In high school, I always had Chinese takeout every Friday night as a treat. I either had General Tso’s Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Sesame Chicken or Shrimp Fried Rice. Those were my go-to favorites. Growing up in New York, we had so many options when it came to restaurants and dining out. But alas, my family was on a budget and so my mom or grandmother always cooked for us. By the time I hit high school, got a job on the weekends, I began discovering the many joys of different cuisines. One of my favorites was Chinese food.
This dish is beyond easy to make. You slice up your chicken breasts into small bite-sized pieces and then coat them in seasoned egg whites and cornstarch mixture. Disclaimer, I personally use tapioca flour instead of cornstarch. But they are 100 percent interchangeable. I list cornstarch in the recipe below because it is more widely used and sold in markets.
Some recipes use brown sugar and ketchup in the sauce but in the spirit of keeping it “clean” and bit healthier, I prefer the taste and smoothness of honey. I always suggest you sample the sauce and adjust the soy sauce if needed; some prefer it saltier than others. I like to serve this dish as always, with rice and broccoli. And, of course, leftovers are great the next day.
- 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, cubed
- 1/4 cup cornstarch*
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbs olive oil (divided)
- 2 tsp cornstarch*
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth (divided)
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbs fresh ginger, minced
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tbs reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbs sesame seeds
- 2 scallions, sliced
- In a large bowl, whisk your egg whites, then mix in the the cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add your bite sized chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to coat all.
- Heat 1 tbs of the olive oil in your skillet and when hot, add HALF OF THE CHICKEN to the pan. Cook the chicken, on medium, until golden brown on all sides – about 5-6 minutes, flipping the pieces occasionally. Transfer chicken to a paper towel lined plate and then repeat with the second batch and 1 tbs of remaining oil.
- In a small glass, whisk together the cornstarch and 1 tbs of the chicken broth until smooth.
- To a small sauce pan, add the toasted sesame oil and heat on medium high. Add in the garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add to it the remaining chicken broth, the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar. Bring to a boil and then whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Simmer and cook for one minute, mixing constantly. Pour the mixture onto the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Sprinkle with your sesame seeds and scallions and serve with rice and broccoli.