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Sesame Chicken (or Tofu)

August 1, 2008

When Greg saw this dish last night, he said, “Mall Chinese!” That was only fair since it was Sesame Chicken, but a healthier, and hopefully, much tastier, version of it. This version is based on a Martha Stewart recipe, but I changed the sauce around a bit and added mushrooms. Because I soaked the rice, dinner was ready in about 20 minutes.

Vegetarian note: You could substitute firm tofu for the chicken to make this vegetarian.

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice, cooked (you can cut the cooking time of brown rice in half by soaking it in water for 45 minutes before cooking)

4 T vegetable or peanut oil

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed

1/2 t red pepper flakes (eliminate if you don’t like spice or increase if you like it hotter)

4 T honey

3 T soy sauce

2 T sesame seeds

1 1/2 t sesame oil

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch chunks (or 1 block extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 head broccoli, cut into large florets

1 box button mushrooms, sliced

Directions:

Cook rice. Meanwhile, heat 1 T oil in a wok or large non-stick pan and stir fry broccoli and mushrooms until mushrooms are cooked and broccoli is crisp tender. Set aside and keep warm.

While the vegetables and rice are cooking, heat 1 T oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat and add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute until the garlic begins to turn golden, and add the honey, soy sauce, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Stir just until combined and put sauce in medium bowl.

Combine egg whites, corn starch and salt and pepper to season in small bowl (if it looks too thick to coat chicken, add 1 T water) and add chunked chicken or tofu and stir to coat.

Heat 1 T oil in the same skillet you cooked the sauce in over medium-high heat and add half of chicken. Cook through, about 4-5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and add to sesame sauce mixture. Cook remaining chicken with oil until cooked and add to previously cooked chicken and sauce.

To serve, layer brown rice, vegetable mixture and chicken in a bowl. Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds, if desired.

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