Monday, September 3, 2012

Sesame Chicken with Zucchini "Noodles"

I recently mentioned that Dan's been working his way through the Best of the Best from Hawaii Cookbook while doing our meal planning.  It's a simple, comb-bound cookbook that's taken the best recipes of dozens of cookbooks - many of them from church groups, Junior Leagues, and other community groups - and compiled them together.  The result is a great cookbook with a really wide range of recipes, from Naan to Mochi, Baked Potatoes to Lomi Lomi Salmon.

Tonight we tried out the Sesame Chicken recipe (originally from Another Taste of Aloha).  The recipe was a little vague about the amount of cornstarch (one of the pitfalls of this cookbook is that the recipes haven't all been fully vetted), but I think I went through at least a cup getting every piece of chicken completely coated.

Since the recipe lacked any vegetable component (unless you're counting green onions, which I'm not), I decided to make use of some of the fresh zucchini from our garden.  I considered frying it, but chose instead to make zucchini noodles - a trick I came up with when I got a new kitchen tool.  I needed a new strainer, and spotted a great deal on for two strainers and a peeler for $13.  I have another peeler or two, but I really like this style.  And it turned out to have a cool feature...

On the flip side of the peeler are little teeth that instantly julienne vegetables.  Playing around with it, I discovered it made noodles when run along a peeled zucchini lengthwise.  The noodles are so tender that they're tasty raw - so tonight I put them on top of the brown rice before piling on the chicken.  I've lightly cooked them in the past, too, and think they would be excellent pickled.  With the bounty of zucchini we get every year, a tool that can transform it so I can use it in new ways is priceless.  It'll also make preparing green papaya salad a breeze.

(It doesn't look like this specific peeler is available on Amazon, but this OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler looks very similar.)

Sesame Chicken
6 Chicken Thighs, boned and cut into 1-1.5 inch cubes
Peanut Oil
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Sugar
1 Tbspn Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 inch Fresh Ginger, finely grated
2 Green Onions, finely sliced

1 tspn Sesame Oil

1 Green Onion, chopped

Coat the chicken thoroughly with cornstarch and refrigerate for at least one hour.  In a saucepan, mix soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds, and ginger.  Cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in sliced green onions and sesame.  Coat chicken again lightly just before frying.  Deep fry the chicken pieces in peanut oil at 350 degrees F for 3 minutes, or until light golden brown.  Drain on paper towels. Toss chicken in sauce and serve over rice, spooning additional sauce on top.  Garnish with the chopped green onions.

1 comment:

Kittekaat said...

I love zucchini noodles! I was given some by a friend on a raw-food diet. You can use them for anything you use pasta in, so are a lifesaver for people with Celiacs, Crohn's and other gluten intolerance.
I never had a special tool to make the noodles. You can use a knife to cut lengthwise slits in the zucchini as wide as you want your noodles to be, then use a regular vegetable peeler down the length of the squash for full effect.