Vietnamese food rocks and yet gets so little attention compared to Chinese and other Asian food. So below is my little shout-out to Vietnamese food. This is a recipe the Sweet Peas gobble up.
I adapted this recipe from the very creatively entitled Vietnamese cookbook, "The Vietnamese Cookbook." Once I got past the plain Jane title and the unusual picture on the cover, I have not once been disappointed by the recipes inside.
This recipe also shows how you can take three things that many sweet peas will eat, chicken broccoli and rice and make it interesting enough to appeal to the most distinguished of palates.
Sesame Chicken and Broccoli with Orange Sauce
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into small strips
2 T flour
1/2 t each salt, pepper and sugar
2-3 c of broccoli florets, steamed
1 c orange juice
2 T fish sauce*
2 T honey or brown sugar
2 t corn starch
1 T canola oil
2 minced garlic cloves
one small onion chopped
zest from one orange
3 T sesame seeds
Combine the chicken, flour, salt, pepper and sugar in a bowl, stirring to coat and let sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
In a small sauce pan, combine the orange juice, fish sauce, honey, and corn starch. Stir the mixture regularly as you heat and bring briefly to a simmer to thicken. Once thickened remove from heat.
Meanwhile, place the the oil in a wok or large fry pan and heat until hot (test by flicking just a teeny tiny amount of water in the oil...if it makes a frying noise, the oil is ready). Add the garlic and onion and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken and stirfry until cooked, about 3-4 minutes. Add the broccoli, orange zest and sesame seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour orange sauce over entire mixture and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Serve with brown rice and chopsticks (over course!).
*If you don't have fish sauce, you can usually pick it up most larger grocery stores with the rest of the Asian food items. The first time I smelled fish sauce I assumed ours had gone bad. It is rank. But it works in this recipe--I promise.