This Sesame Chicken Stir Fry is an easy one pan recipe with tender chicken, vibrant broccoli, and a harmonious blend of savory spices. Tantalize your taste buds with this sensational Chinese take-out style dish that’s quick and easy to make.
Updated August 2023
Sesame Chicken Stir Fry: A Flavor-Packed Delight
Looking for a quick and delicious meal that’s packed with flavor? Look no further than this mouthwatering Sesame Chicken Stir Fry recipe. This Chinese take-out style dish brings together tender pieces of chicken, crisp broccoli florets, and a delectable sauce that’s a symphony of savory, sweet, and umami flavors.
Whether you’re a stir-fry pro or a beginner, this recipe is designed to make your taste buds dance with joy. Everything comes together in just one pan in around 30 minutes and it’s gluten-free, paleo-friendly with low carb, keto and Whole30 options.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (or Chicken Breasts): These protein-rich cuts provide the base for our stir fry, bringing a hearty and tender texture to every bite.
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper: Just a touch of these pantry staples enhances the overall taste of the dish.
- Avocado Oil: The perfect oil for high-heat cooking, it helps create a beautiful sear on the chicken while infusing a subtle nutty flavor.
- Broccoli Florets: These vibrant greens not only add color but also provide a satisfying crunch and loads of nutrients.
- Grated Carrots (Optional): Adding a touch of sweetness and color, grated carrots bring balance to the dish.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds and Chopped Green Onions: These garnishes provide a finishing touch, adding visual appeal and a delightful nutty and fresh flavor.
Crafting the Homemade Sesame Sauce
- Bone Broth or Compliant Chicken Broth: A flavorful base that gives depth to our sauce.
- Coconut Aminos: A soy-free alternative to soy sauce, coconut aminos bring that classic umami taste. If not soy-free, you can use gluten-free tamari or low sodium soy sauce.
- Sesame Oil: Infuses an intense sesame flavor and aroma that’s quintessential to sesame chicken dishes.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Balances the flavors and adds a hint of tanginess.
- Red Boat Fish Sauce: This umami bomb is optional but highly recommended for an extra layer of depth.
- Five Spice Powder: A blend of spices that introduces a complex, aromatic profile to the dish.
- Coconut sugar: For a touch of sweetness. You can also sub with monk fruit sweetener, erythritol or any preferred sweetener of choice. Leave it out for a Whole30-friendly version or sub with blended dates.
- Fresh Minced Ginger and Minced Garlic: The dynamic duo that brings zing and warmth to the sauce.
- Tapioca Starch: A thickening agent to give the sauce that luscious, velvety texture. You can also sub with arrowroot starch, corn starch or xanthan gum as a low carb / keto alternative.
Instructions: How to make Sesame Chicken Stir Fry
- Prepare Chicken: Season chicken with salt and pepper. Let it rest while you make the sauce.
- Whisk Sauce: To make the sauce and marinade, whisk together the broth, aminos, sesame oil, vinegar, five spice powder and monk fruit sweetener, if using. Toss chicken with 1/2 tablespoon of the sauce and allow allow to marinate for 10 minutes Whisk in the tapioca starch with the remaining reserved sauce.
- Sear Chicken: Heat avocado oil in a wok or pan over medium – medium-high heat. Sear marinated chicken until browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Cook Veggies: Add a bit more avocado oil to the pan. Sauté broccoli and carrots for 2-3 minutes until tender-crisp.
- Finish Sauce: Stir in the remaining reserved sauce and allow to boil and thicken.
- Combine and Garnish: Return cooked chicken to the pan. Heat through. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
- Serve: Serve over cauliflower rice or lettuce wraps and enjoy the incredible flavors!
Tips for Success: Stir-Frying Like a Pro
- Prep Before You Start: Having all your ingredients prepped and ready to go makes the stir-frying process smooth and enjoyable.
- Marinate for Maximum Flavor: Letting the chicken marinate in the sauce for 10 minutes allows it to soak up the incredible flavors.
- Master the Sear: Achieve that beautiful caramelization on the chicken by searing it in a hot pan before setting it aside.
- Veggies with a Crunch: Cooking the broccoli and carrots for just a few minutes ensures they retain their crispiness and vibrant colors.
