Recipe: Honey Sesame Chicken with Steamed Vegetables and Rice

Finally!—A night that I don’t have work and my parents are both home, and thus a chance to make dinner! I looked through my “Recipes to Try” pinboard on Pinterest earlier today to find a recipe for tonight’s dinner and this quick and simple honey sesame chicken recipe was the winner. It was easy to change to suit my needs and it gave me a chance to use up some carrots and snow peas that have been slowly aging in our fridge. Most of the ingredients are things you probably have in your pantry or fridge already—sesame seeds, soy sauce, honey, cornstarch—so you shouldn’t have to do too much shopping to make this meal.

Please ignore the Christmas-themed plate. 😀 Working on getting some plain white plates soon.

Serves: 4
Prep. time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce (I use low-sodium)
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp. sesame oil, plus a little to add to the pan 
  • 1-2 tbsp. vegetable/canola oil (or enough to lightly coat the bottom of a pan)
  • 3-4 green onions/scallions, thinly sliced
  • Approx. 1/2 – 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into rounds or cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices (if you use baby carrots, cut them in half lengthwise)
  • Approx. 1/2 – 1 cup snow peas, cleaned (there’s a little stringy bit on the straight side of the pea that should be peeled off)
  • Approx. 1 – 1&1/2 cups dry white rice (or enough to make 3-4 cups cooked)

Directions
In a deep, medium-sized pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil for the rice, and cook the rice according to package instructions (the rice I used was just a basic white rice that cooks in 20 minutes). In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and corn starch until well-blended, then place the pieces of chicken in the bowl and stir to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and garlic until well-blended—this will be the sauce for the dish. In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil and a splash of sesame oil over medium-high heat, then add the chicken, being careful not to get too much of the egg-and-corn starch mixture in the pan. As the chicken cooks, any excess mixture will thicken and add a sort of coating to the chicken—this is okay. Cook the chicken until just about cooked through (about 7-10 minutes) and golden brown all over, then add in the green onions and pour the sauce over the mixture. In the meantime, place the carrots and just a few drops of water in a microwaveable dish with a lid and steam in the microwave for 3 minutes. Add the snow peas in and cook for another minute. DO NOT overcook the veggies—steaming them for too long WILL make them mushy. When the veggies are cooked, add them into the chicken mixture. Add a little cornstarch-and-water mixture to the pan if you want to thicken up the sauce a bit, and feel free to add in a little more honey and/or soy sauce to create more sauce. Serve the chicken and vegetables over the white rice.

This dish, like many I’ve shared on my blog, is quick and easy to pull together and it’s so delicious. The sauce is sweet, but savory and the cornstarch-and-egg coating adds a little texture to the chicken. The vegetables add great color to the mix and the white rice is the perfect neutral background for the dish.

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