Monday, June 17, 2013

Gluten-free Sesame Chicken with (Bell) Peppers


Gluten-Free Sesame Chicken 
with Red and Orange (Bell Peppers)

A good friend of mine, who has Celiac's, has longed for sesame chicken she tasted in a restaurant. Since being diagnosed with Celiac's a couple of years ago, she has craved that same chicken but needed a gluten-free version. Though this is nothing I have tasted before (as a full-blooded Asian and second-generation American), I decided to take this as an interesting challenge and adventure. Since I have never had this dish, I needed my friend to be my taste-tester. This is from my third attempt at tweaking the recipe and actually making it my own. I am very pleased with the results, and so are my children, especially my 20 month old twins and my 5 year old.

  • chicken breasts - free-range, no added growth hormones (if possible) - 1-2 lbs
  • bell peppers - I used a red one and an orange one - 2 total
  • 1 medium sized sweet onion (forgot to include it in the photograph)
  • green onions
  • garlic - I used 5 cloves this time around
  • serrano chili - I used seven of them - really, much of any chili will do. I can't take too much heat; so, I didn't dare venture to something that had more of a punch, such as habanero chili
  • olive oil (also forgot to include that in the photograph) - enough to cook the onion
  • 2 egg whites
  • sesame - around 1/5 c.
  • sea salt - not really sure how much
  • San-J tamari (the gluten-free version) sauce - around 1/4 c
  • brown sugar - around 1/4 c
  • gluten-free, organic chicken broth (also not pictured here) - around 1/4 to 1/2 c
  • water (sorry, I forgot to include at least four things in the photograph - around 1/2 - 1 c
  • rice vinegar (aack, forgot a picture of the poor thing) - 2 1/2 tbs
  • cooked rice (I used medium grain Nishiki - this sort of rice can be more like rice porridge depending on how much water is added. I don't really like how separate and dry long grain is. Didn't have any jasmine rice on hand and didn't see the need for it)


1.  In a dish/bowl large enough to marinade chicken, combine the San-J tamari sauce, water, chicken broth, rice vinegar, and brown sugar. Stir until the brown sugar dissolves.

2.  Cut the free-range organic chicken breast into thin slices and marinade in the sauce for thirty minutes to a few hours. This time I made the dish, the chicken marinaded (covered, in the refrigerator) for a few hours.

3.  Slice the onion thinly. Stir fry, with olive oil, on medium heat until it turns transparent. Somewhere along the way, I drizzled sea salt into the pan whilst the onion was cooking. Set aside most of the onion, leaving the onion juice in the pan.

4. Then, still on lower medium heat, stir fry the peppers. Let it cook for a few minutes (4-5 minutes) with the lid on the pan. I might have sprinkled some sea salt on the peppers while cooking. Like the onion, once done cooking, set the peppers aside, leaving any remaining juice in the pan.

5. Cook rice - I like to use my rice cooker to cook my rice. Takes around 30 minutes to cook the rice. Whatever time you cook the rice, just make sure there's enough time to cook it but also to serve/eat it hot.

6.  Separate the chicken from the marinading sauce (do NOT discard the marinading sauce - I think that would be waste of precious stuff). I wasn't extremely worried about draining all the liquid from the chicken, as you can see. Add two egg whites to the chicken and stir well, mixing the egg whites well and throughout the chicken.

Stir fry the chicken (in the same pan used for cooking the onion and the peppers - I didn't wash the pan in between), just until the chicken is cook. Chicken doesn't have to be well done, since it will still cook some more. Set the chicken aside.

7. I added some mirin to the marinading sauce. Then, pour the marinading sauce into the pan. Let that simmer for a few minutes. Drop the thinly sliced chili and diced garlic (I accidentally combined the diced garlic and thinly sliced green onions into a bowl; so, a lot of green onions went into the pan as well). Let that simmer for a few minutes.

8. Add the chicken into the mixture and let the chicken cook in the chili/garlic marinade for 15-20 minutes.

9. Then add the sesame. My version was a bit soupy, but I did that intentionally. I like some dishes to be a bit soupy, and this is one of them. Soupy sesame chicken over a bed of rice is deliciously exquisite to me.

Excuse me, I am getting carried away here. Back to the instructions.

I do a look and see, in terms of how much sesame to use. Put some in, stir, assess the situation, add more sesame if need be.

Once the concoction, with the sesame added, has cooked for a few minutes, add the onions, peppers, and green onions. Let that simmer, with the lid on, for a few minutes; and viola, the dish is done.

Hungry yet? Taste buds tingling?

 My stomach is churning just blogging about this recipe and looking at these pictures.
 Let me know what you think if you try making this!