I was going to call these Asian Chicken Nuggets, but then I realised the only Asian thing about them is sesame seeds, and they aren’t even specific to Asian food, so I renamed them sesame chicken nuggets. Then I wasn’t sure what constituted a chicken nugget. Was it about their size? The batter used? The composition of the meat inside? Who knows? So I thought it safer to call them chicken bites instead. It allows for some ambiguity, but still gives a good idea of what they are.
Are you a fan of sesame seeds? I’m a bit weird about them. I absolutely love them in any type of Asian food, especially stir-fries and sushi, but I’m not super keen on them on top of my bread rolls. I’ve never enjoyed them on bread rolls, I’m much more of a poppyseed kind of gal, but stick them into any cooked food (I know bread is cooked, but it’s not the same) and I could eat them by the spoonful.
The recipe I adapted for today’s sesame chicken bites was originally called Bang Bang Chicken. I have no idea what Bang Bang Chicken is and the Wikipedia description did not sound anything like this dish, so I decided to mix it up entirely, add some sesame seeds and rename it as what it tasted like to me – Sesame Chicken Bites. The chicken breast is moist and tender, but the outside is crispy and crunchy, making them great for dipping in any number of sauces. You can go down the Asian route and dip them in soy sauce or be a bit daring and dip them in Sriracha or chilli sauce or go for the traditional, perfect tomato sauce (aka ketchup to my North American friends). And I’m sure you couldn’t go wrong with some sort of cheese sauce.
Me? I opted for alternating dipping them in tomato sauce and Sriracha sauce. Dipping them in Sriracha just made me warm and fuzzy inside. Since discovering Sriracha last year, I have fallen in love with it. I can’t believe I had lived so long without it in my life. But dipping it in tomato sauce reminded me of my childhood with McDonald’s Chicken McNugget Happy Meals. I am not ashamed to admit that when I go to Macca’s now, even though it’s not so often, I still order the chicken nuggets. For my teenage years I went for the McChicken, but it just couldn’t compete, so I switched back to the nuggets and have had no regrets since.
Sesame Chicken Bites
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 7 minutes
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup buttermilk
⅓ cup plain flour
¼ cup cornflour
1 small egg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp sesame seeds
250g chicken breast, diced into large pieces
- In a wok or medium saucepan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat until smoking.
- In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, plain flour, cornflour, egg, salt and pepper. In a separate medium bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs and sesame seeds, so that seeds are evenly distributed.
- Dunk chicken pieces in buttermilk mixture, followed by panko mixture, then set aside on a plate until all chicken pieces have been coated.
- Add chicken to the heated oil, a few at a time so that pieces are not touching, and cook for about 2 minutes, until submerged side is golden brown and crispy. Flip and cook for another minute until golden and crispy, then remove from pan using a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel-lined plate so that excess oil is absorbed. Repeat with remaining chicken. Serve immediately with dipping sauces of your choice.
Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious.