Something I sometimes find challenging on this super strict diet of mine is that I can't really go out to a restaurant and get "restaurant food". So when I figure out how to make a standard "restaurant staple" that suits my dietary needs, and isn't too expensive, I get really excited.
Sesame chicken is one of those really delicious restaurant meals that can make me drool, but it nearly always is made with wheat, egg, and sugar- three ingredients I can't eat without getting sick, but fortunately this homemade recipe is just so good, even without any of those- I am sure even those not on a special diet will enjoy this recipe.
I've included alternatives for people who aren't gluten free and even for vegans below.
Chicken:1/2 cup sticky rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch or corn starch or tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 whole chicken breast (both sides)
Oil for deep frying
1 cup chicken stock (ideally homemade)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce (use gluten free soy sauce to make this gluten free)
6 tbsp honey or 3/4 cup jaggery or 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, or white vinegar
3-4 tablespoons starch- potato, corn, or tapioca starch
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1. Mix brown rice flour, sticky rice flour, and starch together with salt and water. Whisk well so it is uniform.
2. Cut chicken breast into small chunks, ideally approximately 1 inch cubes.
3. Heat up your oil for deep frying. I prefer to use coconut oil for this.
4. Dip your chicken breast pieces in the batter, coat them, and them drop them individually into the hot oil.
5. When the batter starts becoming a golden brown, remove from the pan and strain, ideally in a strainer lined with a cloth napkin or similar, to allow the oil to drip off and it to not become soggy. You should have a crispy exterior with a fully cooked chicken peice on the inside. Taste one piece though, to make sure it is fully cooked- if it is not, add the chicken back to the oil and cook a little longer.
If needed, you can make the chicken chunks in advance, and serve it the next day, but your chicken won't be crispy anymore...
6. Mix all the sauce ingredients together, other than the starch. Cook until everything is dissolved. Adjust to taste if necessary, adding more sweetener or vinegar or salt or garlic, according to your taste. When perfect, set aside 1/4 cup of the sauce to cool off.
7. When the sauce cools off a bit, mix the starch with it so there are no clumps, and then add it back to the rest of the sauce. Heat until thickened.
8. Serve by topping rice with the chicken chunks, pouring sauce all over it, then sprinkling with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.
Note: If you have no need to be gluten free, you can make the batter for the chicken by mixing 1/2 cup wheat flour with 1/2 cup starch (potato, corn, or tapioca), a bit of salt, and enough water to have a somewhat runny batter (approximately the thickness of pancake batter) and deep frying. You'll want your batter to cook to a darker color than pictured above, because wheat will brown more easily/faster than rice flour batters- a light honey color is what you'd be aiming for.
If you're a vegan, I am pretty sure you can make this exact recipe vegan by using pressed tofu chunks or tempeh chunks instead of the chicken breast chunks, but I haven't done it myself.
Are you a fan of sesame chicken? Do you generally get it in restaurants, or make it at home? If you make it from scratch at home, how do you generally make it? Does this look like a recipe you'd want to try out?