I have been craving deep-fried, Chinese take out for several days, so I made this baked version of Sesame Chicken to kill the craving–it worked. While I love my popular recipe for Sesame Eggplant, I wanted something that didn’t require standing over a splattering skillet to pan fry, so I came up with this easy, no-fry method for chicken. You could certainly pan fry the chicken if you like, but I thought the sesame coating had a nice texture out of the oven.
The sweet-tangy sauce is incredibly easy, and if you like a lot of sauce you can simply double the amounts. I used Westbrae ketchup, which has no added sugars, plus unseasoned rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil. The sauce has a nice sweet/tart balance but if you are shooting for the super-sweet sauce you get with take out you can stir in a teaspoon of honey.
I used some organic, pastured chicken breast for this but I think it would be even better with chicken thighs.
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or ghee
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs), cut into strips
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten with one tablespoon of water
- 1 1/4 cups white sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup unsweetened ketchup
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- chopped green onions or chives, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use the oil to coat a cookie sheet or a large baking dish.
- Spread the chicken pieces out on a plate and sprinkle the tapioca starch, salt, and white pepper evenly over the top. Turn the pieces so they are lightly coated on each side. They do not need to be perfectly covered with the starch.
- Using two forks, one for the egg wash and one for the sesame seeds, dip each piece of chicken into the egg and then into the sesame seeds. Place each piece of breaded chicken in the oiled pan, keeping the pieces in a single layer.
- When all of the chicken is coated and in the pan, bake it for 25 minutes, or until cooked through. If you want both sides to be golden, flip the pieces over after the first fifteen minutes and then return the pan to the oven for the remaining ten minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, stir together the ketchup, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar. Warm the sauce in the microwave or in a small saucepan.
- When the chicken is cooked, drizzle each serving with some of the warm sauce and top with a few chopped green onions.
I have used a similar method for sesame baked shrimp, but they only need to bake for about 15 minutes. If you are looking for a healthier version of take out, you should give this a try.
I also wanted to give a shout out to Blue Moose of Boulder, a company that has been making some of my favorite salsa for years. Their salsas and hummus blends are available in the refrigerated sections of most of our local grocery stores in the Denver Metro areas, and they are now rolling out a new line of spreads and sauces. They sent me box of samples and we devoured the Green Chile and Aged Cheddar spread, which we slathered all over organic sweet corn from Aspen Moon Farm, and we had an equal affinity for the Lemon Kale Pesto, which I tossed with some Cappello’s grain-free pasta and some pan-seared summer squash:
I was initially skeptical about the pesto because I expected a bitter overtone from the kale, but that was not the case–it was lemony and mellow and really delicious. We both loved it. Colorado has so many great food companies and I love to support them, but, as always, I never talk about a product unless I have tried it and enjoyed it enough to share. This was definitely share-able.
Thanks for reading,