Serving Suggestions: Creating a Perfect Meal
Variations and Substitutions: Make It Your Own
- Vegetarian Twist: Swap out the chicken for tofu or tempeh and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- Gluten-Free Option: Ensure your liquid aminos are gluten-free, and this dish becomes a safe choice for those with gluten sensitivities.
- Spice Up Your Life: If you’re a fan of heat, add a dash of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of sriracha to the sauce.
Storage and Freezer Instructions
Refrigeration: If you somehow have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer: To freeze, place the cooled stir fry in a freezer-safe container and enjoy within 2-3 months.
Reheating Your Sesame Chicken Stir Fry
Reheating this flavorful dish is a breeze, ensuring that you can enjoy it just as much the second time around. Here’s how to bring back the deliciousness while maintaining the integrity of the dish:
- Microwave Method: Place the desired amount of leftover stir fry in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Reheat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval to ensure even heating. Be cautious not to overheat, as this can lead to dry chicken.
- Stovetop Method: For a more controlled reheating process, use a pan on the stovetop. Heat a bit of oil or broth in the pan over medium heat. Add the leftover stir fry and cook while gently stirring until it’s heated through. This method helps maintain the original texture of the dish.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs:
Q1: Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs? Absolutely! You can use boneless chicken breasts instead of thighs. The choice depends on your preference for texture and flavor.
Q2: Is Red Boat fish sauce necessary? While it’s optional, Red Boat fish sauce adds a layer of umami that enhances the overall taste. If you prefer, you can omit it or use a different fish sauce brand.
Q3: Can I make this dish spicy? Definitely! Add red pepper flakes or a touch of sriracha to the sauce if you’re a fan of heat.
Q4: What can I substitute for liquid aminos? You can use soy sauce as a substitute for liquid aminos. Keep in mind that soy sauce tends to be saltier, so adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Q5: How do I store leftovers? Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months.
Q6: Can I make a vegetarian version of this stir fry? Absolutely! Swap the chicken for tofu or tempeh and use vegetable broth in the sauce for a delicious vegetarian twist.
Q7: What’s the purpose of xanthan gum? Xanthan gum is an optional thickening agent. If you prefer a thicker sauce, sprinkle a bit into the sauce while cooking.
Q8: Can I use a different sweetener? Certainly! You can use a sweetener of your choice instead of monk fruit sweetener. Adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences.
Q9: What’s the best way to serve this dish? You can serve your Sesame Chicken Stir Fry over cauliflower rice for a low-carb option or wrap it in lettuce leaves for a light and refreshing meal.
Q10: Can I customize the vegetables in this recipe? Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different veggies like bell peppers, snap peas, or water chestnuts to add variety and color to your stir fry.
More Asian-inspired chicken recipes you might like:
This Sesame Chicken Stir Fry is an easy one pan recipe with tender chicken, vibrant broccoli, and a harmonious blend of savory spices. Tantalize your taste buds with this sensational Chinese take-out style dish that's quick and easy to make.
- 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs , cut into 1" chunks (can also use chicken breasts)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1.5 tablespoons avocado oil , or preferred neutral oil for frying
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/3 cup grated carrots optional
- toasted sesame seeds for garish
- chopped green onions for garnish
- 6 tablespoons bone broth OR compliant chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos , can also sub with gluten-free tamari or low sodium soy sauce if not soy-free
- 1 teaspoon Red Boat fish sauce , (leave out if preferred but adds so much umami flavor) - can also sub with Vegan Fysh Sauce if preferred
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon five spice powder
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon granulated monk fruit sweetener , can also sub with coconut sugar, maple syrup or preferred sweetener of choice. Leave out for Whole30 or use blended dates.
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch , to thicken the sauce. Can also sub with arrowroot starch, cornstarch (if not corn-free) or 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum for keto.
Season chicken with salt, pepper. Allow to sit while you make the sauce.
To make the sauce and marinade, whisk together the broth, aminos, sesame oil, vinegar, five spice powder and monk fruit sweetener, if using. Toss chicken with 1/2 tablespoon of the sauce and allow allow to marinate for 10 minutes Whisk in the tapioca starch with the reserved sauce.
Add oil to a hot wok or pan over medium - medium-high heat. Sear the chicken until brown then transfer to a plate.
Add a little bit more avocado oil then add broccoli and carrots. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until tender crisp. Stir in the remaining reserved sauce and allow to boil and thicken.
Add the cooked chicken back to the pan until heated through. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and green onions and serve over cauliflower rice or lettuce wraps.