I wish I had known how easy it is to cook sesame chicken at home!
I am constantly on the lookout for new recipes, flavor combinations, and ingredients. On the other hand, it should be reasonable. Last time a recipe called for peanut oil and my Asian food dealer placed a huge bucket in front of me, I said no thanks, I’ll try my vegetable oil. Maybe I would get a bottle of it in my trusted supermarket but I was not happy to head for the next store. Most of the time it’s totally worth to collect all ingredients for a special recipe to make sure it tastes right, or else it would be a waste of all the other ingredients. But having a pile of seasonings and sauces in my pantry, which I use most likely never again makes me appreciate tahini’s versatility so much more. I came up with this recipe for sesame chicken because I made caramelized red onions hummus and didn’t want to use this jar of tahini just for more hummus. This recipe is my spin on the well-liked Chinese take-out, but less sweet and a little greener.
Chicken is very versatile and perfect for a fast and easy weeknight dinner because it cooks in no time. It actually took me longer to cook the fettuccine than the sesame chicken. This recipe can also be made vegetarian- or vegan-friendly with just a few adjustments, good substitutes for the chicken are tofu, cauliflower, and mushrooms, just to name a few. The bold flavors of the sesame chicken work best with pasta or rice, with a little green salad on the sides, you got a complete meal. This recipe is inspired by the famous Chinese take-out, with ingredients like soy sauce and ginger, but it also has thyme in it because it worked so great in the caramelized red onions hummus. Now I have to invest in tahini more often to keep the hummus craving in check and to make sesame chicken.
- 225 g / 8 oz. fettuccine
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ pound green asparagus
- 4 chicken tights, skinless, boneless (about 1 pound)
- 235 ml / 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 Tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- ½ Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. tamarind or soy sauce
- ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 4 sprigs thyme
- salt to taste
- 3 green onions
- Cook fettuccine following the instructions on the package. When done, drain and set aside.
- Remove the woody bottom of the asparagus spears by snapping or cutting it and thinly slice them on a bias.
- Cut the chicken tights into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat add olive oil and asparagus slices and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the chicken pieces and cook until done for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, tahini, ginger, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and thyme, stir and simmer for 1 minute.
- Add the asparagus pieces. Taste and add more salt or honey if needed.
- Serve with the fettuccine and sprinkle with the chopped green onions.