Sweet and savory sticky sesame sauce drizzled over crunchy chicken, topped with sesame seeds and green onions.
Have you ever been to sitting somewhere, and you suddenly crave the sweet and savory, crunchy yet gooey and sticky goodness that is Chinese food? I get that craving all the time. Unfortunately for my diet, my children have inherited this vice as well. While it’s cheap enough to pick up takeout from the people who run the Chinese joint down the road, as we do every Thursday, I wanted to have my own recipe.
I suppose there is quite a bit of history between myself and Chinese restaurants. I’ve been haunting them for years. I think it all started when I was sixteen (I got my driver’s license). My brother and I would go to a new Chinese buffet every time school let us out for a half-day. We’d leave straight from school, and drive around the city until we found a new one we had not been to yet. Mind you, this was before every kid had a cellphone and the glorious necessity of GPS, so the process of finding a new haunt took some time... but not too much. They were everywhere. I suppose we weren’t the only ones stepping out on our fried chicken and mashed potatoes & gravy, judging by the booming industry. Anyway, I didn’t see it at the time, being a self-absorbed teen, but it was a bonding experience between my now distant brother and myself.
I never stopped the affair with Chinese food, and have even furthered my love by including all Asian food. My stomach knows no boundaries, race, or nationality. I’m an equal-opportunity eater. Thai, Japanese, Korean, Chinese...you’re all welcome in my house.
My kids love sesame chicken. I love General Tso. This is a happy medium in our house. If you like a sweeter sauce, simply add some extra sugar, honey, or perhaps citrus juice. Just be sure to keep up the liquid ratio of the sauce. If you add orange or pineapple juice to sweeten this recipe, reduce the amount of the soy sauce by the same amount. If you find you’ve added too much, try increasing the cornstarch a little bit to compensate. That’s what thickens your sauce.
Regarding the the order you cook this in, I’d do the frying last. I like crisp, crunchy, freshly fried chicken. I always set up an assembly line when frying chicken...flour, egg, then panko crumbs. Efficiency is a necessity in this house. After I fried the chicken, I put it in a large bowl (this recipe can serve your whole family with the portions they actually want to eat -big!), and drizzled the sauce over and topped it with a pop of green color and flavor (finely sliced green onions). I think everything looks better with green onions on top. Agree?
p.s. Despite how awesome I might appear online, mistakes happen. If you happen to spot one on this recipe, save your fellow cooks a disaster and let me know by using the contact form.
Crispy Sesame Chicken
- In a medium saucepan combine: soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, chicken broth, honey, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Heat on low until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
- While the marinade cools, clean and cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
- In a large glass dish, combine the chicken and 3/4 cup of the marinade. Save the remaining marinade for the sauce. Refrigerate for at least an hour, while it marinates.
- In the same medium saucepan add the remaining, unused, marinade (1 cup) along with 3/4 cup brown sugar and cornstarch.
- Heat on medium heat while whisking the cornstarch until dissolved.
- Once dissolved, bring the sauce to a boil for 3-4 minutes; the sauce will thicken. Add the sesame seeds and allow to simmer for another couple minutes.
- In a deep fryer or large iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat.
- Set up an assembly line for the chicken using separate bowls or zip baggies: flour + garlic and onion powder, eggs, and panko crumbs.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour, then eggs, then panko crumbs. Set aside for frying.
- Cooking in batches, fry the chicken in the preheated oil for 3-5 minutes, until golden brown.
- Place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken and sauce. Top with sliced green onions, additional sesame seeds, and serve with rice or noodles.
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