One of the things I like to do in my kitchen is cook with ingredients I know and love. In my pantry, you’ll find all the ingredients needed to make a quick and yummy Asian brown sauce. This sauce reminds me of a kung pao sauce, but I’m not a Chinese cooking expert, and if you Google Kung Pao sauce recipes, you’ll find a million variations. So I prefer to call my concoction a light Asian Brown Sauce as to not offend any cooking experts.
Also, when you cook up traditional Chinese dishes, the vegetables are often sparse. I like to make my Asian dishes a little more good for you – so I add in a few veggies. If you don’t add veggies, you’re just eating chicken and brown sauce, there’s nothing redeeming about that!
You probably have noticed I cook up a lot of Asian dishes here. I love Asian food and I find it to be fast, easy, convenient (I have all the ingredients in my pantry already) and kid-friendly.
I’m also starting to rebel against exact measurements. I highly doubt chefs in restaurants are measuring out rice wine vinegar to the exact tablespoon. Cooking is often about eyeballing things and adding things until they become the taste, texture and color you want it. If you know the basic of an Asian sauce, you can add and subtract certain ingredients, as well as put in the quantities of ingredients you like best. For one, I do not like cooking with fish sauce – it’s just not my style to add fish sauce or oyster sauce to a chicken dish – so I always omit that ingredient and find my food tastes just as good without it!
To make Gluten Free Chicken with a Light Asian Brown Sauce (and loaded with veggies), follow the instructions below. I served my dish over rice rame by Lotus Foods (see ingredient list below) but you could serve over rice, quinoa or zucchini noodles too.
- 1-2 Tbsp. sesame oil (or vegetable oil will work too)
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (organic if possible) diced into 1 inch pieces - dry
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
- 2 red peppers, diced into 1 inch pieces
- 1 zucchini, diced into 1 inch pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp. tamari sauce (gluten free)
- 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. BBQ sauce (gluten free)
- Dash of Chinese 5 Spice (omit if you don't have)
- 1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
- 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 2-4 scallions, sliced thin into small pieces
- Sesame seeds
- Rice Ramen, cooked as directed (I use Rice Ramen by Lotus Foods. It's made with two ingredients, brown rice and millet (whole grains!), making it high in fiber and protein)
- Prepare sauce by combining tamari, vinegar, BBQ sauce, Chinese 5 Spice, chili sauce, ginger, sugar and garlic. Set aside.
- Prepare cornstarch slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water. Set aside.
- Coat chicken with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (use a ziptop baggie or simply massage chicken to coat in a bowl - make sure chicken is dry before coating with cornstarch)
- Heat a large pan with sesame oil over high to medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add chicken and cook until cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add peppers and zucchini (and any other vegetables you like). Cook for another 2 minutes until vegetables softened but are not mealy.
- Combine cornstarch slurry with sauce. Mix well and pour into pan. Bring it to a boil and stir well until chicken and vegetables are covered. Add salt, pepper and additional tamari to taste.
- Serve over Rice Ramen and top with scallions and sesame seeds (optional).