Whole30 Sesame Chicken

Today, my husband had a meal request. He told me he wanted “American style Chinese” for dinner. You see, I grew up in an area where authentic Chinese food was available, and when I moved to the Midwest was beyond horrified with what is considered “chinese food.” He loved the stereotypical “chinese” sweet/saucy chicken over rice and served with an egg roll and a fortune cookie. He sent me a few recipes and I looked through them. Most of the Whole30 equivalents to the ingredients were at home in our cupboards, so I decided to take on the challenge of making a delicious Whole30 Sesame Chicken. I knew my two biggest hurdles would be sriracha and honey.

Finding a Whole30 Sriracha

Sriracha is a pepper sauce that balances with its own sweetness really well, so finding a whole30 version would be hard  (because no sweetners, duh!) and I knew I wasn’t up to recreating sriracha. Honey is necessary in sesame chicken to bring in some sweetness. Not to say that the overall dish will taste sweet, but simply omitting would be hard. Dates would be the only option there (which is absolutely Whole30 compliant in an overall savory dish). So I went to my local health food store to find some Whole30 sriracha. As I feared, every single sriracha contained a sweetener. While many were healthier sounding like “Blue Agave Sriracha,” none were Whole30 complaint. But after looking through several ingredients I noticed the other ingredients were very similar. “Red Jalapenos” were the key top ingredient. So I looked through some other bottles until I found this. Daves Creamy Garlic Red Pepper hot sauce.

the closest thing to Whole30 sriracha

I figured it’d be more garlicy that sriracha but would still be the substitute I needed. I was right.  I’d say check local because I paid $4.99 for the bottle, but Amazon’s price is quite a bit higher {link!} If you can’t find it, then it’s worth buying. Note that this sauce does have canola oil, which is not recommended on Whole30 but not against the rules. It’s meant to be for eating out, but the truth is, I know I couldn’t find a compliant recipe like this anywhere so it fits into my program just fine. Using another hot sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot) will.not.work. The key are the red jalapenos; a cayenne pepper sauce will have a completely different flavor profile that will not compliment the other ingredients.

This recipe is also very “saucy.” So you may find that you don’t need as much as I’m recommending. The reason I suggest making so much is because 100% of the time, if I follow a recipe for a dish with a sauce, my husband will say “this needs more sauce.” And because american style chinese tends to be very overloaded with sauce, I decided my Whole30 Sesame Chicken could be like this too. Served over my toasted cauli-rice, this Whole30 Sesame Chicken was a finger licking, plate clearing meal for our whole family.

 

 

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Whole30 Sesame Chicken
An american-style sesame chicken that tastes better than takeout. And ppsssstttt it's Whole30 approved, but loved by all!
Whole30 Sesame Chicken
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Chicken
Sauce
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Chicken
Sauce
Whole30 Sesame Chicken
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-2" chunks. Coat and toss in arrowroot, salt, and pepper
  2. Coat the pan with olive oil and sesame oil. Heat to medium high. Once the pan is up to temperature, place in the chicken. Pan fry for about 6 minutes, or until browned, stirring ocassionally. Make the sauce (Step 3) during this time.
  3. Put all sauce ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. The consistency should be creamy but not a paste.
  4. Pour sauce over chicken, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10minutes
  5. Once chicken is cooked through, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!
    Whole30 Sesame Chicken
Recipe Notes

I cannot stress enough that a cayenne pepper sauce (like Frank's, Cholula, Tabasco etc) will not give the same flavor profile. A red jalapeno sauce should work, so if you find a different brand that is Whole30 compliant, so for it and let me know how it goes!

This dish is excellent served over  Toasted Caul-Rice!

-Rachel

note: the pepper sauce is an affiliate link, however I highly recommend you look local because it will probably be cheaper. If you can't find it elsewhere, know that anything earned through that link helps me create more Whole30 recipes!



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