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Sesame Chicken (Return of the Phoenix) 

by Dorothy Huang

(Serves 3 to 4)

1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless

Marinade for chicken:
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon water

Seasoning sauce:
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons rock sugar, crushed
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
4 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
4 cups oil for deep-frying
1 cup tapioca starch
6 dried red chili peppers
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

Garnish: tomato rose and a few sprigs of cilantro leaves

To Prepare Ahead:

  1. Slice chicken across the grain into pieces 1/4 inch thick. Transfer chicken slices to a mixing bowl. Add marinade ingredients and toss to coat thoroughly. Let stand for 15 minutes or longer in the refrigerator.

  2. Combine seasoning sauce ingredients together.

To Cook:

  1. Toast white and black sesame seeds together in a skillet over medium heat until the white ones turn lightly brown.

  2. Heat 4 cups oil in a wok 375 degrees F.  Sprinkle tapioca starch over chicken slices and coat well.  Deep-fry half of the chicken until golden brown.  Remove with a strainer and drain on paper towels.  Repeat the deep-frying process for the other half of the chicken.

  3. Remove hot oil to a heat-proof container. Clean and dry the wok. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok over high heat. Add chili peppers and garlic, stirring for a few seconds.

  4. Add chicken to the wok. Pour in the seasoning sauce. Turn heat to medium and stir until the liquid almost gone.

  5. Add green onions and remove to a serving platter. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Garnish and serve.

© Dorothy Huang, 2005


As Houston, Texas’ renowned Chinese cooking teacher, Dorothy Huang (chinesecuisinedh@aol.com) has taught thousands of people to embrace Chinese cooking in their homes. Her second cookbook, Chinese Cuisine, Made Simple, includes 160 mouth-watering recipes and beautiful color photographs.

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