This is my variation of the classic North-American Chinese invention: tender, crispy-battered chicken in a sweet, sesame flavoured sauce, garnished with toasted sesame seeds.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1" by 1.5" strips
- 2 tbsp rice cooking wine
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups Japanese panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 inch ginger root, peeled and finely grated
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice cooking wine
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch
- 3 cups vegetable oil
In a bowl, mix together the first batch of ingredients, i.e. the chicken, rice wine, starch, flour, baking powder, sesame oil, and egg. Stir (only briefly so as not to exhaust the baking powder) and let sit for 20 mins.
Toast the sesame seeds: in a pan over medium heat, cook for 3-5 mins, stirring occasionally, until golden. Remove and allow to cool.
Prepare the sauce as follows: mix the tapioca starch with the warm water and shake or stir vigorously to dissolve. In a pan over medium heat, combine the sesame oil, ginger, soy sauces, remaining rice wine, brown sugar, garlic, and tapioca-water slurry. Stir vigorously and continuously to prevent the starch from thickening into a paste for several minutes until the concoction resembles a sticky gel; this should occur prior to boiling. Remove from heat.
In a deep fryer or a wok over high heat, bring the vegetable oil to a temperature of 350F. When oil is hot, drench the chicken pieces in the panko bread crumbs and deep fry for 4-5 minutes until golden. Remove and allow to drain.
Douse with sauce and toasted sesame seeds and serve with white rice.