Deep-fried chicken fillets are tossed in a sweet and subtly tangy sauce, and coated with sesame seeds. It's more Chinese-American than real Chinese.This sesame chicken recipe has hoisin sauce for a richer color and flavor. And that's what differentiates it from others. Hoisin sauce takes the place of half a dozen ingredients, and the substitution gives the dish a more authentic Asian flavor.
Chicken and marinade
To cook the chicken
Marinate the chicken
- Wipe the chicken fillets dry with paper towels and cut into half-inch strips.
- Whisk the egg white until foamy.
- Place the chicken in a bowl, pour in the egg white and mix well.
- Stir together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing rice wine and sesame seed oil. Add the starch and mix until incorporated.
- Add the sauce to the chicken, mix well, cover the bowl and marinate in the fridge for at least two hours.
Deep-fry the chicken
- In a wok or fryer, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, starch and salt.
- Stir the chicken to separate the pieces then dredge each piece in the flour mixture.
- Drop the floured chicken one by one in the hot oil. Fry the chicken strips (in batches if your frying pan or wok is not very large) over very high heat for about four minutes.
- Transfer the fried chicken fillets to a rack and make the sauce.
- In a clean oil-free pan, toast the sesame seeds. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Set the heat to low and, in the same pan, pour in the sesame seed oil and cook the garlic and ginger gently for about a minute.
- Turn up the heat to high. Pour in the soy sauce, rice vinegar and Hoisin sauce, and cook until bubbly.
Finish the sesame chicken
- Add the fried chicken fillets to the sauce in the pan.
- Sprinkle in the toasted sesame seeds.
- Cook, tossing thoroughly, until each piece of chicken is smeared with sauce and dotted with sesame seeds
Shaoxing rice wine is available in some Asian/Chinese stores and groceries. It has a distinctive flavor and aroma, and substituting anything else is not recommended. HOWEVER, if you are unable to find Shaoxing rice wine and you really want to cook sesame chicken, you just might get away by substituting sake.