We went through a phase this summer when we were getting Chinese food almost every Sunday. I’m not sure why we got into that pattern but it had to stop.
I love some good Chinese takeout but it is in no way healthy. Sometimes I would steam some broccoli and eat it with my sesame chicken but then I realized that it defeated the whole point of getting takeout to begin with.
This recipe is better than any takeout Chinese food you’ll order, and a lot better for you. Its loaded with snap peas, and the chicken is lightly fried in a minimal amount of coconut oil. There’s fresh ginger and honey to sweeten the sauce and make it a nice sticky consistency.
This recipe works because the cornstarch gives the chicken a nice crispy outer coating without having to go through making a thick batter and do any heavy frying. The coconut oil is perfect for cooking the chicken because it has a high smoke point and makes it hard to burn the chicken and any cornstarch that doesn’t cling to the chicken, plus the cornstarch left in the pan acts to thicken the sauce along with the soy sauce and honey. The snap peas are just cooked at the end to make them hot but still retain their crunch.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 medium chicken, skinless, boneless breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger minced finely
- 1 large clove garlic minced finely
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 12 oz fresh snap peas
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- toasted sesame seeds to garnish
- Start cooking rice in rice cooker.
- Combine cornstarch, salt, pepper and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add chicken pieces and coat with cornstarch using hands.
- In a large pan over medium-high heat add coconut oil. When oil is hot, shake excess cornstarch off chicken pieces before placing them in the pan. Let the chicken cook without moving it for a few minutes or until the edges turn white and they pull away from the pan without sticking. Adjust heat as necessary. If the pan is a little crowded its ok, just make sure the chicken is in an one layer.
- Turn chicken and cook on the other side for a few minutes. Remove chicken from pan and place on paper towel lined plate. (Chicken might not be all the way cooked through but you'll be throwing it back in the pan once the sauce is done). Discard leftover cornstarch.
- Immediately, without cleaning pan, reduce heat to medium and add sesame oil, ginger and garlic to hot pan. Stir constantly and cook until fragrant about 1 minute. Add soy sauce, water and honey to pan and whisk until it becomes thick and bubbly. Adjust with more water or soy sauce as necessary (or honey if it is too thin).
- Add chicken back into pan along with walnuts and snap peas and cook in sauce for a few minutes until chicken is done and everything is nicely coated with the sauce. Add more liquid if sauce becomes too thick.
- Serve with rice and garnished with sesame seeds.