I don’t even like chicken. But I made my husband cook this for us two nights in a row, with leftovers for lunch both days. He said no the third day. Yup, that’s how good it is!
I was inspired by the recipe I stumbled upon from the cooking channel and adjusted it to be nut-free and dairy-free (but it does contain soy). To be fair, our 10-month-old loves spicy things almost as much as we do, so this was a sweet treat for her. I will say that it does require some work to make (not a throw-it-in-the-pot-and-wait kind of meal), but it is sooooooo worth the effort!
Sweet & Spicy Ginger Chicken Bites
- 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- enough vegetable oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan (at least 1/4 inch)
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey (not safe for children under 12 months)
- Add the chicken, olive oil, soy sauce and pepper to a bowl or ziploc bag to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, mince the garlic and ginger, prepare the cornstarch station (put it in a shallow dish) and the sauce mixture (put the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl).
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan, get your rice ready to cook, and take the chicken out of the fridge.
- Dredge each piece of chicken into the cornstarch, shaking off any extra, and set them aside.
- Once the oil is hot enough, fry the chicken in batches until the pieces golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set them on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
- In a different pan, saute the ginger and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until golden brown (about 30 seconds or so). Lower to medium-low heat.
- Add the sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. This doesn’t take very long, and will thicken the sauce.
- Then add in the fried chicken bites and toss gently to coat with the sauce.
- Serve over rice and/or with steamed broccoli.
We made it again without the cornstarch breading and it just wasn’t the same; the chicken was much less flavourful, even when drowned in the sauce. I can also confirm that the sauce was just as delicious without the honey, and definitely was not lacking any sweetness.
And there you have it, a meal that adults will love as much as the kids. It is easy to make this one baby-friendly by omitting the honey and chopping the cooked chicken bites to appropriate sizes for your baby’s eating skills.
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