When my son was just a toddler we lived near a wonderful restaurant that had the best vegetarian egg rolls and dinners. Our budget was really tight then and it was always a big treat to rent a movie, order from the restaurant and snuggle down as a family to a cozy evening at home. It was such a tradition my son grew to call the restaurant the “rice store.” Honestly, when we first went gluten free I was so relieved to have an answer to my daughter’s health issues, I didn’t morn the loss of most gluten based food. I didn’t, that is, until I realized our staple dinner for family movie night was now off limits.
One of the challenges with eating gluten free is no longer picking up easy take out. Between gluten based soy sauces and the risk of cross-contamination, what are you to do? Natalie of Gluten Free Mommy had the same challenge. She missed her take out, setting out to make the Sesame Chicken that was her favorite. As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. For my family I reduced the sugar and added broccoli (and I’ve made it with bok choy also – YUM!) to the dish to make it a one dish meal.
I made a triple batch for our use. One recipe was made for dinner that evening, one for the freezer, and one I divided into individual portions over rice for quick lunches or dinners for one. Making Sesame Chicken ahead of time and freezing it means you will have the speed and convenience of take out without the cross-contamination risks. When we’re craving take-out, all I have to to is heat and eat. Can’t get faster than that!
Printable recipe card for multiple batches of Sesame Chicken for the freezer.
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce, divided
- 2½ tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, divided
- 1 cup gluten free chicken broth
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, tapioca or arrowroot starch
- ⅓ cup oil
- 1 pound broccoli floretes or sliced bok choy
- 1½ teaspoons garlic, minced
- ½ to 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes, or to taste
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- To serve: hot cooked rice and thinly sliced green onions
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar, ¼ cup gluten free soy sauce, 2½ tablespoons rice vinegar, and chicken broth. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine chicken pieces, 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes. Once the chicken has marinated, add egg whites and cornstarch, stirring until well-blended.
- In your wok or large skillet, heat half of the oil over med-high heat. Add broccoli or bok choy to heated pan and stir fry until crisp tender. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in skillet. Cook chicken in batches until golden on both sides- this will take 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken from wok with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Tent with foil to keep chicken warm. If you have more than a couple tablespoons of oil left in the wok, discard the remaining oil (leave just a few tablespoons in the wok). Reduce the heat to med.
- Cook the garlic and pepper flakes for about a minute. Add set aside soy sauce mixture. Increase heat to med-high and cook sauce for about 15 minutes. Stir two teaspoonfuls of cornstarch into a little water and whisk it into the sauce. Once the sauce is thickened and bubbly, add the chicken, vegetables and sesame seeds. Stir around until everything is well coated with the sauce and heated through. Top with thinly sliced green onions and serve over jasmine rice.
- Freezing Directions: When vegetables and chicken are done cooking, allow to cool. Once the sauce is thickened and bubbly, add chicken, vegetables and sesame seeds. Allow to cool. Place cooled mixture into freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Seal, label and freeze.
- To serve: Thaw and heat through. Top with thinly sliced green onions and serve over jasmine rice with a vegetable or salad.