Lighter Sesame Chicken

Lighter Sesame Chicken

August 11, 2008


Chinese food is one of my (many) weaknesses. There’s just nothing better than sitting on the couch and digging into those cartons filled with greasy goodness. Or going to the local sketchy Chinese restaurant with your friends at 1 a.m. when you leave the bars. But then, you never feel good in the morning, do you? You wake up wondering why you had to eat that last scallion pancake or shovel in that last bite of lo mein. You vow you’ll never do it again. But then you do.

I wanted something to cure my Chinese food craving without feeling the need to spend an extra few hours at the gym, so I turned to Martha Stewart. And I found a recipe for a lighter, healthier version of sesame chicken. This could be heaven! Who doesn’t love those little fried balls of chicken, dripping in sauce? Of course, Martha’s version wasn’t deep fried, but I trusted it would at least be delicious.

Here’s what you’ll need (to serve 4):

  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets

I started by making the sauce. But remember, if you’re making brown rice with this, you’ll want to start that ahead of time since ricen can take a while to cook. For the sauce, I combined the honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic in a small bowl and stirred it around a bit.

Then I got a bigger, mixing bowl and whisked together the eggs whites and cornstarch.

I threw in all the cubes of chicken, added some salt and pepper, and mixed it around to make sure the chicken was all coated.

Heat 1 T of oil over medium heat in a large frying pan and add half of the chicken. Cook it for about 8 minutes, until it’s nice and golden.

When it’s done, transfer it to a plate and do the same with the remaining chicken.

Now put all of the chicken back into the skillet, add in your sauce and the scallions as well. Make sure the chicken is all coated with the sauce.

In the meantime, you’ll want to cook your broccoli. I only like to put mine in boiling water for a minute as I love it nice and crispy.

Your rice should be done now!

And now you’re ready to put it all together and chow down. The chicken actually was amazingly crispy and tasted similar to the sesame chicken you’d get in a restaurant, but wasn’t so heavy and filling. Plus, brown rice is healthier than white and the fresh broccoli is obviously fabulous for you!

If I were to make the dish again, I would definitely make some more sauce. Not only could the chicken have used a bit more, but the rice would have been sooo amazing if I had some extra sauce to pour over it. I clearly use any excuse to eat with chopsticks. And I love the pretty ones I got from Chinatown in Chicago.

And now that I mentioned scallion pancakes, I desperately want to make my own. If I keep this up, all I’ll need are those little white cartons to store it all in.

Oh and really, there is nothing better than eating this
sesame chicken while watching the Olympics in Beijing. So you better make it fast!


14 Responses to "Lighter Sesame Chicken"

  1. transienttravels says:

    This post is bookmarked so that I can make this- it looks awesome. I always want to find ways to make Chinese food healthy and it always ends up being so boring.

  2. Sara says:

    first falafel, now scallion pancakes. we can do it!

    that chicken looks fabulous. i think i may give it a shot!

  3. Poonam says:

    You are right! Perfect time to eat chinese food. Looks nice!

  4. Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer says:

    What a great post – I love this lighter version – I make chinese at home but am always looking for ways to lighten it up. Of course your timing could not be better!!

  5. TKTC says:

    I have a PB&J for lunch. And now I don't think that's going to cut it.

  6. Pam says:

    This looks delicious and fairly easy to make. For some reason Chinese food has always intimidated me… this recipe makes me think I can do it. Thanks!

  7. Katelin says:

    this looks so tasty. i definitely want to try and make it.

  8. Raquelle says:

    This looks really good. I’m definitely going to make this.

    Scallion pancakes! Yes! I love those.

  9. Kevin says:

    That sesame chicken looks really good.

  10. Raquelle says:

    I made the sesame chicken and it was delicious. I added peapods to the broccoli and only dredged the chicken in flour to make it easier. It was yummy!

    I get so many meal ideas from your blog. It’s awesome.

  11. Corald says:

    This is a fantastic recipe – made two different sauces one with hot red pepper flakes and regular for the other two in the house – fabulous!!! Thanks so much!

  12. […] “fast food” theme, I made Lighter Sesame Chicken from We Are Not Martha (recipe can be found here). This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes but I rarely, if ever, eat it anymore because of how it […]

  13. Julie says:

    I’ve made this one a few times now and it is better every time! I also add some red pepper flakes to mine and it’s spectacular!

  14. Hae says:

    currently stuffing my face with the sesame chicken while I type this. Took your advice, made more sauce and put a little bit of hot sauce because I enjoy not being able to feel my tongue. Deliciousness!

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