Chinese garlic chicken bites
Crisp and deliciously tasty in a sweet sticky sauce, these Chinese garlic chicken bites coated in crunchy Japanese breadcrumbs (panko) are quick and easy to make. They are also baked and not fried, which makes them a healthier option. A finger-licking all-round winner in our household!
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- 1lb 1½ ounces / 500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch / 2.5cm chunks
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 7 ounces / 200g Panko (see Tips below)
- 3½ fluid ounces / 100ml dark soy sauce
- 2¼ ounces / 65g honey
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 fluid ounces / 60ml hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon of red chilli flakes
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (optional garnish)
Preheat oven to 200°C / 392°F (180°C / 356°F fan).
Line a 22 x 33cm / 9 x 13-inch baking tray with foil (this gets sticky) or, if you prefer, grease the tray with non-stick spray, or lightly oil it.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.
Dip the chicken pieces into the eggs then scatter in the panko, pressing in the flakes to coat the chicken.
Add the chicken to the baking dish.
Put the tray into the oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over a medium high heat, combine the soy sauce, honey, garlic, hoisin sauce, and ginger until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
Stir in chicken and gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds, if using (optional).
Panko, as used here in this Chinese garlic chicken bites recipe, is a specific Japanese type of flaky breadcrumbs widely used in Asian cooking but becoming more used in the west. There are two main types of panko: white panko is made only from white bread while tan-coloured panko is made from the entire loaf, including the crust. Although panko is a category of breadcrumbs, its primary distinction is that the bread if first processed into flakes rather than crumbs and then dried. The texture is light and airy which helps it to crisp as it cooks. It absorbs less oil than ordinary breadcrumbs, which also enhances the crunchiness. Panko has no flavour on its own but it can be added as a crunch topping to a variety of baked dishes, such as macaroni cheese, as a breaded coating for fried foods or as a binding agent for meatballs. They can generally be found in the Asian sections of supermarkets shelves.
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