Ginger Sesame Chicken and Broccoli
Ginger and sesame combine in a one-pan meal that can be on the table in about 20 minutes. And it only uses 10 ingredients (12 if you count salt and oil).
The sauce and aromatics are what is key here. The base of the flavor comes from ginger, garlic, scallions, and toasted sesame oil. The protein and vegetables can be switched up to make it vegan/vegetarian and to use what you have in your refrigerator.
The other keys to this meal is a properly preheated heavy pan (such as a cast iron pan) and cornstarch for even browning and a crispy exterior, respectively. Thinly sliced chicken (or tofu) gets dusted in the cornstarch before being put into the hot pan. The last key – don’t touch it and let it brown! If you don’t have any cornstarch, still leave the chicken alone to brown but it won’t get quite as crispy.
When the chicken is reasonably browned and cooked through, remove it and put it in a single layer on a large plate. This allows the chicken to stay crispy. And the chicken rests while the veggies are cooking so it stays moist and tender.
While this particular recipe is for chicken and broccoli, I have also made it with tofu and broccoli raab and another time with mixed random veggies found in the fridge. I love this served over rice so the rice can soak up some of the excess sauce. But it is also equally as delicious when served in a lettuce cup. Heck, serve it in a small tortilla for a taco or wrapped in a large tortilla with rice for a burrito. Enjoy!
Ginger and Sesame Chicken and Broccoli
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or substitute tofu, tempeh, or other vegetables)
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 4 scallions, white and light green parts separated from the darker green parts
- 2 tbsp fresh minced ginger (from about a 1.5-inch piece of ginger root)
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp honey
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- neutral oil
- toasted sesame seeds for topping (optional)
- Combine the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
- Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white and light green bottoms from the darker green tops. Mince the garlic and ginger.
- Preheat a large pan (preferably cast iron or other heavy-bottomed pan) over medium to medium-high heat. When it is hot, add in enough neutral oil to just coat the bottom (the amount will depend on how wide the pan is.
- While the pan is preheating, thinly slice the chicken. Add to a large bowl and toss with about a tablespoon or two of cornstarch (enough to fully coat the chicken) and a couple of big pinches of salt. Add to the hot pan in a single layer and don't touch for a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and brown the other side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the minced garlic and ginger and broccoli florets to the pan, adding any extra oil if needed. Saute the broccoli for about 5 – 7 minutes, depending on the size of the florets, until a fork can be stuck in them but they are still al dente.
- Pour the ginger sesame sauce over the broccoli and cook for another minute. Add the chicken back in and stir to coat the chicken in the sauce.
- Serve over rice, in a lettuce wrap, or even a taco (why not? anything can be made into a taco!). Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top if desired. Enjoy!