Mmmm Chinese food.
I LOVE YOU.
So you would have thought that I had enough pork after Baconfest Chicago. But no, not this girl. I was really looking for chicken thighs (the trick to delicious Chinese chicken dishes) but they didn't have them, so I settled on...that's right...pork spareribs. Please don't judge me. The voices in my head and the elastic band on my sweatpants have that covered.
I woke up on Sunday morning and Tyler Florence was making Sesame Chicken from scratch. He made it look relatively easy (it was actually a minor pain in the rear) so I headed to the store and was on my culinary way. Here are the ingredients cut and pasted from Food Network:
3 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total) - I used Pork
For the marinade/batter:
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking powder
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili paste (I will triple this the next time I make it)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Peanut oil, for deep-frying
Salt (I will skip the salt next time)
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions, for garnish
5 to 6 cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Pork is sorta like chicken, there is lighter meat and darker meat. The darker meat is suuuuper tender and flavorful so I went with boneless ribs so it'd be easy for me to chop:
Next, stir all of the sauce ingredients together (except ginger and garlic) and whisk until everything is smooth.
In another large pot, get your oil heating up over medium heat. I usually do a test fry to make sure the oil is hot enough. Mine was TOO hot because I burnt the bajeebus out of the first few. Just lower the heat and try again.
Ok so this is where it gets fun. Once the ginger and garlic soften and become fragrant, add the sauce slurry into the pot. As soon as it hits the heat, it'll start to thicken from the corn starch.
Test a couple. Cut it open and make sure they're cooked. Mine were done just right, but just in case yours are a tad under cooked, you can throw them into an oven for a few minutes at 400 degrees so they keep the crisp and continue to cook. Or, you can put them back in the fryer. It's up to you.
So I forgot to take a picture of the sauce once it thickened up because I'm a bad, impatient, hungry little blogger, but you can see the proper consistency of the sauce below. Just let it simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until it comes together and begins to thicken.
It wasn't the easiest recipe, but it was worth the time. It was delicious. Plus, you can make this at home without having to deal with the shame of the delivery guy bringing you Chinese food with 15 plates and chopsticks because he just assumes you are having a giant party with all the food you just ordered...for two. Stay hungry!