the green onions and set aside with the sesame seeds.
- Cut each of the vegetables into 2 inch pieces. Set vegetables aside.
- Mix together the chicken with the next three ingredients, set aside.
- In a separate bowl mix together all ingredients for the sauce.
- Meanwhile preheat a heavy bottomed pan or wok if you have one, over medium high heat. Just before you start cooking, turn the burner to high. Sauté the chicken until browned and just cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Place the pan back on the burner and add the 1 Tablespoon of oil and the prepped vegetables. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until vegetables turn bright and are just tender but still a bit crisp.
- Add the sauce, chicken and cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
- Mix in the sesame seeds and green onions, reserving a little to sprinkle on top after you place the stir fry in a serving bowl. Serve immediately.
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