Take-out, at home!
After this crazy December full of parties, relaxation and not-so-healthy eating, we found ourselves craving Chinese food more than anything. Not surprising, since Chinese takeout is so readily available and we’ve been indulging so often (fully aware their sauces are often flour-thickened and sweetened. No shame.)
As always, we tried our hand at replicating the dish with something a little more low-carb friendly, we were pleasantly surprised with the turnout and how many of the Chinese food inspired dishes we tried were even better than the take out we usually get. We knew we could whip up some low carb Chinese food but who knew it would be this good!
Before we got started, we knew we had to get a key ingredient – toasted sesame seed oil. Toasted sesame oil is used in many Chinese food recipes and it really adds an incredible amount of flavor with only just a tiny drop of oil. We finally got a small bottle of it and tested it out on our yummy Cashew Beef Thai Stir Fry recipe. It gave the dish the distinct flavor we were looking for so we decided to take it out for another spin in this low carb sesame chicken recipe. More sesame taste sounded like a great idea!
We used toasted sesame seed oil to flavor both the sauce and fry the chicken. This maximized the toasted sesame flavor without adding additional carbs. That means the low carb sesame chicken would not be low in flavor! After all, too many real sesame seeds and you start to increase the carb count- toasted sesame oil for the win!
To make the sauce thick, we added arrowroot powder, a paleo-friendly thickener we bought on Amazon, instead of xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is great but doesn’t add enough volume to certain recipes since you only need so much (usually, ½ teaspoon is plenty!). Arrowroot powder is not inherently low carb, but it is minimally processed and you really don’t need much to thicken things up. I definitely recommend having some on hand in your kitchen as a perfect alternative thickener for any sauce you may want to make.
In this sesame chicken recipe, we used a tablespoon of arrowroot powder combined with a beaten egg to mimic that soft battered texture of Chinese sesame chicken. This texture was also important since the sesame sauce wouldn’t stick to a naked chicken thigh so easily. That battered style of chicken is essential! And, it is one of the things I crave when I start thinking about ordering take-out Chinese food.
The simple changes we made to a traditional sesame chicken recipe really worked out well and satisfied the desire to have Chinese food while sticking to a low carb diet. Take a look at our recipe and give it a try! No need to buy Chinese food ever again especially when you can make it in a more diet-friendly way!
How to make sesame chicken!
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