Following up on the next Chinese food recipe (see Spicy Sichuan Noodles), I recently found a recipe that is a healthier version of Sesame Chicken. Don’t judge me – I know that Sesame Chicken isn’t “real” Chinese food and is more like “American Chinese food,” but I love it and order it at restaurants. Often. Having eaten this dish at many restaurants, the ones I like the least are too saucy or too fried (yes, there is such a thing in my book).
When I saw this recipe for a healthier version of the dish, I jumped at the chance to make it. I’ve adjusted it based on my own personal tastes (including adding a spicy kick), but you can find the original recipe here: Baker by Nature: Oven Baked Sesame Chicken.
I usually have chicken breast in the freezer so have to remember to thaw them when I want to cook them. The good part about that though is that it’s easy to cut it up when it’s still partially frozen. By the time the chicken is prepped and ready to be baked, it’s totally thawed.
Prepping the chicken is the messiest part of the recipe, so be ready to get your hands gross. I covered each piece in flour, then dipped it in the beaten eggs, and rolled it around in panko bread crumbs. I used a baking/cooling rack sprayed with cooking spray so that the chicken would cook more evenly and wouldn’t get burnt on the bottom.
While the chicken is cooking (400°F for 20 minutes), prepare the sauce.
There’s a bunch of ingredients for this, but it’s easy to put together. In a saucepan, mix together minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, grated ginger, and chile-garlic sauce. Dissolve the cornstarch with water and add slowly and stir until the sauce is thick. Add the sesame seeds at the end and stir in.
Toss the baked chicken in the sauce and top with the green parts of scallions. I usually serve with steamed rice and steamed broccoli.
Baked Sesame Chicken
Adapted from: Baker by Nature: Oven Baked Sesame Chicken
- 1 lb. chicken breast, cubed
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 2/3 cup uncooked rice (~2 cups cooked)
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
- 4 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2.5 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. ginger, grated
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp. chile-garlic sauce (to taste)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 1/2 tbsp. water
- 1/8 cup sesame seeds
- 4 scallions, chopped, green parts only
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Cook rice on stovetop or rice cooker
- Dredge chicken pieces in flour on all sides and shake off excess
- Dunk chicken in eggs and roll around in panko bread crumbs
- Arrange chicken pieces on baking rack sprayed with cooking spray and placed on baking sheet
- Cook for 20 minutes at 400°F
- Steam the broccoli
- Prepare sauce by combining soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, chile-garlic sauce in a saucepan over medium heat
- Dissolve cornstarch in water and slowly add to saucepan until it thickens
- Toss the chicken pieces in the sesame sauce
- Top with chopped scallion greens and serve with rice and broccoli
- Nom nom nom!
Estimated Nutritional Information (per serving): 503 calories; 17.2g fat; 190.1mg cholesterol; 1,377 mg sodium; 214.7mg potassium; 40.7mg carbs; 44.8g protein