When I lived in the city, my house was within spitting distance of 4 different Chinese restaurants… none of them, really, very good. Be that the case, my fridge was awash in half-eaten Chinese take-out boxes trying to find that one thing they cooked really well.
I had gotten to the point where I’d only order Salt and Pepper Shrimp from one guy.. and nothing else. Another would get my Mu Shu Pork order..
And the other guy? Well, he got the Lemon Chicken / No Sauce.
“That’s just fried chicken…!
“Yes, Mr. Woo… that’s right….
I’ve always loved the idea of Sesame Chicken. Sesame oil, Toasty, Toasty sesame seeds and a rich aromatic sauce surrounding crispy bits of marinated and fried chicken….. At least that’s how I imagine it would be. But what I THINK – and what I GET rarely match up.
Doing the take-out route, I’ll rarely order anything that’s fried and comes in sauce. Invariably, whatever they have battered just becomes a grease haven, and the sauces, for my tastes, are usually way too sweet and gloppy.
So I’m taking things in a different direction – and going Gluten – Free to boot!
I’ve reworked the take-out standby by toning down the cloyingly sweet sauce and amping up the aromatics.
The ginger/garlic scented oil and mildly sweet sauce makes this sesame chicken almost… almost addictive.
and remember… it’s
Plate Fodder Ginger ~ Sesame Chicken
2 – if this is your only dish, or
4 to 6 if you’re doing the whole big Chinese Take-Out Dinner
Batter / Marinade
2 Tablespoons Rice Flour
3 Tablespoons Tapioca (or Corn) Starch
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1 Tablespoon Black Sesame Seeds
1 Tablespoon Honey
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
1 Cup Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 Clove Garlic – Minced
1 Tablespoon Grated Ginger
1 Teaspoon Chili Flakes
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
3 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch – (if you are using Corn starch instead of Tapioca – reduce the amount to 2 Tablespoons)
1 Teaspoon each White and Black Sesame Seeds
1 Chicken Breast – Boneless and Skinless
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Stalk Bok choy
1 Medium Onion
1 Jar Whole Mushrooms – Drained/ or / 1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms
1 Clove Garlic – Minced
1 Piece of Ginger – 1″ piece, Sliced
1/4 Cup Oil
Thinly slice the chicken into 1/8″ thick slices
Mix the sauce ingredients into one of the bowls and stir well to combine
In one of the bowls, Mix together the batter ingredients
Add the chicken and mix thoroughly – Don’t worry, it is going to be very sticky – set aside for 20 minutes
Seed and slice the pepper into strips
Half and slice the onion
Wash and cut the bok choy into 1″ sections
Heat the wok to high and add the oil
Working in small batches, place the strips of battered chicken one by one into the hot oil and fry until lightly browned on each side
Lift out and set aside
Add the ginger and garlic to the oil and fry until they become aromatic, add the peppers and onions
cook until the onions wilt, then add the bok choy and mushrooms
Give the sauce a good stir and add to the wok
Add the chicken back into the wok and fold the vegetables into the sauce until it thickens and coats everything evenly
Remove from the heat and pour into a serving bowl
Serve with Steamed White Rice